With a passion for art history, and the desire to showcase some of the world’s most passionate, and talented creatives, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim set out to make the first encyclopaedia for artistry. The Cultural Encyclopaedia Project will be a preserved space for both historical art as well as contemporary art to be seen and showcased for generations to come.


Oforiatta-Ayim is a writer, art historian, and filmmaker from Ghana who one day got the idea to begin implementing a project that would consist of artistry from all across the continent of Africa. She was already used to researching as she was a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies with the University of London. However, she became somewhat of a treasure hunter digging for treasures of artistry and history of the various African cultures and people.


Would you be interested in an encyclopedia of African Art?

Many may not realize how diverse cultures can be within one continent. However, they are not all the same in the way they dress, talk, and even in the way they interpret the world around them. David Adjaye is a well-renowned British-Ghanaian architect who is  responsible for the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He spoke of how east, west, north and south Africa are each unaware of their diversities in culture, and states, “So this writing and forming of identity of the continent is really important.”


It is the hope of Oforiatta-Ayim to complete the Ghana encyclopaedia within the next two years. She is working on building teams of people for further projects to include other countries collaborating and sharing in order to make encyclopaedias highlighting the history of the arts in their countries. The teams will consist of experts in the fields of music, art, filmmaking, theatre, and literature. She is also looking at creating a manual for teams to follow in order to have a more streamlined process and best end result.


The encyclopaedias will be in online form for all to access and will help to preserve and remember the great work of artists of yesterday, while inspiring the artists of today and tomorrow.


What do you think of the Cultural Encyclopedia Project? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter.