About Fusion

EU-West African Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024: Celebrating International Artistic Confluence

The mission of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana is to strengthen the EU-Ghana partnership by supporting sustainable development, democracy and human rights. These priorities are at the core of all our interventions, including in cultural actions. Our cultural initiatives promote and are aligned with EU values and priorities, in line with the 2016 Joint Communication “Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations”. Therefore, our main objective is that culture contributes to Ghana’s development as well as regional integration of West Africa and cultural rapprochement of Africa and Europe. In line with our Culture Strategy in Ghana, we are adopting a “culture for sustainable development” approach.

The objective is to reinforce Ghana’s attractiveness as a centre of remembrance of African cultural heritage (e.g. pre-colonial traditions, African independence), and as a hub for modern African arts and culture. This double image (past and contemporary African culture) could boost tourism, visibility of cultural products, and Ghanaian/African “soft power”. The aim is to support Ghana to become a sub-regional hub where (West) African and European artists and cultural organisations can exchange, for instance through debates, networking, artists’ residencies etc. and do business - increasing visibility and export of cultural products, including to the EU. This confluence of artists and cultural entrepreneurs could lead to creativity (fusion) and collaborations (artistic or business) for both Africans and Europeans. The EU wishes to be a trusted partner of the Ghanaian/African artists and diaspora to facilitate the cross-cultural exchanges and to also promote Ghanaian/West African/African culture and heritage in Europe, with the larger aim of reinforcing the EU-Ghana and West Africa/Africa partnership.

The objective of the EU is to allow West African and Ghanaian artists and creatives to develop sustainable and profitable business activities generating jobs and revenue around them. We support the development of a more formal creative sector, as it could also generate public resources. This implies working across the whole creative value chain, starting with the legal environment and regulatory structures. By professionalization, we mean the development of skills, capacities and qualifications of people working in the creative industries, as well as promotion of the artists and of their works and enabling them to find public and off-takers of their creations. The EU has identified and selected some promising creative sectors with significant potential for job creation and revenue generation in Ghana. EU has been investing in the following creative and cultural sectors in Ghana: music, fashion, visual arts, crafts, animation / video games, and culture and heritage.

Discover the Beauty of Fusion

The EU – West Africa Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024 is designed to illuminate the world with the power of artistic fusion in the heart of West Africa, where numerous cultures merge. This fascinating event brings artists and creatives from Ghana, Togo, Benin, and EU Member States together to stimulate cross-continental collaboration and cultural interaction.

The Essence of Fusion

The Fusion event 2024 is inspired by the Ghana Culture Policy and the unwavering commitment of the European Union towards supporting cross-cultural interactions. This event emerged from a comprehensive regional culture study conducted by the EU Cultural Relations platform, in partnership with the EU Delegations to Ghana, Togo and Benin. This study eloquently underscored the need for increased visibility, networking opportunities, artistic integration and development of cultural alliances. The Fusion event is our response to these needs.

Exploring the Avenues of Art

The EU – West Africa Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024 unfolds like a creative treasure trove, featuring a varied range of art forms. Artists can inspire themselves from the following (for each of the Fusion Residency & Expo categories):

  • Fashion: Explore the world of haute couture with upcoming as well as established brands like The Revival Earth, Ethical Apparel Africa and many more. The fashion category is a pulsating canvas of style and creativity, with artists chosen with the help of fashion industry insiders.
  • Music: Get ready for a melodic journey as you groove to the tunes of Wemuye, Gasmilla, Stonebwoy, Black Sherif, Wiyaala and the likes. The music category promises a diverse blend of musical genres and talents, handpicked in collaboration with leading musical luminaries.
  • Visual Art: The dynamic universe of street art comes to life with partners such as e.g. Act for Change, Nubuke Foundation, Alliance Française, and other experts in the visual arts.

Selection of Artists

The selection of artists who shall participate in the EU – West Africa Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024 event will be conducted with meticulous care, under the discerning eye of a jury. Four artists will be selected for each Art Category: three from West Africa (one from Ghana, one from Togo and one from Benin) and one from the EU Member States for each of the three art categories. These talented individuals will embark on a nine day residency, on a coast not far from Accra, to create new works (to be presented in teams at the closing event and subject to an election of a winning team), explore cross-continental partnerships, and discover the beauty of fusion.

Timelines and Residency: The Creative Retreat

The residency will unfold in a location that bridges the gap between work and leisure, ensuring artists have all the necessary amenities while they soak in the beauty of a serene setting. The closing event will take place in the beautiful, serene garden setting of the Residence of the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Irchad Razaaly. These events will take place in early 2024 (February 2024), offering an unforgettable time and additional activities for those who seek more.

The Grand Finale

The EU – West Africa Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024 event will culminate in a grand closing event at the EU Ambassador’s Residence, where the masterpieces created during the residency will take centre stage. Four teams, each consisting of three artists (representing the categories of fashion, music, and visual arts), will vie for the coveted title of the winning team, with an enticing prize awaiting the champions.

We invite passionate artists and creators from across Ghana, Togo, Benin, and EU Member States to be part of this remarkable fusion event. Applying is a straightforward process, designed to give talented individuals the opportunity to shine.

Join Us in the Celebration of Fusion

This event is not just a simple Residency or Expo; it's a celebration of cultural fusion, collaboration, and the mesmerizing power of the arts. The world will be watching, as social media, influencers, celebrities , and the media gather to make this event a cultural extravaganza.

Save the Date

Make a note of this significant event in your calendar – the EU – West Africa Arts Fusion Residency & Expo 2024. It's where the magic of fusion comes alive, celebrating the vibrant tapestry of West African and European cultures. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of something extraordinary. Stay tuned for updates and details as we embark on this remarkable artistic journey together!