Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean photographer based in London who focuses on documenting cultures, subcultures and intimacy. With her one-year bursary, Smart will be investigating the community and culture of Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO world heritage site, within a cultural and environmental perspective.
She will be exploring how the town of Bassam, on one hand, embodies colonial architecture and town planning, based on the principles of functionalism and adaptations to climatic conditions, but how lack of upkeep and funding in the maintenance of its infrastructure is affecting the town and its community of the N’zima people, one which demonstrates the permanency of indigenous cultures despite serious environmental issues.
Smart's project will be carried out in documentary style photography, driving the narrative using coordinated colours, textures in affected buildings, clothing and objects in her sitters’ portraits.
The Environmental Bursary judges for 2020 were Adrian Stone, The Photographic Angle; Caroline Hunter, Picture editor for The Guardian weekend magazine; Mandy Barker, Photographic artist and previous recipient; Liz Williams, RPS Education Manager.
Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean Visual Artist based between London, UK and Abidjan, Côte d’lvoire, who specialises in Photography and Illustration. Her work looks at how people self-identify and choose to present themselves in front of the lens. Recently, she has been interested in documenting Black sensuality and culture from an African point of view. She aims to show as many representations of African people, and what it means to be as African. Her work has been published on CNN, I.D Mag, British Journal of Photography, Atmost Magazine and Design Indaba. View more of her work here.
All photos © Ngadi Smart. 1) Longing and Belonging; 2) and 4) Ngadi Smart for Atmost Magazine; 3) Amorphophallus Aphyllus