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Jamestown Cafe, Accra goes to Venice as ArchiAfrika Pavilion Opens at the Time Space Existence exhibition

Cultural entrepreneur and Architect, Joseph Osae-Addo is taking his advocacy to the prestigious Venice architecture biennale as a solo entry ( no government of Ghana involvement) making him the first Ghanaian to be invited to the Architecture biennale. This year, he is also the only solo entry from Africa. His Pavillion is hosted by the European Cultural Center and is a collaborative effort showcasing Architects from Africa and the Diaspora , including students from Historically Black Colleges from the United States. The Pavilion in Venice is inspired by the design of Jamestown cafe Accra. 

Joseph Osae-Addo opens the ArchiAfrika Pavilion on July 22, 2021 at the European Cultural Center’s Time Space Existence exhibition at Giardini della Marinaressa in Venice, Italy. The exhibition runs parallel with Biennale Architettura.

The ArchiAfrika Pavilion brings black voices to white elitist spaces by creating a platform for young emerging architects from Africa and the black diaspora to be seen and heard.

Joe Osae-Addo is a Ghanaian architect and key convener of contemporary African architecture discourse for the past two decades through the ArchiAfrika advocacy organization. His life work has centered on the promotion of a new generation of architects from Africa. Being invited to Venice creates another important chance for Joe to share the stage with emerging black voices.

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The ArchiAfrika pavilion will host three exhibitions from July 22 to November 21, 2021:

THE FIRST EXHIBITION
(July 22- August 4)
Features students work from the department of Architecture and Landscape at Kingston University in collaboration with Studio NYALI, a design research studio led by Nana Biamah-Ofosu and Bushra Mohamed. The featured student work investigates the African compound typology. Studio Nyali designed the pavilion, with the build being completed by Collective 121.

THE SECOND EXHIBITION
(August 5-19)
Features student work from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) architecture schools.

THE THIRD EXHIBITION
(August 22-November 21)
Features ArchiAfrika’s New Blood exhibition, providing a platform for the work of African architects under the age of 40. The members of this group represent critical next generation voices who through current work and explorations, will contribute to the future African architecture landscape.

Joseph Osae-Addo believes that the promotion of black voices at the top tiers of the architectural world can alter many career paths in Africa and Europe. Through the experience of the past 40 years in architectural practice, Joe knows that opportunities for true collaboration with elitist organizations are few. Black architects should join forces to contribute capital, networks and opportunities to achieve more for a new generation. Together, we can change the discourse of how we will live together for the decades to come.

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The European Cultural Centre exhibition runs parallel with Biennale Architettura from May 22, 2021 to November 21, 2021. Time Space Existence features a wide selection of projects ranging from conceptual works, models, photographs, videos, sculptures, to site specific installations. By bringing together a diverse group of participants working across disciplines, the European Cultural Centre aims at stimulating an exchange among architects, universities, legendary masters, emerging studios, established global practices, designers, artists, photographers, developers, engineering companies, who together can have a crucial role in shaping the future of our living.