1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Before anything, Thanks so much for featuring me on your wonderful blog, Reese! Home used to be Ghana then I moved to NY because my mum had made it her new home. It was weird for a bit but I have adjusted quite well, perhaps a bit too well. When I went back to Ghana last year, it felt weird there. I have high expectations of myself and those in my life, yet, I am super content and therefore too lazy to get myself where I think I ought to be. I value simple things, like long and strong laughter, good friends who would tell you about the spinach between your teeth, people who would laugh with you even when the crowd around you look down their noses at you lack of civilization. I love life only because of the people I love. I also find that ice-creams and tall glasses of milk, or better yet milk shakes are a necessary pleasure. And I of course very much I love it when people try to figure me out; I think it hilarious though charming,I have been trying to do the same for years and I still haven’t got myself figure out yet.
2) When and why did you become interested in poetry and photography?
I used to write poetry when I was bad. I wrote it as an apology to my mother. It felt proper because I came to know poetry in a sandwich of fear; my sixth grade teacher made sure of that. I always wrote something in my diary, just to amuse myself but I never really thought it as good as ice-cream to my ‘soul,’ until sometime in college when I met Prof. Schulman. She thought my verses had something to them. And so I tried to think like that too.
Ah, thinking of photographs still make me laugh a little while my eyes well up. Growing up, we took pictures, like, once a year or so. There was always such need to look perfect for these still images of ourselves. It was a real fuss. When I got my very first camera in high school, I wanted to take pictures of things that didn’t matter. I wanted them as they were without any cleaning-up or preening. It was so much fun shooting things in their natural states. Yet it was in college when I realized that I love the art. I was working on majoring in Business Management and all that Calculus was weighing me down so I scrolled through the list of available classes and when I stumbled on Basic Photography, I enrolled on a whim. I would have been lost if I had never enrolled into that class.
3) What are your other interests?
Oh, I have many interests, Reese! Walking around aimlessly, people watching (i don’t want to shoot them, just watch them), crocheting, blogging, knitting! (I just thought myself to knit, thanks to YouTube.) I dabble with the sewing machine on a clear day, and I am trying to get into writing short stories. Let’s not forget my fascination with soft baked pretzels glazed with almonds and thick, thick, creamy milkshakes. At the moment I am also hooked on Sencha green tea with a touch of turmeric!
5) Why is your site called WeirDlit?
I have this notion that what is weird is a lot more unique than what’s not. It is what’s pushed to the side by society as too complex to break down or to straightened. I like the unspoiled, like a little boy trotting in his mother’s high-heels and laughing in songs of innocence. WeirDlit= Weird + Lit. To me, Weird-lit means the part of us that’s least corrupted by our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, etc. A part of us that though is not immune to the ideas of our environment, refuses to be brainwashed by it.
6) Who and what are your major influences?
The sun when it comes out so strong with fine breezes and accompanied by serenades of twitting birds. It gives me the urge to swim, naked, through mid air, or have a picnic on a cloud. I love nature. I love the rain, watching it pour is just so nirvana-ish. Otherwise I am highly influenced by the works on Man Ray, Moholy Nagy, Garry Winogrand, Thomas Hardy and Gertrude Stein.
7) This blog centers on afrofuturism and afrosurrealism? In what ways are your life and art reflective of either futurism or surrealism, or both?
My work is more surrealistic, though my thoughts are futuristic. I find surrealism to be a necessity to the sort of abstract art I aspire to create. An example is the work End Of The Day which is a composition of four images I took in Ghana. When you focus on the background, the clouds curve in a shape like the coast of West Africa, the golden color is a symbol of what it used to be called; The Gold Coast. And the little spears, a symbol for the way we used to live and still do in some part of my continent. Honestly, I didn’t set out to create this image as it is. I never set out to make anything into anything. I let my subconscious guide my work and when I am done, it takes me weeks to recognize what I have created.
10) What are your future plans?
I would love to exhibit my work. I am going to publish something. Also, I am going to be the craziest professor ever; teach creative writing all around the world, so I can write better and always see the world through the eyes of the young.
9) Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Thank you again Jane for doing the interview and take a look at her work on her websites.