Sharing Moods and Moments Through Storytelling with Arinze Patrick
|A man comes out to check the reason for the noise on the street. © Arinzechukwu Patrick|
As a study of the social ecology of neighborhoods and living conditions, Arinze (Rodney) Patrick, creator of Random Photo Journal, has been documenting his environment since early 2018 to show us the daily lives of Africans. His journey began after planning a tour in different states to capture parts of Nigeria in an attempt to understand his origins. Although Arinze Patrick was born and raised in Lagos, he has been based in Ghana since the age of fourteen.
“My earliest memories are of Festac, I was raised in the small art festival village in Lagos state, Amuwo Odofin, first in L closed, and then we moved to Block 2 on I close. After a while growing up we began moving around a lot due to my mother’s job so, I lived in Abuja for a while, Minna, Owerri, Ogun state, but a lot more in Lagos. I moved to Ghana after my secondary schooling and this is where I had my university education decided to make my base. Just like traveling, my mother also loved to document everything that she did on video and pictures, I grew up around videotapes and photo albums.”
When and how did you start taking photos?
“Towards my final year in the university I thought about something I could get into creatively to keep me busy before the subject of a job comes into the conversation, and photography just came naturally as something I’d love to do, but I didn’t want to be commercial about it or cliché, I wanted to do photography that could be considered dialogical work. The necessity for making photos that way came from my roots in literature. I am a writer, and whenever I write fiction/poetry it is accompanied by featured images in the publication. During the time I had a blogging phase, a thought came to me about how pictures tell better stories or, at least, it was a first step to filmmaking which is the best way to express emotions. I also didn’t like sourcing images from Google. I considered photography a way to write stories but through another medium and fell in love with it. It preserved moments better than writing could. I did my first interview and storytelling with Afrogallonism, an Accra based fine artist, shortly after I traveled to Nigeria for 4 months with the girl I was with around that time and moved from state to state seeing how people lived and took it all in. I made some photographs that got noticed after I shared them, which is how I expanded on photography.”
|A man takes pictures of his daughters by the sea. © Arinzechukwu Patrick|
What are your inspirations?
I study a lot of magazines based on high fashion, and also those that discuss street culture. New knowledge comes with new questions I ask myself, so my inspiration is looking at my environment through the questions I ask myself and being honest about my answers.
What do you want to convey with your photographs?
We have a rich culture as Africans, but our general idiosyncrasies are overlooked. I want to convey the message of how Africans in different spaces in West Africa act when they aren’t burdened with the weight of performing existence guided by rules and regulations. Their natural state and mood in their natural habitat.
This is a part of Seven Foto Questions, a series of interviews with photographers answering the same questions about how they each came into their craft.
What is your favorite photo, and the story behind it?
I don’t have a favorite photo, I love all my work. Since I search for specific moods I consider that all my photos are how I felt at a certain moment.
|A wristwatch seller and his customer. © Arinzechukwu Patrick|
What do you consider a “good” photo?
You just know when you see a good photo because it draws you in to become a part of it, a good photo is honest, and honesty sparks a conversation.
Can you use one theme to describe your work?
Visual anthropology, it should be archived.
If there is one thing you want your audience to know about you, what would it be?
My favorite food is bread and butter, it can’t miss.
|A man communes at the beach. © Arinzechukwu Patrick|