Complete and utter May-hem!

Ekow Nelson Theresa May’s reputation is as damaged as Jeremy’s Corbyn’s has been enhanced after the recent elections in the UK. The Prime Minister asked the electorate for a mandate to strengthen her hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiations with the European Union; they denied her that and as a result Britain has needlessly been […]

via Complete and utter May-hem! — ekownelson

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An election to end all elections? – Ade Sawyerr

http://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/election-end-all-elections

An election to end all elections?

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No, there are not too many elections. Elections are about the people exercise their right in a democracy and we must all endeavour to go out on June 8th and vote in this very interesting election.

Though billed as an election to determine who is the best candidate to lead Britain into the Brexit, none of the leaders have been able to explain to us what a soft or hard Brexit is about and we are none the wiser how it will affect us.

Some of us, however, believe that the real reason for this election is that the Prime Minister has real problems within her party. This is the party that had problems with Thatcher and Maastricht, worried Major over Europe and whose cabinet split over Brexit causing Cameron to resign and resulting in the election of May, a Remainer over a Brexiteer leaning Conservative Party. That split has not been healed and May and her Team want the endorsement of the whole country to enable her to assert her influence within her party.

But all is not well on the Labour front either. Their leader has not been without challenge from his parliamentary colleagues. First, they tried a coup, it failed. Then they tried a leadership challenge ostensibly because he did not perform well over the Brexit referendum, and he came back with an increased majority; then they tried again to resign their positions over the article 50 vote but he was able to see off that challenge as well.

So, we have in this election two leaders who have problems within their parties and the country has been called to adjudicate, an opportunity that is the very essence of democracy.

At the time the election was called, the result seemed to be in no doubt but as the campaign has unfolded we have seen the Prime Minister lose her poll position in the polls, launch and relaunch her campaign three or four times. May has moved from, Theresa May’s Team to Strong and Stable Leadership to the Best Brexit Deal and with this there have been some notable U-turns and a reluctance to debate the other leaders.

We have seen the Labour leader increase his stature with confidence to the extent that he has become dapper and sharper. Corbyn has made mistakes of his own but the fact of the matter is that for too many of us, his manifesto resonates with all the people.

So what we must do as active citizens is to get out there and vote. For the first time this is an election that provides us with stark choices of where the parties and personalities stand on issues: whether it is about education, about health and social care, about taxation, about pensions, about immigration and even about our foreign relations, we know what the options are and we must exercise our right to have our voice heard so that we can influence the results.

Whilst the personalities and policies are different the important thing that comes across is that this country will be a much better place with Corbyn at the helm of a Labour Party as Prime Minister over Theresa May.

The campaign has shown to us that the traditional media must not be allowed to shape our views on who we must vote for, that the people are now a lot more savvy in deciding for themselves and that the traditional media has now been reduced to report that results of the polls and the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn across the country, rather than in influencing it as they have done in previous years.

It is ironic that the traditional media, who should be encouraging more people to exercise their right to vote are hoping that enough young people and people from ethnic minority communities will not vote in this election because if they turn up in their numbers they will certainly affect the results.

Whatever the results this will be a salutary lesson that there is no crystal ball as to when to call an election, that an enormous lead can be cut into single figures and that eventually, it is the people who decide who will run the country.

So for me I will be voting Labour because they provide a better hope for the future of the many disadvantaged in Britain, they will be the best to heal the divided country and they provide the best promise for the large number of young people and dare I say older people to have an enhanced quality of life in the United Kingdom. I will be voting for Corbyn because he presents the only hope of realising the vision of a cohesive Britain and he has proved it in a hard-fought campaign where his ideas have been far superior to those of Theresa May.

Let us just get out there to vote, it is not too late for us to determine the course of the future.

Ade Sawyerr

If you are a BME Conservative and you’d to make to make the case for the tories, pleases send in your article to us at info@obv.org.uk

Ade Sawyerr is a partner at Equinox Consulting, www.equinoxconsulting.net a management consultancy that works on social and economic issues affecting disadvantaged communities in Britain. He passes comment on social cultural and political issues of African heritage people in the Diaspora. He can be followed @adesawyerr or at http://www.adesawyerr.wordpress.com.

The changing needs of the community and voluntary sector – Lambeth — Equinox Consulting

The changing needs of the community and voluntary sector – Lambeth Cuts to public sector funding have impacted on the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) at national, regional and local levels. This has exacerbated some of the difficulties that voluntary and community organisations have faced over the last two decades as they have adapted…

via The changing needs of the community and voluntary sector – Lambeth — Equinox Consulting

Will Theresa May’s Election Gamble Backfire?

