By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
A socio-politico backed theme recently marked a performance by artist Amasa Abifao during the opening of an exhibition at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Accra.
With most parts of the world under lockdowns and diverse restrictions owing to the Covid 19 pandemic, the artist maneuvered through brightly coloured car tyres as he delivered messages relating to challenges associated with life.
Indeed, West Africa has been beset with economic and political upheavals alongside challenges to security and stability. In recent years, other stresses have been added to the list – these include youth exclusion, migration, rapid development of extractive industries and land management.
Undeniably, West Africa is making impressive progress in economic growth, democratization and regional cooperation. However, the recent rise in violence and conflict as well as drug trafficking, piracy, extremism and other emerging threats have sparked concerns over its future development.
Clad in a white costume with half of his face painted in strips and a rope hanging on his neck, Abifao climbed into a pack of tyres painted in red with his head popping as his audience gazed in readiness for a surprise.
Titled “Variations – Spectrum of Life”, the artist waded into the complexities of life as one develops from an infant, teenager and adulthood to an advanced age, which has been aggravated in recent years due a variety of challenges.
With most members of the audience in face masks owing to what is now referred to as the “new normal”, Abifao harped on the need climb out of the tyres, which symbolically represented enormous problems currently facing and drowning mankind.
The performance forms part of “Variations” an ongoing exhibition organized by the Greater Accra branch of the Ghana Association of Visual Artists at the CNC in Accra. It ends on Tuesday October 28, 2021.
Pix – Nii Tackie Yarboi