An exhibition of photographs by selected school kids that depict their impression of the city of Accra ended recently at the exhibition of hall of the Children’s Library in Accra.
Curated by acclaimed sculptor Kofi Setordji and coordinated by photographer Mawuli Tofah, the show, which formed part of Celebrating Accra Festival, comprised over one hundred pictures taken from various parts of the city.
Indeed, the photographs appear to be a kind of cumulative manuscript that may point to some kind of protest by the kids alongside hints of problems of a growing city that is about to lose track of its history and culture.
Nonetheless, the significance of these photos may be found after a close and detailed scrutiny, which without doubt reveals a city that is full of perseverance, innovation, imagination, regression and probably in a state of confusion.
Scenes of choked open drains, garbage, shacks, hawkers, pollutants, food vendors selling next to liquid waste trucks, discarded vehicle tyres, poverty, pollution, lawlessness and newly constructed buildings with shiny Chinese slide windows are memorable but point to a developing city without an architectural history.
Moderated by renowned architect Joe Osae Addo, a panel comprising, Nat Nuno Amarteifio (architectural historian and former Mayor of Accra), Senam Okudzeto (artist/writer and academic), Osei Agyeman (former president of the Ghana Institute of Architects), deliberated on the theme “Restoring the Past – Ensuring the Future”.
Discussions, which included members of the audience, centred on the need to raise conscious awareness of the ingenuity, creativity and culture of Accra, while touching on the apparent loss of its heritage buildings and undeniably its architectural history.
The chat, which was held at the Children’s Library, coincidentally one of the historical buildings under threat of losing its status as one of the icons of Accra, equally considered the issue of Indian, Chinese and other “alien” architecture that has flooded Accra in recent years.
Icons of a nation, they agreed do tell a story – however, Accra seems to be losing whatever symbols it possessed that tell the history of its glorious past – and sadly no action appears to be in place to help arrest this unfortunate situation.
Enforceable laws they concluded are therefore required to protect and save the heritage buildings in Accra as the authorities ensure that its rich history remains visible throughout its quest at development while serving as an inspiration for future generations.
Golden Tulip Hotel, Archi Africa, Amaechi & Njide Ndily Family, Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd, Coral Paints, Chase Petroleum, Airtel, Multi TV, Poly Tanks, Safe Bond Africa Ltd and Krane Construction supported the lecture.
Celebrating Accra Festival was sponsored by Agenda 21of Spain, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Geothe-Institut, Cowbell, Club Beer and Citi FM.