Sharing Stories from James Town and the Creation of Mercantile Accra
Forthcoming Exhibition at James Town Cafe, 17th May 2019
I’ve been working in Jamestown, Accra to start planning an exhibition on the colonial and mercantile architecture of the district. Using archival and historical images and maps the exhibition will celebrate and explore Accra’s rich architectural heritage and urban history. The exhibition will focus on the warehouses, stores, factories and offices of James Town and examine how the city rapidly developed into a vast commercial enterprise.
The images for the exhibition have been generously provided by Unilever, Barclays, UK National Archives, The British Museum and private collections. Most of these images have not been exhibited before and we’re delighted that they will be shown in Accra, and in very close proximity to where they were originally taken.There will be a printed/PDF catalogue to accompany the exhibition showing both archival and modern photographs of the buildings, along with historical maps, and we will hang large photographic banners of the archival images directly onto the historic buildings in James Town.
The main exhibition (co-designed with architect Joe Osae-Addo and designer Allotey Bruce-Konuah) will be hosted by ArchiAfrika at the James Town Café, from 17th May 2019. We’re also hoping that it will go on tour to University of Ghana (details to be announced). In June there will be an additional exhibition hosted at the James Town Café curated by Lukasz Stanek and Ola Uduku of Manchester School of Architecture – and we’ll include more on both exhibitions here.
We’ve also started a new project to produce 360 degree panoramic photographs (and films) of some of the key sites and streets in James Town (and its environs). The images have been captured with a Ricoh Theta camera and we’ve taken over 200 photographs/ short films to date. The clips will be pieced together as a series of films and overdubbed with a commentary on the history and significance of the buildings in view. The films may be viewed with a VR headset for a more immersive experience. Allotey Bruce-Konuah already gives tours of James Town, and these films will enable his expertise to reach a wider audience, as well as encouraging new visitors to make the trip to this unique and highly important portion of Accra.