International Board of Books for Young People Ghana and Golden Baobab organize a 9-Day Illustrators’ Workshop!
This workshop has been my life at work for the past few days. The goal of the workshop is to identify, nurture, and publicize Ghana’s top illustrators and connect them to a network of writers and publishers of children’s books. We hope that this will foster the growth of an interconnected literary community within Ghana and internationally across Africa. As we’ve been gearing up for the workshop, I have been struck by a few things about the art community:
- The talent. We are looking for the most talented children’s illustrators to apply, and one of the ways we’ve been reaching out to them is through facebook. It is amazing to me how many really young, talented artists are out there in Accra, but who are only known as artists within the network of their group of facebook fans. Hopefully this workshop will bring them into a live network of important connections.
- The enthusiasm. The arts appear to be growing in Accra, and the young generation seem to be embracing the arts above and beyond the generations before them.
- The intimate nature. The arts and cultural community of Accra is very close knit. Maybe that’s how it is everywhere, and I’m only realizing it because I’m more involved here than I have ever have been in the states. Nonetheless, Accra is a big city but often feels like a small town. Not only does everyone seem to know everyone else, but they seem to look for each other. I don’t know if I can explain it more; that’s the best way I know of putting into words what I have felt as I experience this community.
In other news, I’m halfway done with my internship. If you asked my housemates how I’ve changed since I’ve arrived, they’d say I have started to adopt the “Accra rhythm”. People here do not sit still. Every chance you are not at work is a chance to socialize and have a good time, whether it be going out for dinner or partying at one of Accra’s many clubs- especially when the weekend comes around. When I first got here, I balked a the prospect of going out on a weeknight- I had work the next day, jeez! But going out, meeting people and becoming a part of this vibrant community is worth being a little sleepy at work the next day. It’s the personal conversations I have had here that make this summer so interesting.