African Art to be documented in 54-volume encyclopedia

Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, a writer, historian and filmmaker from Ghana, has set about cataloguing the art history of the African continent. The Cultural Encyclopedia project will culminate in a 54-volume encyclopedia that documents African historical and contemporary arts and culture, with a volume for each country.

The launch of the first encyclopedia took place in Oforiatta-Ayim’s home country at ANO gallery in the form of an open-source internet platform, also available in published volumes, and coincided with the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence.

The project received funding to the value of $40 000 from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and, according The New York Times, Ghanaian experts in various arts and cultural fields were invited to Saint-Louis, Senegal, for a workshop as part of the Ghana edition, which is ongoing.

Contributors include filmmaker Akuba Afonu, author Elisabeth Efua Sutherland, writer Nana Nyarko Boating and architect Samuel Opare Larbi.

“The Cultural Encyclopedia is a re/ordering of knowledge, narratives and representations from and about the African continent,” according to the website, where users can contribute various forms of content relating to the cultural foundations of their respective countries.

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