Like education where most are resisting too many tests, are we not in danger of having too many elections that decide nothing? Northern Ireland just had an inclusive election, in May there are local government elections and some mayoral elections and then this. Why does she need a fresh mandate to run the country when she already has one. Well could this just be that she is trying to sort out her party – that there are people = the bastards, who may just be challenging her un-elected authority just as Brown was challenged till he finally lost his election when it came up. Like someone suggests denying Scottish referendum vote but going to the people in England is a bit hypocritical when she should be concentrating on delivering the Brexit that she promised. she had bargained on losing the one seat she has in Scotland to gaining more seats in the labour heartland s of the north but i think that the Brexiteers of the north would rather give their vote to UKIP than to the Tories who campaign for Remain. which ever way she might end up being yet another Tory Prime Minister who succumbed to the the curse of Europe,

ekownelson

Ekow  Nelson

Fresh on the heels of Turkey’s referendum, British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have taken a leaf out of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s strategy and has suddenly decided to go to the country for more legislative room to negotiate Brexit on her own terms, without much hindrance or opposition. But will this work? Or has she awakened a sleeping and demoralised ‘Remain Giant’ that had all but given up on the inevitability of so-called hard Brexit?

Up until recently, the Prime Minister argued strenuously that there was no need to legitimise her position, which she assumed without an explicit vote by the electorate after the resignation of David Cameron. But apparently, after a ponderous reflection over the long Easter weekend, she decided it was right after all to seek a mandate for her programme and her interpretation of Brexit.

She had insisted that “Brexit meant Brexit” without explaining exactly what…

View original post 719 more words

What and who the President left out

A sound analysis of why the speech was controversial and why a lot of younger people challenged the president on his being economical with the actualite. Too many names were mentioned when the real intention was to big up and rehabilitate Danquah in relation to our independence. The president failed to convince anyone in this regard and almost tarnished the respect that some of us had for Danquah as politician who unlike the president failed to reached the highest public office in our country. Ekow raises important questions about Kulungugu and if the president had cared to read the judgement of his father sitting in the the supreme court on the the treason trial he would not have used this important occasion to discuss a matter that is already settled. Nkrumah remains The Founder of Ghana.

ekownelson

http://www.graphic.com.gh/features/opinion/what-and-who-the-president-left-out.html

Ekow Nelson

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, used his speech on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence to retell the story of the struggle for self-government – memorialising victims and celebrating ‘heroes’ alike. He recalled seminal moments in that struggle, like the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society on 4th August, 1897 and their unprecedented but successful mobilization of opposition to the Lands Bills that “forced the colonial authorities to retreat”.

In many ways, what the President did was to render his version of our recent political history about which there is little consensus, with many contested claims on both sides –especially between the United Party’s (UP) and the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) versions of events.

While the speech was generally commendable in lauding the contributions of people as diverse as the musicologist Dr. Ephraim Amu, Yaa Asantewaa and the formidable Dede Ashikisham…

View original post 1,239 more words

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

baffourOseiAkoto

nixon

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James Barnor has returned home and we must applaud this young at heart, 87 year old son of James Town, who still active with more projects and things to do, and who in recent times, has consistently put Ghana and Africa right at the top of the world’s attention with his iconic photographs of Ghana in its formative years.

He has been excited from last October 2016, when he held another exhibition in France at Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière where his photographs were projected all over the Metro stations and streets of Paris as publicity for the exhibition.  This exhibition was also used to promote a book of his photographs and he had an opportunity to present one to President Mahama who was then in France to attend a conference at Unesco.

Continue reading “James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition”

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

baffourOseiAkoto

nixon

Ever Young_Jamestown.jpg

James Barnor has returned home and we must applaud this young at heart, 87 year old son of James Town, who still active with more projects and things to do, and who in recent times, has consistently put Ghana and Africa right at the top of the world’s attention with his iconic photographs of Ghana in its formative years.

He has been excited from last October 2016, when he held another exhibition in France at Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière where his photographs were projected all over the Metro stations and streets of Paris as publicity for the exhibition.  This exhibition was also used to promote a book of his photographs and he had an opportunity to present one to President Mahama who was then in France to attend a conference at Unesco.

In our weekly discussions since then, he has continued to talk about how his original studio EverYoung on St Edmonds Street needs to be turned into a photographic museum to inspire other young people in James Town British Accra where it all started.  His other project was how to replicate the exhibition of his works that the Black Cultural Archives had mounted in Othello House Kennington to commemorate the Ghana@50 anniversary.

