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We Face Forward comes to Manchester

COMING TO MANCHESTER: The We Face Forward symbol

WE FACE Forward is a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa, celebrated across Manchester’s galleries museums, music venues and public spaces from June 2 to September 16 as part of London 2012 Festival.

We Face Forward exhibitions, concerts, events and community activities recognise both historic and contemporary links between Manchester and the various countries that make up West Africa. Manchester’s relationship with West Africa dates back to the Atlantic slave trade.

The core of the season is a city wide exhibition of contemporary art from the region, the first major collaboration between Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume.

The exhibition will feature painting, photography, textiles, scultpture, video and sound work from a wide range of internationally acclaimed artists, including George Adeoagbo, El Anatsui, Ramauld Hazoume and George Osodi.

Also featured will be the first major display in the UK of work by emerging artists such as Lucy Azubuike, Emeka Ogboh, Charles Okereke, Nyani Quarmyne and Victoria Udondian.

Dr Maria Bradshaw, Director of Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries, said: “Manchester’s connections to West Africa are part of its industrial and trading history. This exhibition brings the dynamism of West African art today to Manchester, as the world comes to the UK for the Olympics.”

Manchester is hosting nine football matches during the 2012 Olympics and the National Football Museum will present African artists for whom football gives a means to explore protest, politics and social engagement.

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