Nana Oforiatta Ayim is a curator, writer, filmmaker and public historian whose work recenters African narratives, institutions and cultural expressions in the telling of the past. She is the founder of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, where she pioneered a pan-African cultural encyclopedia, developed a mobile museums project and curated Ghana’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Oforiatta Ayim’s work aims to counter the fact that much of our historical knowledge was usurped by the colonial encounter – the way the historical narratives are framed, the methods of archiving, the ontologies and epistemologies. Her work gives a voice to those figures in history that were traditionally overlooked, linking them to contemporary expression and placing them side by side with others in the global canon.
Oforiatta Ayim has published a novel, The God Child (2019), made award winning films for museums such as Tate Modern, LACMA and The New Museum, and is a lecturer in History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London.
She is the recipient of various awards and honors, having been named one of the Apollo “40 under 40”, one of 50 African Trailblazers by The Africa Report, a Quartz Africa Innovator in 2017, one of 12 African women making history in 2016 and one of 100 women of 2020 by Okayafrica.
She received the 2015 Art & Technology Award from LACMA and the 2016 AIR Award, which “seeks to honor and celebrate extraordinary African artists who are committed to producing provocative, innovative and socially-engaging work.”
In 2018 she received a Soros Arts Fellowship and was a Global South Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. In 2020, she was appointed to the Advisory Council of Oxford University’s Cultural Programme and was a Principal Investigator on the Action for Restitution to Africa programme. In 2021 she was awarded Woman of The Year Award in Ghana.
Oforiatta Ayim Ayim is currently Special Advisor to the Ghanaian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on Museums and Cultural Heritage. She has a BA in Russian and Politics from Bristol University, an MA in African Art History from SOAS, and is completing a PhD in Museum Ethnography at Oxford University.