We Face Forward: Contemporary Art and Music from West Africa

We Face Forward is a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa, celebrated across Manchester’s galleries, museums, music venues and public spaces, as part of London 2012 Festival. The exhibitions, concerts, events and community activities recognise both the historic and contemporary links between Manchester and the various countries that make up West Africa. Exploring ideas of economic and cultural exchange, environment and sustainability, We Face Forward considers the place of tradition in contemporary culture.

The highlight of the season is a city-wide exhibition of contemporary art from the region. Marking the first major collaboration between Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, it features painting, photography, textiles, sculpture, video and found work from a range of internationally acclaimed artists, including Georges Adéagbo, El Anatsui, Romuald Hazoumè and George Osodi. The exhibition is also the first major display in the UK of work by emerging artists such as Lucy Azubuike, Emeka Ogboh, Charles Okereke, Nyani Quarmyne and Victoria Udondian.

The full programme includes new work by three esteemed Malian photographs, a music programme curated by Band on the Wall and The Manchester Museum, large-scale installation from Barthélémy Toguo and Pascale Marthine Tayou and a summer-long creative programme designed to engage with a range of people across Greater Manchester.

We Face Forward: Art From West Africa Today, 02/06/2012 until 16/09/2012, Various Locations, Manchester. www.wefaceforward.org

1. Soungalo Malé 1960 Courtesy of National Museum of Mali
2. El Anatsui, In the World but Don’t Know the World, 2009, Photo by Jonathan Greet,Image courtesy of October Gallery, London
3. C. Nnenna Okore, When the Heavens meet, 2011, Yarn, varied dimensions, Photo Jonathan Greet, Image courtesy October Gallery, London
4. Charles Okereke Ahoy!, Courtesy the artist
5. Meschac Gaba 1 Design for Ensemble 2012, Courtesy the artist
6. Georges Adeagbo The Becoming of a Human Being 3, Courtesy the artist
7. Romuald Hazoume ARTicle 14, Debrouille-toi, toi meme, 2005, Courtesy October Gallery, London.