A mobile museum is traveling through Ghana exploring what it means to be Ghanaian

An earlier iteration of the mobile museum as a kiosk museum at Chale Wote festival,
An earlier iteration of the mobile museum as a kiosk museum at Chale Wote festival,
Image: Courtesy: Eric Gyamfi
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A mobile collapsible museum will tour Ghana over the next year as its creators use art and culture to wrestle with what it means to be Ghanaian today.  The project, which starts this week, is the brainchild of of ANO Institute of Contemporary Arts, a cultural organization based in Accra.

The four-meter high structure was designed by architect Latifah Iddriss and makes its first stop at Kyebi in Ghana’s Eastern Region where it will spend two weeks. In the first week, a team of cultural historians, researchers and photographers led by local influencers will tour the town and nearby ones speaking to chiefs and residents about the project, interviewing elders about historical moments and collecting artifacts of historical and contemporary importance such as jewelry, textiles and armory.

Mobile Museum structure by Latifah Iddriss
Mobile Museum structure by Latifah Iddriss
Image: Courtesy: Latifah Iddriss

“The aim of The Mobile Museum is just to take back the narrative of what the Ghanaian culture is and have the people who lived it and experienced it every single day be the dictators of that narrative instead of it being imposed”, says Natasha Tania Gordon, head of strategy at ANO.

Items that cannot be given out by its owners will be 3D printed. In the second week, the collected artifacts will then be exhibited in the mobile museum free to the public. The pieces will be returned to its owners at the end of the exhibition. The museum is disassembled afterwards, put on the back of a truck and heads straight to another town to restart the process.

The idea of The Mobile Museum has been in the works for a couple of years says Gordon and ANO has previously used the ubiquitous wooden kiosk stalls as an artspace at Accra’s internationally renown

 Chale Wote Street Arts Festival.

As the museum weaves its way through Ghana, the researchers onboard will be incorporating the experience into yet another ambitious project by ANO to create a Cultural Encyclopedia for Africa, spread by its founder, Nana Oforiatta Ayim which will be presented in virtual and physical format. ANO reckons the Ghana volume of the encyclopedia will be completed in October 2019.