The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana announced today that David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, will design the country's first-ever pavilion at the 58th International Art Biennale in Venice. "Being able to show the diversity and creativity of Ghana on an international scale is an incredible achievement," said Adjaye in a press release, "and one which showcases the talent that we have to offer.” The British-Ghanaian architect drew inspiration for the pavilion design from traditional Ghanaian architecture designing a series of "elliptically shaped interconnected spaces" clad in "locally sourced earth," according to the release.
Curated by writer, art historian, and filmmaker Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the pavilion's exhibition will feature work from six Ghanain artists: sculptor El Anatsui, material artist Ibrahim Mahama, photographer Felicia Abban, filmmaker John Akomfrah, painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and multimedia artist Selasi Awusi Sosu. An accompanying publication will include a preface by Ghanaian president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; a foreword by Catherine Afeku, Ghana's minister of tourism, arts, and culture; and contributions by Adjaye and Ayim; writers Kwame Anthony Appiah, Okwui Enwezor, Taiye Selasi, Hakeem Adam, Adjoa Armah; architectural researchers Mae-ling Lokko and Kuukuwa Manful; curator Larry Ossei-Mensah; and curatorial student Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo.
Ayim said in the same release: "The conversation about nations is broadening in the face of issues of migrations; of us redefining our connections to our diasporas throughout our ‘year of return’; of discussing what it might mean to have our cultural objects returned, and how we thus might redefine ourselves in the world; and of finally moving out of the ‘postcolonial’ moment into one we have yet to envision."