Re-Painting the Red

In collaboration with Rex Akinruntan, Kwadwo Asare Apori, and Ralitsa Diana Debrah

Through out Ghana, in big cities and small villages, corporations are usurping the exterior walls of private homes and community spaces for the purposes of advertising. In many instances, these walls are branded either without permission or by making unfulfilled promises of small amounts of money or free mobile phones.

After being promised the equivalent of 35 U.S. Dollars and two free mobile phones, Faisal and his family allowed Vodafone to paint their company logo across exterior of their home in Kumasi. Instead, the family was given one free Vodadone t-shirt and a fake contact number to reach the company. This practice of advertising for international corporations trying to gain customers in Ghanaian cities is catching on and severely takes advantage of the economic status of the of the local residents. Public space that once belonged to local communities and families is now being claimed and privatized by the bright, distracting logos that drastically alter the streetscape.

After talking with Faisal and his family at their home in Kumasi the artists worked with them to paint over the logos covering their walls. The wall was re-stenciled with a series of Adinkra symbols, Ghanaian proverbial symbols, in an arrangement that mimics the design of the Vodafone logo – subverting it while re-claiming the home for ownership by the local culture.

Re-Painting the Red was a part of the Curio Kiosk Project at the Kumasi Symposium, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana July 2009. Part of the exhibition Kumasi Crossroads: Global Kiosk Affairs at the KNUST Museum.

Download the Kumasi Crossroads Catalog HERE

Video documentation of the Curio Kiosk Project by Art In Process HERE

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