The Gold Matters project team held its first workshop in Ghana, from 25 to 29 March 2019, including a visit to goldfields in Tarkwa, in the south of Ghana. The project includes collaboration with artists, including the painter Christophe Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) and the photographer Nii Obodai (Ghana).
Eleanor Fisher, Gold Matters project leader, said “Their work provides creative ways to bring to the fore the perspectives of miners and to reflect on sustainability issues in small-scale gold mining”.
Christophe’s images use the movement of people going about daily lives, using paper to collects footprints, tyre tracks and other serendipitous markings as the basis of pictures in which the colours shining through. “Suspended between dream and reality his work creates an opening, a window on new horizons”, said Fisher.
During the visit, women carried heavy tailings – the materials left over once the gold has been separated out – and young men processed gold ore. Christophe collected mine dust of many hues – orange, yellow, red, brown – using stones and carbon for impression.
Christophe said: “it has been inspiring for me to work on the boy miner and the women on paper using earth from the goldfield with the drivers helping…and to participate in exchanges, to work on a collective drawing with you all and see you smiling while taking five minutes to train your fingers in drawing, long Life to Gold Matters!”