November 4, 2013
Africa is a Country
by Zachary Rosen
A thread that runs through all creative mediums from fashion to architecture to cinema is that cultural icons of the bygone days can be fertile inspiration for the contemporary creative imagination. It was in this spirit that Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu wrote and directed her short film, Kwaku Ananse. Starring rising talent Jojo Abot, palmwine legend Koo Nimo and film veteran Grace Omaboe, the film is a reimagining of the classic Ghanaian tale of the spider. Supported by the Africa First film program, Kwaku Ananse went on to win an African Movie Academy Award and screened this year at the Durban and Toronto International film festivals.
Akosua’s current project is also a reimagining of sorts. This time, she hopes to add social relevance to Ghana’s iconic Rex Cinema house. Once a central element of entertainment in Accra, the Rex has fallen into disrepair and is at risk of being sold. The idea is to transform the now dormant structure into a vibrant multimedia artspace in the middle of Accra. To bring about this transformation, Akosua has started a kickstarter campaign called “Damn the Man, Save the Rex”. If funded, the campaign plans to renovate the building as well as install new projection and sound systems, creating a meeting place for members of Ghana’s growing arts community to showcase their talents. Read more .