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    London-based artist, filmmaker, writer John Akomfrah named in UK’s New Year’s honours list

    London-based Ghanaian visual artist, filmmaker and writer, John Akomfrah CBE, has been named in the United Kingdom’s New Year’s honours list.

    The list, which acknowledges the achievements and contributions of individuals across the UK, is issued by the British monarch, King Charles III.

    John Akomfrah is being honoured with a Knighthood (Knights Bachelor) for his contributions to the arts.

    He is an artist, writer, film director, screenwriter, theorist and curator of Ghanaian descent, whose “commitment to a radicalism both of politics and of cinematic form finds expression in all his films”.

    In the words of The Guardian, he “has secured a reputation as one of the UK’s most pioneering film-makers [whose] poetic works have grappled with race, identity and post-colonial attitudes for over three decades.”

    Born in Ghana in 1957, John Akomfrah lives and works in London. He co-founded the pioneering Black Audio Film Collective in the 1980s.

    He documented the consequences of the 1985 Handsworth Riots in Birmingham in his award-winning 1986 film, Handsworth Songs. 

    Since being made a CBE in 2017, he has been exhibiting at major museums worldwide, winning the world’s biggest art prize, the Artes Mundi.

    He presented his largest film installation to date, Purple, in 2017 at the Barbican in London addressing climate change, human communities and the wilderness.

    He debuted his work Mimesis: African Soldier in 2018 at the Imperial War Museum in London. In 2019, he participated in the inaugural, critically acclaimed Ghana Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, with his latest work Four Nocturnes.

    In 2022, on its 10th anniversary, his filmic art installation The Unfinished Conversation was remounted as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival.

    He has an exemplary record in pro bono governance, including the boards of the British Film Institute and Film London, and in education.


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