British Council Ghana Arts Season is a period of specially curated events for young artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Delivered by Accra–based creative consultancy Chapter54, the season has seen youth come together for exhibitions, workshops, discussions and networking.
The British Council specialises in international cultural relations and educational opportunities. Hence, the creation of this season to give creatives in different art forms the opportunity to showcase and develop their amazing talent was a natural fit.
Launched on December 15 2022, the Country Director of British Council, Nii Doodo Dodoo, gave a warm welcome to guests and expressed, “it is common knowledge that British Council has been a strong supporter of the arts and creative industry globally”.
He further echoed that through the delivery of the season, they hope to “provide inspiration to policy makers and the private sector to do more to push this industry”.
The council typically engages the arts sector through programming and training, this season serves to broaden both their reach and insight for future endeavours.
Chapter54 set a remarkable tone to the season launch with networking, live musical performances, sharing and film screenings from British Council alumni and associates.
The night also introduced the first in a series of mini-exhibitions starting with an immersive Augmented Reality (AR) photography exhibition by Micaiah Wiafe, a multidisciplinary artist driven by curiosity and a strong urge for exploration.
Following the launch night was Creative Hustle, a seminar-style event that offers young people aged 18 – 35, the opportunity to gain awareness of the breadth of artistic and non-artistic livelihood opportunities available across creative sector value chains.
The theme for this Creative Hustle event was ‘Fashion and Sustainability’. The insightful discourse was led by a stellar panel namely; Ekow Barnes, Elorm Amankwa, Travis Obeng-Casper, Harriet Ann-Adjabeng and moderated by Vanessa Gyan.
The panel represented different spheres of the fashion industry in Ghana and touched on diverse topics within the theme.
The event was also host to a specially curated sustainable fashion night market including local brands Ajabeng, Ekua Addo, Tampoori, Rami RTW and Chip O Neal as well as two lovely budding sustainable fashion designers and students representing Ashesi University.
Whilst the topic and surrounding issues are far-reaching, attendees were left with much food for thought on how to relate their learning and practice to local context. Having real-life examples of how this can be done successfully was the highlight for most.
Photography is one of the art forms that has a spotlight in the Ghana Arts Season through the mini-exhibition series. As part of this, Chapter54 partnered with The African Photography Collective to deliver the maiden edition of their flagship programme ‘The Collective Class’.
The informative class moderated by Eli K Dei, and led by Alfred Burgesson, Oswald Anononadaga, Danielli Ofori-Atta and Kwesi Okrah touched on professional development from the perspective of grants and funding for creatives, networking and relationship building, brand Strategy and Intellectual Property Law for Creatives.
One of the attendees described it as ‘knowledge they never knew they needed’ and remarked at just how important such learning spaces are.
The night was crowned by the launch of the second iteration in the mini-exhibition series ‘The Collective’ exhibition which showcased 9 incredible emerging Ghanaian photographers who were selected via a competitive open call.
They include; Nancy Afua Agyeman, Felix Ayensu, ‘Ghana Must Go’, Klenam Glover, Reginald Boateng, Gus Sarkodee, Elroy Salam, and Serwah Siaw, and Kwabena Agyarko. Their colourful diverse works collectively spoke to a sense of identity and expression and were set in a dazzling and immersive yellow-clad space.
Still on the topic of imparting knowledge, the SoCreative Africa E-learning workshop was held in both Accra and Kumasi as part of the season.
The programme itself provides free online courses for aspiring and early stage young African entrepreneurs. The in-person workshops were an opportunity to give young creative entrepreneurs first-hand experience of the virtual programme and help mitigate some of the challenges around internet access and self-led learning. Visit the British Council Ghana website to learn more about this fantastic opportunity.
The season has been a busy yet impactful one. Remarks such as “this has given me the courage to work towards my solo exhibition”- Felix Ayensu, affirm the importance and necessity of such spaces. Wrapping up the season will be another Collective Class and exhibition – this time with a focus on Film.
Both engagements are FREE to attend and take place at the British Council, Accra, February 8, 2023 from 3.30pm for the class and 6pm for the exhibition.
It promises to be an amazing crowning to the season and seeks to highlight existing and emerging film talent from the likes of Charles William Adofo and Marcia Worlasi Mallet to crown the entire season. To attend the film exhibition and workshop register here or simply walk in on the day of the event. Registration will be taken at the door also.
Check out the British Council Ghana website and social media platforms to ensure you don’t miss any Arts and Creative events hosted by the British Council in the future.