Urban Futures

ACCRA, GHANA

URBAN FUTURES

[ Past ]

 

| 15-17 December 2020 |

| Nubuke Foundation | Accra, Ghana |

| Overview |

Today, more than 50% of the world's inhabitants live in urban environments -

a figure which is expected to grow to

68% by 2050 (UN, 2018).

Though patterns of change and challenge underlie the expanding cities of the planet, exactly what these urban worlds will

- and indeed, should -

look like, is up for debate.

This programme invited engagement with Urban Futures, grounded in the growing city of Accra, Ghana.

It did so by centring art as a critical tool of expressing that which may not be easily captured through language,

thus expanding

imaginations of the possible.

i. We invited artistic responses to the theme, curating them into multi-media exhibition;

 

ii. We delivered an an exciting arts-based workshop with two local schools

 

iii. And we produced two panels which unpacked this theme from multiple perspectives.

 

| Artists |

David Alabo

Hakeem Adam

Nana Nyahan Tachie-Menson

Theresah Ankomah

Free The Youth

| Panels |

The Visibility of Young Black Women in the Arts

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

| Full Programme |

Student Workshops 15 Dec

Open View + VR Panel 16 Dec

Open View+ IRL Panel + Closing Event 17 Dec

 

| Production |

The Unknown

| Kindly funded |

London School of Economics and Political Science

 

| Gallery​ |

 

| All Photos by | 

Working Progress

 

| Artists + Panelists​ |

 

 

| RAINBOW OCEAN | by David Alabo

David is a multidisciplinary Ghanaian-Moroccan artist 'telling stories of the strange and surreal', and is committed to gaining an understanding of how best to showcase and critique African society through the lens of the strange and fantastical.

Alabo's Afrofuturism is, "the fusion of afrocentric elements with surrealism to create paradoxical

fantastical worlds that highlight African culture and its diaspora in both a familiar and strange

way. "His computer-generated oeuvres, "may not make sense at first but over time they

send a message. Sometimes, the message is open to interpretation. They have a lot to do

with fantasy and immediately strike the eye."

 

still image from video projection | VERTICES | by Hakeem Adam

Ghanaian digital artist-in-learning, and freelance arts and culture writer, Hakeem explores the power of narrative, transmitted through various creative outlets including video art and sound design.

 

For the exhibition, Hakeem will provide installations deploying sound as the

predominant narrative device that confront ideas about identity, emotion,

politics and freedom.

 

He is the founder and creative director of DANDANO—a Pan-African cultural

platform for African film and music criticism and documentation—and has

contributed to the archive of African culture for Africa Is a Country, OkayAfrica

and more.

 

| DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION | by Nana Nyahan Tachie-Menson

Visual Artist and Creative Director, Nyahan, is a recent graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City where she earned a BFA in Communication Design.

 

With a focus on no specific media at all, her work depicts real life issues through

the sense of fantasy, dreams, nightmares and visions.  Using myriad contrasting

colours and textures, Nyahan takes us on a wild, psychotropic journey through her

relationships, friendships, pain, gore, sadness and intimacy.

 

 

| REBIRTH | by Theresah Ankomah

Living and working in Accra, Ghana, Theresah's artistic expressions manifest in the form of performative installations, sculpture, weaving, photography, basketry painting and printmaking.


In recent times, she has been interested in exploring kenaf woven baskets, strings,

jute rope and royal palm at all level and scale of weaving while at the same time

examining the hidden stories associated with the making of these objects. Her interest

also lies in how their usage is susceptible to temporality as well as permanence. She

uses the complexities of weaving to discover and tell these untold stories. Theresah

engages in the material culture of Ghanaian basketry, researching into the

incredible ways this culture interweaves in the nuanced lives of the people who

make and use it.

 

 

| Free The Youth Denim | by Joey Lit / Free The Youth Ghana

(Jonathan Coffie) popularly known as Joey Lit is  the Co-founder, Designer and Artistic Director of Free The Youth, a brand which he has built to become one of the biggest streetwear labels in West Africa. 

 

With his style, authenticity and creativity, Joey has worked with numerous

organizations and brands across the world including Nike, SONY Music and

United Nation amongst others. Through fashion and design, Joey’s mission

is to create a space for young African creatives globally.

