We Face Forward

Meshac Gabba, ‘Ensemble’, 2012

Forget everything you think you know about African art…

And embrace all that you don’t yet know about the art, culture and creativity of West African artists today. Major new sculptural installations, painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video, sound and fashion ask us to consider global questions of trade and commerce, cultural influence, environmental destruction and identity. Challenging and humorous, curious, noisy, elegiac and eclectic – this is the dynamism of West African cultures today. These form a huge, city-wide exhibition, spreading across Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume (Platt Hall).

Over the Olympic summer, we are celebrating the global and the local, exploring the links between Manchester and West Africa as part of the London 2012 cultural festival.

There are more We Face Forward exhibitions and events at The Manchester Museum and the National Football Museum and a packed programme of We Face Forward family activities at various venues.

And We Face Forward reaches far beyond Manchester’s gallery spaces. The music programme, curated by Band On The Wall and The Manchester Museum, includes world renowned acts such as Afro-Cubism, Femi Kuti, Angelique Kidjo, Diabel Cissohko and Kanda Bongo Man and reflects the incredible diversity and brilliance of musical styles from West Africa.


Pascale Marthine Tayou, ‘The World Falls Apart (Le monde s’effondre)’ 2012

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