In his sensitive, award-winning series, Boys of Volta, Brooklyn-based photographer Jeremy Snell takes a closer look at the people and environment surrounding Lake Volta in Ghana. Although the enormous lake is very beautiful, it has a dark side, too, as thousands of children – many trafficked into labour – work in its massive fishing industry.
Available in a new photobook of the same title, Boys of Volta follows the story of the fisher boys Jeremy encountered during his travels to the world's largest human-made lake. Spanning half of the African country, its surface is scattered with eerie tree trunks where dense forests once stood.
This is just one of many recent projects for Jeremy, who is known as a cinematographer and humanitarian photographer, represented by the UK's Open Doors Gallery. Originally from Hawaii, USA, he spent much of his youth living in Asia. He has photographed many campaigns for NGO's such as Charity:Water and The International Justice Mission. In 2020, he was the winner of The Portrait of Humanity for his Boys of Volta series.
Alongside his stunning imagery, there is an essay by Nii Ayikwei Parkes. One extract reads: "Well-heeled dancers will tell you that volta means turn in a language that matters not as much as the body's signal when it happens. In these parts, all along the coast of West Africa, we know the rhythm of water well enough to turn with it when its dance steps change."
Boys of Volta by Jeremy Snell is published by Setanta Books. Ten per cent of this book's profits will be donated to the NGO, International Justice Mission, who work with partners in the criminal justice system to ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors have the training and support they need to identify victims, launch rescues, arrest suspects, and to help create better circumstances for these boys.