Cultural Institution Building as Activism

Dr Nana Oforiatta-Ayim

(Founder, ANO Ghana)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019, 5:30 pm

Warburg Institute
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB


With the growth of technology and mobility, the notion of one culture being valued as more valid, or higher, than another no longer holds. Narratives, structures and institutions built on imperial models, e.g. museums and education models, are looking for new ways of understanding the world. African countries, despite their wealth of natural resources, are still seen us ‘underdeveloped’, and as needing to catch up with the West. Within countries like Ghana, regional inequality and limited growth opportunities are seemingly insurmountable. Immigration from these and other countries is seen as the root of all problems in Western societies where far right and nationalistic groups gain traction. The crises of systemic racial violence in African Diasporas, especially in countries like America and Brazil, continue to spring out of value systems put in place by the transatlantic slave trade that served as the foundation of the modern industrialised world. The ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge in Accra, Ghana, asks itself how it can find solutions to some of these problems through culture, through narrative and institution building, collaborations, and knowledge and leadership training. It actively examines the notion that access to culture can be the ultimate tool of transformation, self-knowledge and evolution; and attempts to create connections by creating new ways of thinking and being that are all-encompassing, pluralistic, empathetic, and that privilege people, their rights, freedoms, safeties and voices.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim is a Ghanaian writer, art historian and filmmaker. She is founder of the ANO Institute of Arts & Knowledge, through which she has pioneered a pan-African Cultural Encyclopaedia. Recently appointed a TORCH Global South Visiting Fellow to Oxford University, she is also the recipient of the 2015 Art & Technology Award from LACMA; of the 2016 AIR Award; and of the inaugural 2018 Soros Arts Fellowship. She is a contributor to the 2019 New Daughters of Africa anthology and in February 2019 delivered a TED Talk. Ayim curated  Ghana’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. 

You may also like...

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search