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06 Jun 2012

WE FACE FORWARD: Art from West Africa Today

Flag: Meschac Gaba, Ensemble 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

WE FACE FORWARD: Art from West Africa Today


FROM: 2 June – 16 September 2012


Whitworth Art Gallery: Monday to Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 12–4pm
Manchester Art Gallery: Daily 10am–5pm, Thursdays 10am–9pm
Manchester Museum: Tuesday to Saturday 10am–5pm, Monday to Sunday 11am–4pm
Gallery of Costume: Monday to Friday 1–5pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am–5pm

Whitworth Art Gallery
+44 (0)161 275 7450
+44 (0)161 275 7451

Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, M15 6ER

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Art from West Africa Today

2 June – 16 September 2012

There's an African vibe in Manchester this summer. That's all down to We Face Forward, a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa, taking place across three galleries, two museums, four music venues, libraries, community spaces and on an art bus. It features 33 artists and a host of musicians from 11 West African countries. Over the Olympic summer, we are celebrating the global and the local, exploring the links between Manchester and West Africa as part of the London 2012 cultural festival.

Forget everything you think you know about African art; embrace all that you don't yet know about the art, culture and creativity of West African artists today. Major new sculptural installations, painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video, sound and fashion ask us to consider global questions of trade and commerce, cultural influence, environmental destruction and identity. Challenging and humorous, curious, noisy, elegiac and eclectic – this is the dynamism of West African cultures today. These form a huge, city-wide exhibition, spreading across Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume (Platt Hall).

There are more We Face Forward exhibitions and events at The Manchester Museum and the National Football Museum and a packed programme of We Face Forward family activities at various venues.

And We Face Forward reaches far beyond Manchester's gallery spaces. The music programme, curated by Band On The Wall and The Manchester Museum, includes world renowned acts such as AfroCubism, Femi Kuti, Angelique Kidjo, Diabel Cissohko and Kanda Bongo Man and reflects the incredible diversity and brilliance of musical styles from West Africa.

Georges Adéagbo (Benin), El Anatsui (Ghana/Nigeria), Hélène Amazou (Togo / Belgium), Lucy Azubuike (Nigeria), Mohamed Camara (Mali / France), Cheick Diallo (Mali / France), Aida Duplessis (Mali), Em'kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon), Aboubakar Fofana (Mali / France), Meschac Gaba (Benin/ Netherlands), Francois-Xavier Gbré ( Ivory Coast / France), Romuald Hazoumè (Benin), Abdoulaye Armin Kane (Senegal), Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali), Soungalo Malé (Mali), Hamidou Maiga (Burkina Faso), Nii Obodai (Ghana), Emeka Ogboh (Nigeria), Abraham Oghobase, Amarachi Okafor (Nigeria / UK), Charles Okereke (Nigeria), Nnenna Okore (Nigeria / USA), Duro Olowu (Nigeria / London), George Osodi (Nigeria / London), Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Ibrahima Niang AKA Piniang (Senegal), Nyani Quarmyne (Ghana), Abderramane Sakaly (Senegal / Mali), Amadou Sanogo (Mali), Malick Sidibé (Mali), Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon / Belgium), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon / France), Victoria Udondian (Nigeria)

AfroCubism – featuring Eliades Ochoa of Buena Vista Social Club and Toumani Diabaté (Cuba / Mali), Diabel Cissokho (Senegal), Angelique Kidjo with Manchester World Voices Choir (Benin / UK); Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra (Nigeria / UK); Endless Journey – featuring members of Mamane Barka and Etran Finatawa (Niger); Kanda Bongo Man (Congo / UK); Jaliba Kuyateh & The Kumareh Band (Gambia); Seckou Keita Band (Senegal / UK)

Whitworth Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery
Gallery of Costume: Platt Hall
The Manchester Museum
Band on the Wall

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