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16.03.2009 Letter


By Nkurumeh, Bartholomew C.

Dear Ghanaian Colleague,

Greetings! We write to say that we are seeking to buy an expanse of land to build an artist village in any rural (town or village) area- where there may be electricity, road and water. Let us know if you know of some lands in your region, or KNOW OF some one who knows others selling up 1000 acres of an undeveloped land at an affordable price. We think that this way, we can work with your organization in bringing greater development to your region.

To be specific, we am looking for some much low-priced acreage for multipurpose residential mud houses for an artist-in-residence program- a non-profit place where people in the arts and theorists from all over the world could come for cross-cultural collaborations and community-based volunteer projects. I say “rural area” as I am aware lands are cheap/low cost there because I am funding it from out of my pocket- the money is not coming from any other source.

Our plan is to create a model for replication in other parts of Africa. We have done some temporary work in Nungua and this July and August, we are collaborating with a department at KNUST in Kumasi. For our planned artist village, the participants will design-and-build dwellings using mainly earth and other materials from the environment. The house must be created with a budget not more than 2,000 GH¢. Do you think it will be realistic to, as said, construct a 2-bedroom house with just 2,000 GH¢? Let me know what you really think about it, as we are working on the proposal.

Yes, we need some land and we need it well before The Kumasi Symposium to complete other attending requirements. To be frank, my budget for the acreage as at this moment is about $2,000 USD, which I have been told would be sufficient to take in over 100 acres very deep in the village. And that it may require talking to the village chief in any of the disadvantaged regions to explain it is for a development project. I do not have any region in mind; the project is open to where the greatest needs are and land with labor is cheap to procure.

Here is the summary of my thoughts:
Preferably, I am looking for up to 1,000 ACRES OF UNDEVELOPED LAND to buy in any region where the land will cost very little amount- as this is a development project. I learnt that in some areas it could be $10-25 USD per acre. To be specific, I am looking for some much low-priced acreage for multipurpose residential mud houses for an international artist-in-residence program- a non-profit place where arts professionals and theorists could come for community-based projects. I am aware lands are cheap/low cost are deep in the village without electricity, or water. I will go ahead and buy so, more so because I am paying it from out of my pocket.

I will very much appreciate your help. But do let me know if I need to explain any specific part to guide the search.

Good wishes,
Bartholomew (Barthosa) Nkurumeh
(ILAC- College of Education, University of Oklahoma)

Project Web sites:,


One means of Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art is by bringing together specialists form diverse parts of the world in a trans-national platform for inter-trading of cultural and knowledge capital in evidence-based society. In the Kumasi Curio Kiosks Project, the trade of intellectual capital from the specialist to the generalist requires both the sharing of existing and onward replication of the modules of knowledge that may accrue. Interestingly, the specialist participant will create a Curio Kiosk of 6 x 6ft for a temporary exhibition/stock of works by the specialist, and relevant other national cultural/intellectual capital for trading with the locals. The 6 x 6ft kiosk can be conceived as a mental space or a constructed physical space with any material, constructed on site or pre-fabricated, and as an individual enterprise or a collaborative one.

In the Kumasi case, we refer to the cluster of curio kiosks as a Trade Commune; a historical allusion be made subtly but we use the term "curio kiosks" in anticipation that the outward design will invoke curiosity or content will bear special attraction to the locals. The setting for a Trade Commune may be a Kumasi city street, university campus, or a village within the Kumasi metro, as appropriate to the design of the arts participant. The mode of exchange is open in manners of traditional lectures, demonstrations, workshops, dialogical methods, and direct exchanges of material culture; or the post-modernist modalities in the way of performances, slide/new media/film screenings, and a hundred others. A trade may be by barter, cash, gift to the local or what ever is simpler and mutual. The trade is not just an inventory of arts data, cross-cultural process of negotiation and sharing of evidence creation; it is an engagement in a particular kind of commercial enterprise through use of the arts. Relying on collaboration, and free exercise of the arts, we therefore seek to stimulate for intellectual freedom and renewed vision of the arts as economic-cultural capital in the city. Because the process and structure encourages integration/assertion of the participant's institutional knowledge and national cultural capital, the supposition is that the individual or group would attract sponsorship for own costs from home institution or country.

The Kumasi Curio Kiosks Project is a project session of "The Kumasi Symposium: Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art".

The arts-based social experiment is designed to provide a context that will stimulate the artist, scholar and activist participants to place themselves and their practice into question and possibly resolutions through collaboration and cultural/artistic interchange. The pre-symposium session will run from July 31-August 8 2009 and the symposium from July 11-14 2009. About 30 local artists will be selected to work alongside some invited international colleagues.

If interested in participating in the project, send an introductory material on you, and a statement of interest with sketches/description of your proposed 6 x 6 ft Curio Kiosk that should be set up at kumasi between July 31-August 7 2009 to [email protected], -indicate if any local needs will be required (max. one page). Space is limited; all submissions will be reviewed until space is filled. We are also accepting nominations for the Project Co-Curator, Convener, Provocateur and Roundtable Discussants.

The participant will then develop a Five-Minute Video art piece that will document or frame the process and structure of own/others' (Curio Kiosk) practice in context of the largeness of The Kumasi Symposium. The project needs a producer to guide the artists in creating a multi-media documentary

of their practice- one who will enable the artists to shoot and edit the video films.


THE KUMASI SYMPOSIUM: Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art Department of General Art Studies, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana

July 31-August 14, 2009
Our 2009 Kumasi event uses arts-based social practice to bringing together specialists from diverse parts of the world in a trans-national platform for inter-change of cultural and knowledge capital in evidence-based society to strengthen visual arts practice and promote cultural entrepreneurship in Ghana. A call is, thus, made for contributions addressing one or more of the symposium sub-themes: Art Education Practice, Studio Practice, Curatorial/Museum/Community Arts Practice, Art History/Criticism, Arts Administration/Management/Marketing Practice, and Open Session.

Specifically, the symposium entails plenary sessions and support activities such as demonstrations/workshops, exhibitions, and site-specific tours of local national resources. Expression of interest and proposals for Plenary Sessions and Exhibitions/Practical Workshops will be reviews until January 17, 2009. Applications for individual presentation and participation will be reviewed until the space is filled. We expect about 200 participants from around the world. The working language of the conference will be English. All abstracts and brief biographies should be submitted to [email protected] More at

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