3rd PAHM Conference on Arts and Culture brings 50 scholars to AUCC

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By Vanessa O. Vanderpuye and Helena Lartey

In the heart of Accra, Ghana, 50 renowned speakers – scholars and creatives – from all over the world gathered for the third annual international conference on “Global Africa: (re)narrating our (his/her)stories with our creative arts”.

The conference, held from 28 to 30 July, 2023 at the African University College of Communications (AUCC), was organized by the Pan-African Heritage Museum, in association with AUCC, UNESCO, Face2Face Africa, the National Commission on Culture, and the Ghana Culture Forum.

The conference offered a unique forum for scholars to present works that show how contemporary arts and crafts can communicate ideas, forms, methods, and processes of Pan-African aesthetics and lived experiences of Afro-descendants around the world.

Poets, filmmakers, musicians, artists, dancers, craftspeople, storytellers, public historians, and other creatives, as well as academics, researchers, tour guides, and students who have employed the African aesthetic to communicate their unique lived African societal contexts through arts and crafts, shared their experiences with the world.

Prof. Sheila Walker

Speakers included PAHM founder Hon. Kojo Yankah, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, the celebrated poet and academic, Nana Otuo Owoahene Acheampong, Exec. Dir., National Commission on Culture, Prof. Maulana Karenga, creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah, filmmaker and academic, Naa Korkor AAdzieoyi, QueenMother of Adabraka, and Prof. Sheila S. Walker, PAHM Academic Council member.

Others were Nana S. Achampong, conference planning chair, Prof. Pashington Obeng, PAHM CEO, anthropologist, cultural communicator, Prof. Bertrade Ngo-Ngijol Banoum, director of the Department of African & African American Studies and the Interdisciplinary Program in Women’s Studies, Prof. David Dunkley Gyimah, the first British winner of the (US) Knight Batten Award for innovation in journalism, Dr. Tracy Keith Flemming, Senior Lecturer at the Department of General Studies of the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES) of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) and Emmanuel Jewel Peprah Mensah, Head of Programs and Events, Centre for National Culture, Kumasi (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture)

The rest included Dr. Pierre-Valery Tchetgen, Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in Music and Art and Design, Dr. Nefertiti Puplampu, the Ag. Vice President of AUCC, Godswill Tetteh Arikor, Lecturer of African Literature, and African Diaspora Studies at African University College of Communications and conference planning co-chair, Koku Dotse, creator of Charlie Chicken, Kwame Brenya, Storyteller, Musician, and Poet, Dr. Rebecca Onene-Asa Hesse, Documentary filmmaker, educator and Head of Film Artistic Department of Nafti (University of Media Arts and Commuication), Jim Fara Awindor, President and a founding member of the Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA), and Fay Shao, Pan-African strategist, Investor, Business Coach, Entrepreneur and African Heritage and Culture Philanthropist.

The sub-themes of the conference were ‘Folk stories and the African future’, ‘Arts and Crafts and Afrofuturism’, ‘Museums and the awakening of African Consciousness’,  ‘Africa-centered and Pan-African Perspective of Communication’, and ‘Oral-aesthetic and Afrofuturism’.

Also at the three-day conference were dance performances, recital by wordsmith Nana Asaase and Prof. Abena Busia, renowned poet, academic, and diplomat.

The conference connected Afro-descendants from around the world together, both present on site and virtually, to engage in discussions concerning Africa and share knowledge and ideas.

As the curtain fell on the 3rd Pan African World Heritage Museum Conference, the air was pregnant with a renewed sense of purpose and unity. The event had succeeded in fostering dialogue that transcended borders and generations, reaffirming the unbreakable thread that links Africans, whether on the continent or in the diaspora. With creative entrepreneurship emerging as a beacon of promise, the conference left an indelible imprint, igniting a path forward toward a shared cultural renaissance that draws strength from its past and shapes an inspiring narrative for the future.

PAHM aims to provide a common space to bridge the wide gap that has existed among Afro-descendants and correct the miseducation due to centuries of separation and historical suppression.

Dr. John and Mrs Silver


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