• Portraits

    ‘Being Simple’- A photo essay about Andres Bong

    I first met Andres aka Andres Bong randomly as I took street photographs in front of Velvet Lounge on U Street in 2014. He was striking with his friendly demeanor, Bob Marley-like dreadlocks, his multiracial appearance and the fact that he spoke English in a refined American accent but could easily switch to street slang. I assumed he was no more than 25 years old. He mentioned his connection to Congo but I did not make much of it at that time. I took pictures of him and his then band mate from Banish the Culprit and we parted ways. Over the year, I bumped into him on 14th street…

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  • Events,  Street Photography

    A look back at the Memorial Day spectacle

    On a balmy Memorial Day weekend, I ventured to the crowded throngs near the Lincoln Memorial. Part of my curiosity for this year’s events were directly linked to the political climate, looming elections and other dynamics I wanted to investigate for myself. I ran into a courteous ex-service man and his bride, a number of bikers who obliged to my requests to take their photographs, people with interesting and catchy slogans on their t-shirts, as well as people crowded to see the Rolling Thunder display. It was a colorful day best best illustrated through black and white. All images © 2016 Nana Gyesie.  His work can be found on his website, flickr and Instagram. 

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  • Featured,  Parades,  Street Performers,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    Of funk and urbanism: An ode to Jane Jacobs

    I went to the Funk Parade; part of the cadre of official photographers. I have recently been inspired by urban theorist, Jane Jacobs, the original proponent of organic urban renewal and sidewalks in the city. To me, Jane should be a street photographer’s hero. Her ideas on urban design were on my mind when I arrived at the parade. Besides seeing the parade, I was mostly interested in what people were doing, how they were interacting and why they were there. My somewhat Felliniesque take on the parade was not helped by the fact that I had Skepta’s ‘Konnichiwa’ and Radiohead’s ‘Burn the Witch’ on heavy rotation. Here is to…

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  • Featured,  Street Photography

    The 24-hour Project: Washington DC

      I remember feeling like I had become a bonafide street photographer in 2015 after spending nearly 24-hours on the streets of Washington DC taking pictures and posting one every hour to Instagram. This was for the annual 24 hour project hatched by Renzo Grande and Sam Whittier, New York and California based street photographers. I decided to stretch my endurance again this year on March 19th, for this year’s 24 hour project. I was the ambassador for Washington DC, and one of nearly 2.800 registered participants in more than 103 countries. The purpose of the project is always to document the human condition. Once again, I spent 24 hours on the…

  • Dispatches,  Featured,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    Dispatches: A Blustery January in London

      Enroute to Accra, Ghana, I made a much needed stopover in London. One of my favorite cities in the world after Accra, Washington DC and New York. My endless fascination borders on social psychology, anthropology and, perhaps, some innocent voyeurism. It’s amazing — I get to use my trusty Fuji X-T1 and iPhone as the medium to “scratch my itch” in trying to understand how other people live, as a means to understanding my place in the world. These monochrome photos show what I saw from Regent Street, Green Park, Hounslow and other places. All images © Nana Gyesie.  His work can be found on Tumblr, flickr and Instagram.  Dispatches is our occasional look…

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  • Protests,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    The mediating power of the American flag: A localized observation of Nepali geopolitics

    On a wintery mid-morning on November 22nd, a group of Nepalese protesters organized by self-described Greater Nepali-American community gathered near the White House to protest what they described as India’s blockade of the border with their country. One unidentified protester suggested that the impact could potentially decimate poor people in Nepal. Importantly, this same unidentified Nepali stated that the impact of the border blockade meant there was no transportation of gas, fuel and food from India to the landlocked Nepali. There were approximately 300  protesters, yet I noticed a counter protest organized by a group representing the Madhesis, supposedly a marginalized group which suffered brutalities at the hand of the…

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  • Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    A week in mystical DC

    This week has been quite fascinating! I attended a Slavoj Zizek lecture at the New York University campus near 13th Street in NW [actually, I was not allowed in because they ran out of space]. I decided to wait outside so I could have a chance encounter with Slavoj Zizek. While waiting, two ladies, both named Chelsea, came and stood next to me for a cigarette break. We engaged in conversation, and it turned out they were both PhD students, just like me. One of them had a tattoo of Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) on her inner wrist. It struck me because she was not African-American!! A paradigm-shifting moment for…

  • Dispatches

    A Quick Getaway: North Beach in Calvert County, MD

      North Beach is about an hour away from Washington DC. I discovered by accident during a search online and decided to take a quick trip there with my family. I kept my expectations low, because the Washington DC area and its environs is not known for its world class beaches. We arrived after a short drive to a very clean, bucolic and inviting town; North Beach. We explored the boardwalk, the actual beach and some of the quaint shops close by. We now have a favorite local beach that’s only one hour away, whenever we need to get away from the quite hustle and bustle of Washington DC. All…

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  • Dispatches

    Faces of Accra: Exploring Zongo Lane and other ‘no go’ neighborhoods in Ghana

    The photos from this series were taken during my last visit to Ghana in 2014. A typical visit to Ghana includes dinner, drinks and socializing with my friends and family in some of the posh new restaurants and bars in Accra. I decided to venture outside of this bubble into neighborhoods such as Jamestown, Zongo Lane and other areas where the very bottom of the working class live with determined dignity. Forget about all the statistics you’ve read about unemployment rates in Ghana or Africa, at large. In these photos, you see people walking about selling shoes with their arms acting as shelves, the mother selling donuts on the street…

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  • Dispatches,  Street Photography

    Dispatches: The streets of Istanbul

    During the month of April of this year, I spent eight days in Istanbul, my second time to this enchanting city. I was mainly there for a residency for my graduate program but made a decision to spend a lot of time exploring the streets of the city with my camera. A week before I departed Washington DC for Istanbul, I connected with an Istanbul-based street photographer named Kerem Nasipoglu and we planned to meet when I arrived. On my second day, Kerem and I connected over espresso and shared our mutual admiration for legendary street photographers, such as Gary Wingorand, Martin Parr and Ara Guler. After that, Kerem showed me…

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