Campbell Addy

"I like telling my stories through imagery and I think it’s about time that people, especially black people, began controlling our stories." 


Photographer and Director
Founder of Nii Journal and Nii Agency
City of residence, LONDON, UK



What are the main reasons you are joining us for the festival this year?
CA: The main reasons for joining the festival is to reach a wider audience with my work and to
be part of the collective of photographers you are/have exhibited such as Charlie Engman and
Lea Colombo. 

COL: What is the most important drive for you to create and why?
CA: The thing that drives me the most when creating is the need to document & express life I as see it. I like telling my stories through imagery and I think it’s about time that people, especially black people, began controlling our stories. 

COL: Who or what do you value as a great inspiration for you creatively?
CA: Life and people around me. I am an avid people watcher, I get inspired by day to day life and its happenings. I value time and the ability to live in the present - those two things combined make for a great recipe for creativity. 


COL: Can you elaborate on an important moment in your life where you experienced a big change, chose to make one or another event which altered your way of thinking or your approach to creativity ?
CA: When my mother had a miscarriage in 2015, it was a very spiritual and emotional period in my life. I had taken a break from life to visit her in Ghana and during this period I began shooting for pure pleasure alone. I hadn’t felt such release and enjoyment in photography for a while and shooting like that, without a cause - just to capture beauty, was very therapeutic. I ended up making a book of images for my brother who passed away, a book showcasing the beauty of our motherland that he sadly never got to see. 

COL: How does digital and social media affect or inspire your life and creations?
CA: Social media and the sheer pace of it all makes me think of new ways of not succumbing to the need for content. I try to not be so heavily dependant or focused on social media when creating - however it’s an excellent tool to promote and find collaborators. 

COL: How do you define art? 
CA: Pure creation is Art to me. 

COL: What is your definition of artistic freedom? 
CA: Being able to create whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want and viewers accepting that.  

COL: Is there a difference for you between art and commercial/commissioned work? 
CA: It depends on what context, but most of the time yes because usually the client / commissioned work have restrictions or specific points that need to be hit, whereas I believe art should be free of all that. 


COL: Do you struggle to find artistic freedom in the span between commissioned work and your personal needs to express yourself?
CA: Yes, I do sometimes but then I remember I am lucky to have Niijournal, a place where I can always express and create without restrictions. 

COL: What do you aspire to? In the near future? In life in general?
CA: I aspire to keep being inspired and to keep creating. In the near future I’d love to direct a short film. Life in general, I aspire to be happy and healthy. 


COL: How do you feel art and fashion intervene?
CA: I believe fashion can be an art form and art can be fashion. It’s all relative. 

COL: What is a great example of a fashion art collaboration in your view?
CA: Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby / Dior is a collaboration that springs to mind instantly. 
Alexander McQueen SS 1999  - Mcqueen inspired by artist Rebecca Horn High Moon installation, which in turn inspired him to have Shalom Harlow spinning and sprayed by industrial machines. 

COL: Where do you think art and fashion is heading in our digital age?
CA: The digital age brought forth the fast paced necessity for images, work and fashion, hopefully we cycle back and slow down.