Raw Materials Company

Raw Materials Company
Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal

Established in 2008 by independent exhibition maker and cultural producer Koyo Kouoh, Raw Material Company (RMC) is a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, Senegal. Comprising a resource centre, exhibition space, residential facility and rooftop bar restaurant, RMC is based on the firm belief in visual arts as a potent tool capable of shifting views and igniting engagement in art practice as a viable path for social and political transformation. During We Face Forward an outpost of RMC has been established at the Whitworth Art Gallery, which contains elements of all the institutional formats supported in Dakar.

A central facet of RMC is the resource centre, a growing library of publications and periodicals on contemporary art with a particular emphasis on African and Africarelated practices. The resource centre regularly hosts discursive events; from artist talks and master classes, to discussions and portfolio critiques. In Manchester, the RMC space will screen films of events and talks from Dakar, and will itself host a series of talks, screenings and other events every Saturday afternoon throughout the exhibition.

At home, RMC’s exhibition programme brings international artists to Senegal and shows works by Dakar-based artists, striving to foster appreciation and a growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. In Manchester, RMC shows selected works by Mansour Ciss Kanakassy and Otobong Nkanga, taken from previous exhibitions at RMC.

The Afro created by Kanakassy is an imaginary currency that is a ‘materialization of hope’, Kanakassy calls ‘upon everyone’s good will and awareness for a united, emancipated and developed Africa. We are hoping to create emotion and start a momentum at policy level around new African awareness.’ The exhibited works by Otobong Nkanaga are selected from her series The Taste of a Stone, shown in Make Yourself at Home (Faites Comme Chez Vous) which looked at how artists interpret ideas of home and hospitality in a globalised world.

Finally, RMC’s roof top bar and restaurant is transplanted to The Modern Caterer at the Whitworth, which, over the summer, will produce a Senegalese-inspired menu.


Martin Barlow, curator of the exhibition Moving Into Space at the National Football Museum talks about the exhibition.

Barthélémy Toguo, Lucy Azubuike and Nnenna Okore, three of the exhibited artists, talk about their work and their interest in using materials which reflect the lifestyle and experience of the people of West Africa.

Twitter (#wefaceforward)

Creative Tourist


Nine countries show off their talent as five city venues link up for a summer celebration. Helen Nugent in the Guardian

Street life, dazzling dress, social commentary and a riot of sensuous colour interweave in a rich assembly of West African art, writes Charles Gore in the Times Higher Education