Please don’t smile


After completion of his studies in photography, some traveling and projects in various African countries Malte Wandel moved to Ghana in 2011. During his almost year-long stay in West Africa he created the portrait series ‘please do not smile’.

In this body of work he focuses on teenagers creative dealings with second hand clothing from industrialized countries, which can be bought at every corner in Ghana for a few cents. Each picture has its own story. Such as the 19-year-old Stanley, who makes his living of acting as a Michael Jackson look-alike in the nightlife of Ghana’s capital Accra. Other pictures show surfers of the Ghana national team and document very personal encounters on his travels through Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo.

All images © Malte Wandel

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