Afrika Eye North: Meeting Kwame
I was lucky enough to be able to visit Accra in Ghana in April. Lancaster University has a sister campus there and it seemed like an amazing opportunity to meet artists from all arts disciplines to understand if there might be opportunities for linking artists working in Accra with those working in north Lancashire and South Cumbria. They say Ghana is the best place to visit as your first time in Africa. And it was a culture shock – how could it not be? But I felt at home within 24 hours, mostly due to the remarkable warmth of welcome from everyone I encountered.
I hosted a couple of workshops at the university site and met artists involved in socially engaged arts practice, lots of graphic designers, photographers, musicians and performance artists. I found myself scooped up and taken to places by my new friends, very personal places with especial resonance for them and their practice; mountains, markets, studios and galleries, arts centres, museums and an enormous amount of driving around with social history lessons.
I met Kwame Boafo in Gallery 1957. Kwame told me that he was coming to London for the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) in June to create work at the Battersea Arts Centre alongside Ghanaian spoken word artist, Poetra Asantewa in New International Voices.
Here at Lancaster Arts, we have been planning Afrika Eye North, the first cross artform festival of contemporary arts practice in Africa in the north-west of England. We are linked to the renowned Afrika Eye festival in Bristol and hope that this will become a regular part of the Lancaster landscape for years to come.
All of a sudden, it seemed the perfect opportunity to build on that extraordinary trip to Ghana as I had hoped. Kwame Boafo will be the artist in residence in the week leading up to Afrika Eye North. He will be meeting many artists while here and joining a panel for the post film discussion on Dance Got Me to be shown on Saturday, July 7th. Make sure you catch the film!
On July 3rd, there will be an opportunity to meet Kwame in the Music Room at The Storey in Lancaster from 6 to 8pm to find out about his work and the arts scene in Accra. On the You Tube video (attached to this page) is a taster of Kwame’s work to whet your appetite.
It promises to be a stimulating and inspiring conversation.
Please join us.
Director, Lancaster Arts