So, when he called one day, and left a message with my son for me, saying that he was on his way to Ghana, I did not quite know what to make of it till I saw in the Ghanaian news online that he had been invested with the honour of Member of the Order of the Volta.  He came back and I was privileged to have attended a reception held in his honour by one of his good friends and Black British celebrated photographer Neil Kenlock, who once co-owned the first commercial Black Radio Station in Britain and he would not stop talking about Ghana@60

Then one day he blurted out the good news. He was going back to France in February to host an exhibition on Ghana@60 at Unesco and then he was going to take that exhibition to Ghana to the former seat of government, the Christianborg Castle.

Well, certainly some of his photographs are now at that Ghana@60 exhibition, but it never really was the the solo exhibition he had contemplated.  The first time Mr Barnor had exhibited in Ghana was in 2012 at the British Council and the Accra Mall, an exhibition sponsored by Myx Quest of Qirv, but now he has two exhibitions going – one at the Movenpick that has been sponsored by the destination-ghana conference and has been ably organised by Ambassador Johanna Odonkor-Svanikier and another at Jamestown Café in Ussher Town.

The James Town exhibition is one of the most innovative exhibitions that has been curated in our time.  It challenges but also projects and promotes the concept that our productive endeavours will best flow out of our creative thoughts and energies and that unless we can appreciate our own arts and culture, our growth and development will remain deficient and dominated by foreign content.

Joe Osae-Addo has turned his ArchiAfrika Gallery and his James Town Café into a community facility to host this important exhibition.  In so doing he is providing a service to the JamesTown community that once boasted distinctive architecture of yesteryears and he has staked his commitment to the regeneration of the area in a way that blends with the people and their spirit.  Into this mix appears Allotey Bruce-Konuah, a visual communicator now running ‘accralomigh’, a scion of the original Bruce who gave us Bruce Road and the Konuah family of educational entrepreneurs who gave us Accra Academy.  He has done marvellous work with the young pupils in Chorkor and probably now coming back home to help transform the artistic and cultural landscape of JamesTown with this unusual exhibition.

Allotey had started his working life at ‘photofusion’ in Brixton and had always been interested in recording and documenting iconic images of communities in transition so that their visual images can be preserved for posterity.

Allotey was the first to start digitising Mr Barnor’s work in 1998 at the offices of Equinox Consulting in Brixton South London. Mr Barnor had exhibited his photographs before on his 75th birthday, an exhibition attended by the then Ghna High Commissioner in the UK, Isaac Osei; his works have been previous curated by Rachel Pepper of the Acton Arts Centre, but it was Allotey who introduced Mr James Barnor to the Black Cultural Archives and through him that he met other curators who have exhibited his works at the BCA in South London, at the Autograph in Shoreditch, at the prestigious October Gallery in Holborn, in Manchester and Bristol and Medway, at Harvard University, in Chicago, in Toronto, Canada in South Africa and France and several other places.

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Now, Mr James Barnor’s face and his works have been splashed all over in several photographic and news magazines and respected newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian newspapers and though his photographs have been on the walls of great institutions such as the Tate Gallery and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but there was still unfinished business between the two.

As Allotey recounts “I am privileged to have known Mr Barnor, who I also consider to be a good friend, and I am very proud that though the genesis of this association started in Britain we are harvesting its fruitful produce in Jamestown British Accra with this unique exhibition of his works”.

Allotey says that “Mr Barnor remains an inspiration to me which is why I  started the EveryoungJBA.org project that is building a veritable archive of our past. It already provides several photographs of places and families, it will now become a fully-fledged audio visual archive to preserve the best in music, film, photographs and important documents”.

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The beauty of the current exhibition being curated by Allotey Bruce-konuah is that these ‘Independence Photographs’ were the very first negatives that Allotey digitised and it is fortuitous that these pictures now have a pride of place in the community where a lot of the action of the independence took place.

Bringing them back to the community is important it may just inspire another JamesTown born 28-year-old, the age Mr James Barnor was when he took those photographs 60 years ago to adopt photography.

In the often-repeated cliché, ‘pictures tell a thousand words’, or rather ‘pictures do not lie’,  the fact that they cannot be easily revised means that they will not excite any controversy.

For me this is the real reason for anyone to attend this exhibition.  There are no photographs of my contribution to the cause of independence and Mr James Barnor did not capture me as I marched down the street to the event, but I was there too, but the are several photographs of some of the unsung ones who helped usher in our freedom, sixty years ago,.

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James Barnor Jamestown Revisited is running till the 5th of May 2017 at ArchiAfrica Gallery, James Town Café and on the streets of James and Ussher Town in Accra.

Ade Sawyerr is a partner in the diversity focused management consultancy Equinox Consulting that works on issues relating to economic development of disadvantaged communities and social cultural and political issues of African heritage people in the Diaspora. He can be reached at jwasawyerr@gmail.com, followed @adesawyerr, and read at https://adesawyerr.wordpress.com