Art center

THE ART CENTER

Isha Fofana, an internationally renowned Gambian artist, invites you to get to know “Mama Africa”. The gallery is a unique place for art and culture in the Gambia! “Mama Africa” shows contemporary art: paintings, sculptures, carvings and metalwork, as well as a wide selection of traditional antique cultural assets! It is an extraordinary place – a living museum! Experience the true African culture and inspiring power of women in Africa!

It is the culture of the West of Africa that is reflected in the new “Mama Africa”. In this sense, culture means not only the exhibition of antique exhibits, but above all the everyday culture that shows how people live today. Everything is composed with modern art, which in turn reflects an image of life in West Africa. Workshops, concerts and other events accompany the activities around the new cultural centre. “Mama Africa” does not want to be a one-way street in which visitors only consume. It should become a meeting place for a lively cultural debate – within the people of the Gambia, school classes, tourists, but also with artists and visitors from other continents. Together with the Art Garden and the creative inns, the new “Mama Africa” is one of the leading art and culture locations in Gambia.

“Mama Africa” is not only the internationally renowned artist Isha Fofana, she is a perfect role model for the youth, whose commitment shows what can be achieved when returning from Europe and passing on her experience and knowledge to the Gambians. “Mama Africa” is also a non-profit association that helps people in the Gambia and especially women in various life situations. The “Mama Africa” association actively and successfully supports women and girls through various activities. Especially the improvement of her daily life and her health is very important to Isha personally. It is always important to her to train women, to help them overcome the problems of daily life so that they can master the future. In addition to education, the key to this is an environment for women’s economic self-determination. The association has realised this in the past alone or with partners and will intensify it in the future.

Today “Mama Africa” employs more than 50 Gambians. Here women and girls again can join the “Girls in Art” project and become self-confident, qualified women in The Gambia.

HISTORY OF MAMA AFRICA

Isha Fofana returned to Gambia in 2008 after a successful career as an artist in Europe. Together with her husband she opened the soon-to-be-known “Mama Africa – women’s museum & art centre ” in Batokunku. In 2013, Isha Fofana’s life’s dreams were mercilessly ended. “Mama Africa” was confiscated and rolled down by the state authorities without justification – all within 48 hours. In two days, 16 buildings, an investment of 250,000 euros, had been reduced to rubble. From one day to the next, their source of income simply no longer existed. So far: No explanation why? After fighting for almost a year, being threatened and even having to return to Germany, she was given a new piece of land as compensation, but for the time being nothing remained economically.

That’s all history. Since 2015 Isha has been building a new “Mama Africa” – more beautiful, bigger, more creative, more energetic than before. Nine guesthouses, a studio, a small factory to produce oils, teas and other local products were completed in 2017 thanks to a loan from a private investor. The main building, the Art Centre, could be finally finished in mid-2018.

IMPRESSIONS

THE WORK OF THE ARTIST

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