"Women and development": workshop for artists from Ghana and Ethiopia

December 2006 -

The Foundation for Contemporary Art focuses on promoting and developing contemporary art inside and outside of Ghana. The organisation maintains an active network of visual artists, simultaneously serving as a critical forum on developments in contemporary art in Ghana. In November 2006 the Foundation for Contemporary Art organised a workshop for artists from Ghana and Ethiopia in cooperation with the Alliance Fran´┐Żaise and the French Embassy in Accra. The theme of the workshop was "Women and development", and its objective was to generate interaction between the two African cultures. For the artists, the workshop was an interesting opportunity to exchange ideas and views and to explore experimentation, in terms of both content and technique.

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Adwoa Admoa at work during the workshop

Part of the five-day workshop was a round table discussion during which artists from Ghana, Ethiopia and elsewhere, collectors, gallery owners and critics participated. The debate explored various perspectives on the current state of African contemporary art and studied the possibilities for cooperation among the participants. The general conclusion was that exchanges such as this workshop are extremely important for the development of contemporary art in Africa. The participating artists also emphasised that they are actively searching for new frameworks of reference. The Ethiopian artists "were impressed by the diversity with which their colleagues from Ghana approached the topic". The visual variation is expressed in the use of objects that are often abstracted, mixing techniques and going beyond the literal perspective. The artists from Ghana described the working method of the Ethiopian artists as 'powerful and influential'. At a time as yet to be determined, at least two artists from Ghana who participated in the workshop will travel to Ethiopia to continue the cultural dialogue between Eastern and Western Africa.