Afrogallonism – performance, presentation and panel discussion – 17 October 2018
Serge Attukwei Clottey, artist and community activist
This free event took place on Wednesday 17 October 2018 and was followed by a reception.
Attendees joined Responsible Futures for an evening with visiting Ghanian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey. Clottey shared his ideas highlighting issues such as sanitation, politics, trade and migration, affecting our contemporary societies, with Ghana and Africa as his focus point. The event was followed by networking and celebratory drinks to mark this new interdisciplinary Responsible Futures’ collaboration.
Clottey is an internationally exhibiting artist who explores personal and political narratives rooted in histories of trade and migration. Born 1985 in Accra (Ghana), he is widely known for his work utilising yellow gallon containers, which are at the base of his ‘Afrogallonism’ discourse. He works in a variety of mediums including performance, film, photography, sculpture and installation.
Through his Afrogallonism project, Clottey found that the yellow gallons that were initially brought into the country as oil jerry cans had become water storage materials in almost every home in his community due to the shortage of water. As time went by, these gallons were being disposed of carelessly in the community, and this became a huge sanitation issue. So, he decided to identify ways to reduce the problem by collecting these disposed gallons and transforming them into something different that could be reused in homes and art forms that could benefit his community.
Afrogallonism has now evolved into a community art project, through which many young peoples’ shared interest in expressing themselves creatively in the community grew. This was the origin of a performance collective called GoLokal, which adopts traditional Ga performance styles and mixes them with contemporary performance art to express participants’ views, and also critique issues affecting the community and the country.
Why is the University involved?
Since April 2018, a group of University of Brighton colleagues from five Schools – Nicola Ashmore (School of Humanities), Duncan Baker-Brown, Nick Gant and Tom Ainsworth (School of Architecture and Design), Stefano Santilli (School of Art), and Ryan Woodard (School of Environment and Technology) led by Professor Marina Novelli (School of Sport and Service Management and Academic Lead for Responsible Futures), in collaboration with Attukwei and his team, identified a number of interdisciplinary research opportunities.
With support from the Vice-Chancellor and the Responsible Futures Funds, a small team of colleagues visited Accra in July 2018 to establish the Arts4CommunityDevelopment collaboration, which involves Attukwei, his team, several other local stakeholders and the above-mentioned group of colleagues, but is open to others who may be interested. We are in the process of developing a set of knowledge exchange, funded research projects, teaching and learning activities and much more. Attukwei’s visit and this event are the first of a series of activities. Collaboration opportunities are open to anybody interested, within the University and wider network. Please get in touch with Professor Novelli (M.Novelli@brighton.ac.uk) should you wish to know more.