Accra

I am in Accra, and experiencing a bit of culture shock. I was here six years ago, and since then, Accra has changed quite a bit. It is a city that is clean, full of cars and stop lights, and altogether more developed then anywhere else I have been in Africa. I don’t know if it is my memories that have changed, or if it really has changed as much as it seems like, but I am surprised. The climate and money are both different, they speak English, and people are a bit less outgoing on the street.

I am staying at the YWCA Dormitory, the same place I stayed last time I was in Accra. There is warm community of girls from all over West Africa going to school and working here. I took the bunk-bed of a girl from Cote Di’voir who is able to go home now that Dbagbo the dictator finally was captured. I don’t know how much international coverage the situation in Cote Di’voir has, but here, it is all that is on the radio, and the cause of a lot of discussion and conversation between people. When it was announced on the radio that Dbagbo was finally caught yesterday, I was on the bus to Ghana, and the bus broke in to cheers.

I am wondering a little bit why I left Ouaga, right when I was getting to know the artists there and getting so much clarity about what I am doing here in Africa, but I have some fine artist friends here as well, and hope to meet up with them in the next couple of days. I am also going back to Ouaga after my brother, Finn brings me a new video camera, because my project, sponsoring artist interviews, will be based in Ouaga when I get a camera again. There are so many people there who’s artwork is incredible. I am actually glad my camera was taken, because it made me slow down and learn about the artists and artisans here, make connections and clarify what my project actually is and where it will actually have some merit and make a lasting influence. Instead of just giving people money, I will be also making videos of them working to send to galleries in the bay area. It might help give the artists here more international exposure, which is crucial for any fine artists working in third world countries. There are some updates, From both Mali and Burkina Faso, which I will add to the page soon, but after this, I will not be focusing on artisans, but on fine artists only. To be an artist here takes even more courage then in the US. I will be spending the next month building connections here and then continue my project when I have a camera again. In the meantime, I am also going to look for a pottery town to spend a week or so in somewhere near here, in order to learn about the pottery firing techniques in English. I can learn a bit more when I can fully communicate.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Accra

  1. Brett Poirier

    Another nice update. Thanks as always for the effort especially when getting on a computer can be tedious! It will be great when Finn (and friends) arrive there in a couple of weeks….From Pt Reyes CA, best wishes while in Accra!

  2. Debbie Kaye

    Thanks for sharing your thinking, Maria. You have much to consider. I appreciate the distinction you make between craft and fine art, and will be interested to hear more about how your new focus on the latter works out. I admire your desire to expand the visibility of fine African artists. The weather remains cool and wet in the Northwest, so different from yours! love, Aunt Debbie

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