Africa’s largest picture collection is currently located in Accra, Ghana. The library, also known as the ‘Dikan Gallery,‘ exhibits the creations of some of the most skilled artisans on the continent as well as other classic artists from earlier times.
The center was founded by Ghanaian photographer and director Paul Ninson. The Dikan Center, the first of its type in Ghana, is referred to as the continent’s leading curator of art. Currently, the Gallery is home to over 30,000 books that Ninson has collected throughout the years. A picture studio, classrooms for creative courses, and an exhibition area are all included in the area.
The Guardian claims that while still enrolled in the School of the International Center of Photography in New York, Ninson started to foster the idea of a photo gallery and to collect photography books. Initially, he said to The Guardian, he gathered images to discuss concepts with other photographers in Ghana, but as his collection increased, he understood that the concept could go much further and have a much greater impact.
I started buying African photo books, with the idea of sharing them with young photographers back home, but as my collection grew, it dawned on me that I could create a library dedicated to photography and visual education, so I started reaching out to booksellers for donations. I also received donations from private galleries and collectors.Paul Ninson (2022).
In West Africa, photography has a long history. Artists like Seydou Keta, Malick Sidibé, and Ghana’s James Barnor, to name a few, all carved out careers for themselves by exploring photography in a way that was both vivid and profound. Ninson is continuing their legacy.
Ninson’s attempt to recognize the various African photographers, both well-known and obscure, who have left their fingerprints on the globe through their photography is Dikan, which translates to “take the lead” in Ghanaian Asante. Additionally, Ninson wants to inspire budding African photographers who wish to establish a reputation through the picture hub.