By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
An exhibition comprising twelve artists which seeks to enhance the cultural dialogue between Ghana and the European Union (EU) ended on Wednesday February 18 at the Alliance Française in Accra.
Comprising paintings, photographs and installations, the works do not only shed light on the work of the EU in Ghana, but also aim at generating conversations around new and innovative ways of collaboration in a bid to create mutual benefit.
Dubbed “In Dialogue”, participating artists include Andrews Torsu, Ian Kwakye, Lesley Semackor, Negyem Adonoo, Simon Bowman, Theresah Ankomah (Ghana), Tjasa Rener, (Slovenia), Anne-Laure Gueret (France), Clarissa Rotzel (Ghana / Germany), Isabel Abreu (Portugal), Natalija Gormalova (Latvia) and Ulla Deventer (Germany).
Ankomah activated some discrepancies in multi-lateral trade, consumption and socio-economic issues in diverse forms by stitching together onion baskets dyed in the colours of Ghana’s national flag. It leverages on the delicate and calculative nature of weaving as a way of expanding the conversation about the EU and its development agenda in Ghana.
A piece by Adonoo titled “Upgrade” dilated on the upgrade in the grey areas of Ghana, which was and will be made practicable through the relationship that exists between Ghana and the EU while an artwork dubbed “Into The Maze” by Abreu depicts the feminine energy in Accra. This is evident of her painting that show women balancing their many roles with grace and strength – mothers, workers, family providers and community members among others.
Gormalova showcased a piece from a project “Man for Chop”, a collaboration between herself and AfroDistrict, a collective that aims at breaking stereotypes and changing perceptions of Africa through visual storytelling whereas Deventer, a PhD candidate at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi), exhibited a piece on how social norms interrelate with our ideas of love, sexuality and freedom.
Titled “Accra Academy – Hand Washing”, photos by Bowman generate conversations and bring to light some of the EU’s work in the society – in essence highlighting cooperation between Ghana and the EU delegation. Equally, a work titled ‘Brown Lines’ by Semackor dwelt on the interaction / relationship between the EU and Ghana.
Curated by Esse Dablah-Attikpo, the exhibition was presented by the EU Delegation to Ghana in collaboration with the Kuenyehia Trust for Contemporary Art.