 

| Joey Lit | Panelist:

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

 

 

| Dominique Petit-Frère | Panel Chair:

The Visibility of Young Black Women in the Arts

Dominique Petit-Frère is a spatial designer / creative strategist of Haitian and Ghanaian descent. She is also the Founder & Vision Director of Limbo Accra, a spatial design studio dedicated to architectural projects, art installations and urban design in West African cities.

 

Much of her work is centred around innovative and hybrid forms of place-making and is constantly influenced with ideas towards inclusivity, otherness and future. Collaboration and co-production in design making is a critical part of her ethos, as it signifies the first steps towards realising more equitable visions of change to bridge the gaps between a multitude of groups and communities. In this way, design carries more than aesthetic value for her work, but rather functions as a mechanism for socio-economic change for both making things and making things happen.

 

| Na Chainkua Reindorf | Panelist:

The Visibility of Young Black Women in the Arts

Na Chainkua Reindorf is a mixed media artist and mythmaker. Her work, which ranges from large-scale tapestries to immersive sculptural installations is an exploration of and an ode to the rich cultural history of West African textiles, focusing largely on the complexities and visual culture surrounding masquerades and ceremonial costumes.  
 
Reindorf purposefully incorporates contemporary materials into her work as a way to create new ways of using these historical textiles to explore ongoing social topics including gender, culture and tradition. Reindorf primarily uses natural and artificial fibres and beads for her tapestries, and often includes a large range of materials into her installations. She has also recently begun exploring traditional West African ensigns in the form of appliques and paintings.
 
Reindorf has exhibited internationally in institutions across the United States, as well as in Nigeria and Ghana.

 

 

| Sharifah Issaka | Panel Chair:

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

Sharifah Issaka is a creative producer and international African. Born in Ghana but raised between Canada and Saudi Arabia, she has been documenting creative culture in the city of Accra for nearly a decade.

 

Sharifah tells stories by any medium necessary (whether through film, tourism, journalism, or design) and is interested in the use of new media for African development. In 2014, she created Gold Coast Ghana: the first archival account for Ghanaian history on Instagram. She has since turned her focus to archiving the present (as we are creating / curating the future every day) and recently deepened her curatorial practice as a participant in FCA-Ghana’s inaugural CritLab.

 

| Stefania Manfreda | Panelist:

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

Designer and curator, Stefania Manfreda is the founder of Elle Lokko, Accra's first women's Concept Store, which first opened its doors in September 2015. Manfreda, currently living in Accra, has interests ranging from photography to fashion. She is also interested in design, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

 

Elle Lokko strives to stay at the forefront of great service and quality whilst remaining authentic and relevant to the modern woman.​ With an array of amazing brands that design outfits, shoes, accessories, home decor and organic beauty products, Elle Lokko maintains a strong sense of tradition expressed by a nostalgic feel of Africa’s fashion, art, lifestyle and culture.

 

| Asia Clarke | Panelist:

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

Asia Clarke is an international development professional, consultant, foresight strategist and artist who is passionate about re-envisioning pan-African diaspora futures. Asia has been a leader in economic empowerment international development projects professionally for the past 7 years in Canada, Dominica, Eswatini and Ghana.

 

She holds a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation program from OCAD University. Through her recently founded NGO Diaspora for Equitable Progress (DEP Africa) she co-manages the Free The Youth Ghana Institute - a foresight-informed youth empowerment program. Asia is also a successful art-based entrepreneur, whose business Wild Moon Jewelry has been featured in many major publications.

 

| Amarachi Nwosu | Panelist:

The Role of Art in Accra's Urban Future

Amarachi Nwosu is a Nigerian-American photographer, visual artist, filmmaker, writer and speaker currently based in New York City. She is also the founder of Melanin Unscripted, a creative platform and agency aimed to dismantle stereotypes and blur the cultural lines by exposing complex identities and cultures around the world.

 

Nwosu's involvement in culture spans different industries from music, fashion, sports and social impact. Her work focuses on bridging these spaces through visual storytelling and community impact. Her debut documentary "Black in Tokyo" premiered at the International Center of Photography at the ICP Museum, New York City in 2017 and she has also screened the film in Tokyo, Japan at Ultra Super New Gallery in Harajuku.

 

She was mentioned by The Fader as part of the coolest people shaping Tokyo's music scene. Okay Africa named her in their 2019 100 Women's campaign to celebrate Women's History Month.

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