We Face Forward: Art from West Africa Today
Meschac Gaba, Ensemble, 2012
To 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.