Self-taught Ghanaian photographer, Michael Aboya, has been selected as winner of the Best Photo of the Year at the 2019 edition of the Agora Awards in Barcelona, Spain.
The 24-year-old Ghanaian was amongst 50 artists who took part in the 9-months long competition by Agora, the free-to-use stock photography company. According to the organization, it received more than 130,000 submissions from participants in 193 countries.
Aboya’s photo, ‘Songs of Freedom’ was voted as the Best Photo of The Year polling about 500,000 votes in the third annual event. He was also awarded a cash prize of $25,000.
Explaining the idea behind the award-winning ‘Songs of Freedom’ photo, he said the concept was born after listening to the popular record of Reggae superstar, Bob Marley titled the ‘Redemption Song’.
“I moved to the beach a few hours after listening to the song and gathered a group of kids to pose for the camera. A kid, in particular, had the most expression among them and became the focus of the image,” he explained.
In his response to questions about the award, he said that “this award means a lot to me since it is a prize for the many years of sacrifice, and following my passion,”
Michael Aboya plans to change the perception about photography and arts in Ghana through his work.
In a story of grass to grace, this 24-year-old spoke about his first stint with photography and the inception of his career after he lost his father.
According to the photography prodigy, he used his meagre savings meant for his tuition to purchase his first professional camera and as they say the rest history.
“Songs of Freedom” is currently being exhibited in Paris with @atlasofhumanity.official at Galerie Joseph Le Marais, 16 Rue de Minimes, Paris Vernissage where the artist will speak extensively on the topic.