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Heather Agyepong


The Gaze on Agbogbloshie: The Misrepresentation of West Africa as Dystopia

This project intends to explore the misrepresentation of Agbogbloshie in Ghana and the role of the western gaze in our understanding of African issues.

Agbogbloshie is portrayed as the continent’s largest electrical wasteland; in truth it is a functional, profit-making recycling network. The conditions are harsh and pollution is rife but its inhabitants manage to live, work and save money for their families. In the last decade, Agbogbloshie has received an influx of western media attention depicting the displaced African as an aesthetic. The young boys who reside on the site are the most exploited group in which they are often misled and promised help in exchange for images, interviews and even blood samples. The alienation felt by the boys is cultivated through these photographers who present the cultural baggage of European idealism within their projects.

The work intends to exaggerate these discrepancies creating an embellishment of the visual aesthetic whilst confronting our obsession with African poverty.​