Last March 2016, James Barnor came to Amsterdam for the second time last year. Before that, we spoke over Skype many times together with my brother Steyn, to talk about our Ghana project – our Impact Journey together with James. Steyn met James in Amsterdam at the Sixties exhibition at Foam as well, and they clicked immediately because of Steyn’s travels to and interest in Ghana. From the start, James was very enthusiastic to collaborate together. The Skype conversations we had were endless and inspiring.
“I was called Lucky Jim for a reason… (James Barnor)”
In March, it was finally time to see James again. We had fun, but certainly fruitful days. We brainstormed and worked all day, with a little museum and lunch/dinner breaks in between. We had the pleasure to organise something at the Tropenmuseum. At the time, James participated in another Sixties exhibition at the Tropenmuseum. The Sixties – A Worldwide Happening was an exhibition which makes the 1960s feel amazingly close and recognizable because today’s world builds on the icons of yesterday. The exhibition offers a global view of the 1960s, an era when globalization as we know it first appeared. We organised a meet and greet and Q&A with James, which he enjoyed tremendously. He kept on talking without people even having to ask him questions. He posed in front of his beautiful photographs and again, enjoyed the attention to the fullest. The other way around, people enjoyed his interesting endless stories enormously. That afternoon, we first had a lunch meeting with Anke Bangma, Curator Photography and Contemporary Art of the Tropenmuseum. We spoke about our project, possible collaborations between the Tropenmuseum and us for our project. She had many interesting and good ideas, which we are building on and working with at the current moment.