ByAnanse: On Black fatherhood and challenging narratives
ByAnanse is a Ghanaian cinematographer and director based in Toronto. His career began in the performing arts scene – acting for camera and theatre rolls, and eventually taking an interest in the technical side of filmmaking. Through his work, ByAnanse aims to start a conversation, and hopes to lead the healing of his community.
The entrance hallway of Artscape Daniels Launchpad is decorated with stills from ByAnanse’s series Me PaPa – directly translating to ‘My Father’, representing his journey of understanding fatherhood and conversing with other fathers. Every image in this collection is intended to shed light on Black fathers who live with a ‘generational curse.’
“Modern society views Black fathers as submissive and incapable of raising their own children,” says ByAnanse. “When my daughter was born, I witnessed women rising up around her and supporting her mother, but I did not have a community like that. I felt lonely and scared of being unable to talk to anyone and not having any advice. I used this project to create the community I was lacking and to tell the untold stories of Black fathers.”
The cinematographer and director factors these narratives in every image he takes – creating a story that is unique to him, but universal in nature. Most of his ideas come from his own personal experience, or surroundings.
ByAnanse refers to the quote ‘history is told by the victors,’ adding that this is very true in Black communities.
“Our stories have been rewritten, destroyed, and omitted from history books as a result of the media’s agenda to destroy the image of Black communities. As a part of my healing from our generational curse, my mission is to return back the stories by achieving all aspects of my community, and in this particular case, the focus was on the healing of Black fathers. Creating a space for Black fathers the integral pillar of the Black family.”
When he’s not working on his next collection, ByAnanse can be found at POV Film as Lead Facilitator for their Production Assistant Training Program (PATP). The eight-week entry-level program provides Black youth with the technical training, vocational skills and knowledge to work in the TV and Film industry – something the artist sees as incredibly important.
ByAnanse’s Hallway Gallery Exhibition is on now for the month of February at Artscape Daniels Launchpad.
To learn more about ByAnanse, check out the links below.
Personal IG Byananse
Production IG Anansesemproduction