All women multimedia artists as part of activities marking 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD) have held a round table meeting in Accra.
With the IWD celebration under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” the meeting focused on the opportunities ICT presents to women artists within the context of the COVID-19 lockdown.
In her opening remarks, the President of the Women’s Arts Institute Africa (wAiA), Ms Akwele Suma Glory, encouraged participants to share their experiences to identify challenges and opportunities so that women artists could develop activities to address the challenges and adequately prepare to take advantage of the available opportunities.
In all 13 women professionals who are leaders in their fields of expertise presented their experience at the dialogue session.
The participants at the meeting included Mardey Ohui Ofoe, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker; Akwele Suma Glory, multimedia artist; Adwoa Ammah Tagoe, art educationist and painter; Gladys Adinyira Wuaku, sculptor and art educationist; Kjersti Augland, human rights advocate and art collector and Nana Adwoa Frema Amoabeng, painter.
The rest are Franka-Maria Andoh, author and filmmaker; Victoria Sophia Adoe, painter; Ezema Ngozi-Omeje, ceramist from Nigeria; Peace Enyonam Baku, multimedia commercial artist; Adwoa Amoah, painter and curator and Edinam Atatsi, a performer.
In a presentation, Ms Victoria Sophia Adoe recounted how she used social media to regularly publish her works during the COVID-19 lockdown. The posts, she said generated interest among her audience which led to business opportunities.
“This was a big break from not practising painting for months because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the response enabled me to be active during the COVID-19 lockdown,” she said.
Ms Adoe recounted that the opportunities she got due to social media also presented challenges where an honourable member of the current parliament commissioned her to produce paintings but was not paid after she delivered the work.
Ms Ezema Ngozi-Omeje a participant from Nigeria, in her presentation said ICT played a facilitating role for women artists to showcase their works during the COVID-19 lockdown.
She said many online competitions came up and it created the opportunity to produce work albeit with other challenges such as working materials.
Other speakers at the meeting also presented their experiences and answered fellow up questions from the participants.
In her closing remarks, the host of the dialogue session, Ms Franka-Maria Andoh, the Chief Executive Officer of Josies Cuppa Cappuccino, expressed her appreciation to the participants and the experiences shared.
She was hopeful that the emerging actions from the meeting would be implemented to support women in the arts.