ARTISTS


KWAKU 
OPOKU
LAURA
KINGSLEY
MO LAUDI J
MPHO
MOKGADI
NYAHAN
TACHIE-MENSON
TEDDY
PRATT
VALERIE
ETITINWO


INTRODUCTION

How are we looking at our pasts to better understand our present moment to influence our futures? In a not-so-abstract way, we see our heritage as a key to unlocking a more informed future. This way, we activate our heritage as a pathway to new perspectives of self and form vital solutions to unlearning false narratives of who we are.

By tapping into our heritage, we are collectively offering ourselves an opportunity to redirect our gaze to look within and build new pools of knowledge curated by us through us.

This knowledge bears witness to stories that came before and continues to live through us. In this present intersection of mixed realities, We Are Still Here reflects on what it means to be custodians of heritage. What kind of world emerges when people tap into a new era of creation outside of “validated systems?”

We Are Still Here provides cues and tools for self-excavation already embedded within different communities across the globe – Tools that turn us into anthropological archeologists who need not go far to excavate the value stored within. It’s an acknowledgment that our bodies of knowledge serve as sites of memory that hold heritage.
AFROSCOPE
Afroscope [Nana Isaac Akwasi Opoku] is an artist and designer from Tema, Ghana who makes art that is often rooted in a diversity of Afrikan world views and cosmogonies.

The Yoruba concept of Ashè, the Nguni Bantu philosophy of Ubuntu and the Akan Adinkra symbology are some examples of his early, enduring influences.His work typically exudes strong surrealist leanings with afrofuturist undertones, as it asks and responds to questions such as:

Who could we become if we remembered who we were?

Where could we go if we remembered where we came from?

What alternate realities and futures could we create if we knew our various pasts?

The genesis of his formal art practice largely coincides with the peak of his disillusionment with colonially programmed norms, particularly within the spheres of education, religion, nutrition society and selfhood. Thus, art-making has become a way for Nana to investigate and synthesize the alternative modes of being he continues to encounter on his ongoing journey to ‘decolonize imagination’.

In essence, his work currently attempts to deconstruct normative reality and challenge popular tropes about Afrika(ns) by imagining transcendental visual narratives that usually comprise otherworldly beings, speculative dreamscapes and peculiar forms.



CHERRY-ANN DAVIS
Cherry-Ann Davis is a post-colonial, pan-African hybrid ethnographic creator from Trinidad and Tobago. Formerly from the professional design world of advertising, she is now poised as a designer who uses an intersectional feminist, anti-racist decolonial lens through visual communication design by combining research, artistic practice and storytelling traditions. Within her practice “Story as Design and Design as Story” helps navigate the intersections of culture, postcoloniality and decoloniality, storytelling and memories, the pluriverse, creolization and Sankofa. Cherry shares Pan-African stories and experiences with the aim of representing and respecting the past and present, while looking to the future to sustain those stories through accessible formats. Her practice often manifests as visual design, writing, curation of programs and spaces to support and share knowledges beyond the common narratives in design.

Cherry is from the community of Port-of-Spain Trinidad and Tobago which has led the creative charge in the creation of the only instrument in the 20th century, the steel pan. From childhood being immersed in such a creatively rich environment that was resource poor showed her the power of an idea and utilizing what you have to bring it to life with excellence. The interest in drawing, art and design was not fostered as much as interest in business which she holds an associate degree in Marketing and a degree in Business Management with the University of Sunderland. Following her passion in design led her to the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK) in Switzerland to pursue a masters in visual communication design after completing a degree in Graphic design with the University of Sunderland. She is currently working as a Research Assistant in Design History and Theory at ZHdK.



KWAKU OPOKU
History of self, culture & longing for self-understanding are some main driving factors for Kwaku Opoku’s work. Through countless conversations and interactions with nature and his immediate surroundings, he often curates and creates a slew of experiments that help get him close to this longing for self-understanding.

In the last 12 years of his life, Kwaku had battled a neurological condition that further pushed him to confront identity in his work. This particular experience developed a deep investigative mindset. Traces of this way of thinking can be seen in how he fragments and dissects portraits in pieces like ScreeNkrumah and in films he’s worked on like Free Dome. This same deep investigative approach is very evident in all work Kwaku creates.

He is constantly in conversation with nature to find answers and solutions to almost any problem. In collaboration with Small Hype, he has spent the last three years engaging with a deteriorating wetland in his hometown, Tema. The goal here is to replant and rebuild the wetland’s biological character. This project, dubbed We Have Decided, has developed many projects like Trash-ID. Trash-ID explores the harmful effects and overpopulation of black polythene bags in his hometown.



LAURA ARMINDA KINGSLEY
Laura Arminda Kingsley was born in the USA in 1984 to Dominican parents. She lives and works in Dübendorf. Kingsley is an independent visual artist who works in a variety of a variety of media, including painting, animation and sculpture.


Laura’s work captures the essence of humanity as a form of healing from past realities while using it to connect with her African ancestral heritage. Kingsley's reference to oceanic life forms is a means of resistance to the advancing pollution of the Caribbean Sea while addressing the enduring legacy of colonialist notions of race and gender in our society.


She holds an Associates in Fine Arts from Chavón, a Bachelor of Science degree from The City University of New York – Hunter College and a Masters in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts.
Exhibition participation include Sculpture in the City in London, at the 22nd Grenchen Triennale in Grenchen, at the CICA Museum in Seoul, Suspended Matter at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, as well as the exhibitions Art as Connection at the Aargauer Kunsthaus and shared spaces in change at the Kornhausforum in Bern. Her work was awarded the Dorothy & George Saxe Fellowship in 2012 and 2014, the Kunstatelier-Stipendium of the city of Dübendorf and the LOCUS Micro-Grant 2021 award.



MO LAUDI
Mo Laudi (Ntshepe Tsekere Bopape) is a multi-disciplinary artist, composer, DJ, Stellenbosch University research fellow, the first South African Black curator to curate a group exhibition in Paris. He is inspired by African knowledge systems, post-apartheid transnationalism, international and underground subcultures.

His boundary-blurring investigations find expression through experiments with sound material and sonic landscapes, painting, collage, sculpture, installations, video and performance as socio-political critiques of society. He is known for his Globalisto philosophy and his key contributions to Afro-Electronic music. His process delves into archives and seeks to evoke healing, the notion of rest, communal connection deep listening, care and repair.

His exhibition history includes Centre Pompidou in Paris  (2019) with the sound work Motho ke motho ka batho (A Tribute to Ernest Mancoba). This has since been shown with his Rest Paintings series althe Dakar Biennale last year and at Shimmer in Rotterdam (2023).  His curatorial projects include Globalisto. A Philosophy in Flux at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Etienne (2022) and one in development at the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, Geneva, in collaboration with Madeleine Leclair (2025).



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Supported by: Landis & Gyr Stiftung & SüdkulturFonds
Powered By Afrinova 
Supported By: Landis & Gyr Stiftung, and SüdkulturFonds.