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Vanessa Peterson

Vanessa Peterson (born 1991) is a first-generation British-Ghanaian photographer,

She uses these lived experiences to explore cultural identity in the diaspora, the concept of belonging and memory in contemporary society. Photography is the medium used to focus on these different narratives, as well as looking at the sense of self and where she fits as a spectator, and as an artist. With a strong focus on people, their surroundings and the everyday nature of existence, her work aims to use simplicity to explore the notion of ‘being’. Travelling plays a pivotal role in her photographs and she has shot bodies of work in a variety of European and African locations. As well as looking at the present, she also uses vernacular photography and archives to research colonial Africa, with a particular focus on British colonial rule & its legacy in Ghana. In 2014, she was shortlisted for Magnum Photos’ 30 Under 30 Documentary Prize. Her work has been exhibited and published in London and Accra. She has been selected to participate in the 2015 Venice Biennale with the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project.

Exhibitions and Projects

  •  A Trans-African Worldspace: Invisible Borders Trans-African Project group installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale (2015)
  • Group exhibition in collaboration with Autograph ABP and Open Generation focusing on migrants and their contribution to the UK – Rivington Place, London (2015
  •  Shortlisted for Magnum Photos’ 30 Under 30 Documentary Photographers’ Award in association with Ideastap (2014)
  •  Of The Afternoon group exhibition and launch – Power Station Gallery, London (2014)
  • Work from The Accra Project published in Of The Afternoon (Issue 4) – 2013
  •  Invisible Borders Trans-African Project (The Accra Project) – W.E.B. Du Bois Centre, Accra (2013)


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