Verve and excitement of West African arts comes to Manchester

Verve and excitement of West African arts comes to Manchester

Gallery Of Costume

Gallery Of Costume

At the Gallery of Costume, photographs by Malick Sidibé, Abderramane Sakaly, Soungalo Malé and Hamidou Maiga are being shown alongside contemporary fashion pieces designed by British-Nigerian designer Duro Olowu. All four photographers’ works show how Mali re-envisioned the idea of the studio portrait in the second half of the twentieth century, giving a West African twist to the art form. Olowu has achieved great recognition in the world of fashion, winning New Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2005.

Twin track Dakar

31st May, 2012

Ker Thiossane

Flying off to Dakar, Senegal, just as we begin to install We Face Forward is not the sanest scheduling but the opening of Dak’ Art, the longest running biennale in Africa, was an unmissable event.


At The Printworks.

The official We Face Forward party follows the Olympic Torch Relay event and features a very special concert by Seckou Keita, the Senegalese master of the Kora — Africa’s magical 21-stringed harp.

The Printworks

The Printworks

The Printworks is a buzzing, state of the art entertainment complex located in the heart of Manchester City Centre. It is home to a range of restaurants, bars and clubs alongside a cinema and gym. The Printworks has something to offer both day and night.

Kanda Bongo Man is one of Africa’s most joyful, mesmerising and hipshaking pop stars.


At The Bridgewater Hall.

From the creators of Buena Vista Social Club we present the Cuban/Malian supergroup, featuring Eliades Ochoa and Toumani Diabaté.

The Bridgewater Hall

The Bridgewater Hall

The Bridgewater Hall is Manchester's international concert venue, built to give the best possible space for music. The Hall hosts over 250 performances a year including classical music, rock, pop, jazz, world music and much more.

Artists Talks

Sunday 3 June 11.30am – 4.30pm

At Manchester Art Gallery.

11.30am Amarachi Okafor

12.15pm Nyani Qyarmyne

1.00pm George Osodi

1.45pm Romuald Hazoumè

2.30pm Aboubakar Fofana

3.15pm Emeke Ogboh

After Hours – Launch celebration at Whitworth Art Gallery

Saturday 2 June, 6.30pm – 9.30pm. Free

At Whitworth Art Gallery.

Join us for a free evening of live music and art to celebrate the opening of We Face Forward. Our bar and exhibition will be open late and animated with live West African music programmed by Band On The Wall. Featuring will be Sidiki Dembele and a DJ set from Ahmed of All FM’s ‘African Taxi.’



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


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

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