Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Nana Oforiatta Ayim is an author, filmmaker, and art historian. She was born and raised in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her grandfather is king of the Ghanaian region Akyem Abuakwa. She studied African Art History and Political Science, worked for the UN in New York, and is now active worldwide mainly as an art educator and curator. As founder of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, she has initiated projects such as »The Mobile Museum« and the first encyclopedia of African culture. This is designed as an open-source archival platform that aims to gather African artworks from the past, present, and future to advance a new kind of perception of African art and a different understanding of the continent. It is thus the first pan-African (virtual) art museum. Nana Oforiatta Ayim curates exhibitions and lectures on cultural narratives worldwide. In 2019, she was responsible for the first Ghanaian pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Her autobiographical novel »The God Child« was published in 2019. The coming-of-age story centers on Maya Mensah, whose parents are from Ghana. Although her mother is of noble birth, Maya is ridiculed at school. She finds comfort in her cousin Kojo, who tells her colourful and fabulous stories of the distant land of her ancestors. Maya recognizes herself as part of this story and sets off for Ghana in search of her roots. RadioEins described the novel as »poetic, captivating, fascinating«, stating that »›We God’s Children‹ is true world literature and a hymn to storytelling as a unifying link between cultures.«
She has received a wide range of honours and awards for her achievements to date. »Okay Africa» ranks her among the »12 Most Important Women from Africa Making History«. She is also one of the »Apollo 40 under 40«, making her »one of the most talented and inspiring young people advancing the art world today«. In 2015, she received the Art & Technology Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); in 2016, she received the AIR Award, which seeks to »honour and celebrate exceptional African artists who are engaged in provocative, innovative, and socially engaged work.« Nana Oforiatta Ayim was a participant in the inaugural 2018 Soros Arts Fellowship and was also a 2018 Global South Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. She has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the University of Oxford’s Culture Program and as the Investigative Director of Action to Restore African Culture, starting in April 2020. Nana Oforiatta Ayim lives in Accra, Ghana.