Ghana’s Nana Oforiatta Ayim is recipient of $3M for outstanding contribution to African Art and History

Ghanaian curator, writer, filmmaker and historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim is the 2022 Dan David Prize laureate for her contribution to African art and history. She is among eleven other laureates who each earned a cash grant of $3 million.

The Dan David Prize is an international scholarly award scheme that recognizes and promotes achievements to the study of history and its other disciplines.

Previous winners of the award include filmmakers The Coen Brothers, theatre director Peter Brook and environmental advocate and former US Vice President Albert Arnold Gore Jr.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim is the first Ghanaian to win the award. Oforiatta Ayim’s body of work, which centers on African narratives, historic and cultural expressions in recounting the past and questioning Imperial influence in Africa was credited at the 2022 edition of the Dan David Prize in Tel Aviv.

Oforiatta Ayim 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 illustrious Venice Biennale.

Her Aim?

Oforiatta Ayim’s work seeks to highlight and contrast the fact African history and narratives require a different approach to framing and archiving in order to preserve their cultural essence. Her work involves linking African history with contemporary expression.

Photo of Nana Oforiatta Ayim holding copies of The God Child at the Literaturfestival Berlin 2021.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim and her work is not new to high-profile achievements and honours. Her 2019 novel, The God Child, won International acclaim. Oforiatta Ayim has 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 accolades which includes being named ond 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.

In 2021 Nana Oforiatta Ayim was awarded Woman of The Year Award in Ghana.

Nana Oforiatta 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.

Congratulations, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, your mark is a true representation of ‘we cannot know how far we’ll go if we do not take stock of how far we’ve come.’

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