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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Ano Institute Of Arts And Knowledge, Ghana

The ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge in Accra celebrates its 20th Anniversary and announces a series of exhibitions and programming for 2022. Nana Offoriata Ayim,Director and Founder of ANO and Director at Large of Ghana’s Museums and Cultural Heritage, rethinks and reshapes the imperialist model of Western museums and investigates the changing cultural landscape.

Accra-based ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, specialized in reframing Pan-African and Diasporic archives, institutions and narratives, unveils its program for 2022. Over the past two decades, ANO has been rethinking and reshaping the existing museum model with the mission to challenge different ways of presenting and bringing Ghanaian and African art to the center of global art and culture landscape.

ANO’s 2022 programming will see a series of global exhibitions and projects unfold. Reflecting the organization’s commitment to reshaping the Western museum concept, the program presents a new perspective of the role of the museum, redefining the perception, comprehension and engagement with art and African culture.

ANO celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2022 with the construction of a new space in Accra, made entirely out of local, sustainable materials, — raffia palm from the Western Region, by 84-year-old designer Ophelia Akiwumi. After two decades of building narratives in the arts, ANO is transitioning into future building, engaging more actively with the environment and education. Its projects which launch towards the end of the year will include models for new kinds of museums, ways of historicising, expression and conservation. Marking its anniversary, they have announced a series of exhibitions globally, including The Ghana Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (April 23 – November 27, 2022) and a project at the Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary African Art (May 19 – June 21, 2022).

Ghana Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia

Black Star – The Museum as Freedom | 23 April – 27 November, 2022

Following its highly acclaimed inaugural participation at the 2019 Biennale Arte, Ghana will present the exhibition Black Star — The Museum as Freedom. Titled after the Black Star that symbolises Ghana through its flag, and most important monument; connecting Africa with its diasporas through Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line and his Back-to-Africa movement. Revived now in Ghana as Beyond the Return; as well as for Pan-Africanism and anti-colonialism with the symbol described as the Lodestar of African Freedom. The 2022 Ghana pavilion examines new constellations of this freedom across time, technology and borders. installations by Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope and Diego Arauja. Curated by Nana Offoriata Ayim and designed by architect DK Osseo Asare the exhibition features large-scale installations by Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope and Diego Araúja.

Dak’Art, Biennale of Contemporary African Art Nkabom — The Museum as Community | May 19 – June 21, 2022 Curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Nkabom — The Museum as Community ponders the various ways contemporary artists have interacted with the notion of Nkabom (coming together) as a community and collective. Investigating our co-existence with the earth, ritual gatherings and the environment, the exhibition features three artists who unify the idea of community and connection. Kuukua Eshun explores the reconnection of women of African descent with the earth in her film Born of the Earth; Rita Mawuena Benisson, remodels the Afayhe’s local festival spaces; and Kwasi Darko, whose work addresses contemporary issues showcasing the involvement of people in public urban spaces in Ghana.

Reopening of the Ghana National Museum

In addition to this year’s program, The Institute’s Director is curating the reopening of the National Museum in June 2022 after seven years of closure, with the mission of creating a museum truer to the communities that make up Ghana.

Commenting on the 2022 program and ANO’s activities, Founder Nana Oforiatta Ayim states that:

"Since moving back to Ghana, ANO has been working on a series of interventions to question what kind of cultural institution might be right for our context. Over the last year, this has expressed itself in a series of exhibitions that reexamine the museum as home, as community, as a space of freedom, as well as ideas of sustainability and local resources and materials. It has also been working on a permanent structure where the alignment and ideas of home, community and freedom, and the use of local materials are expressed. Its twentieth anniversary sees the completion of the new ANO Studio built by 84 year old designer Ophelia Akiwumi, who has spent her career working with local, sustainable materials as well as historical forms and symbols. It also sees a shift in the focus of ANO deeper into the research and foundations of knowledge systems, as expressed in projects like the mobile museum and cultural encyclopaedia; and towards a more integrated model that encompasses not just the arts, but also the environment and education."