05 Reflexive Tema and Global Elsewheres

  • Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh
  • Ato Annan
  • Ibrahim Mahama

Reflexive Tema and Global Elsewheres takes the government printing press built in 1964 in Tema, Ghana, as its beginning point. The Tema Printing House may not physically exist today, but it is this specter that will be traced back to Ghana’s first Republic and to Kwame Nkrumah’s political economic emancipation project which featured Internationalist collaborations undergirded by egalitarian aspirations in the mid-twentieth century. Also of importance to this research project is the implicit dimension of architecture—how the formalist [International Style] architectural canon which has its birthing pangs in the German Bauhaus design movement/school of the early 20th century— came to feature prominently in Ghana’s post-Independence future initiated in 1957, in relation to the Cold War politics of its time. Ghanaian architects from the 1950s onwards who significantly contributed to this modernist movement in Ghana’s architectural history will be actively sought out as well as efforts made to explore other direct and indirect relations particularly between Ghana and the German Democratic Republic. Our research will complement Decolonising Socialism” by aligning with its techno-political orientation and emphasis on decolonised intersectionality between art, architecture, and cybernetics from a globalist perspective.

Supported by the “Deviant Practice” Research Fellowship of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

Research Terms