Artist and curator Richard Kofi (1988) views cultural heritage as a collection of bodies with spirits and personalities. They are witnesses of violence and resilience, waiting to speak their truths about our entangled histories. With his interdisciplinary art projects, shows and exhibitions Kofi activates these objects and allows them to speak their truths.
Collaboration and co-creations play a major part in his practice. Kofi’s most recent art project, called C’est l’epoch, consists of drawings, photography, a performance and a film he made with a collective of artists, researchers and activists. Together they transform a barbershop into a site of social action. Kofi created this project as part of his residency at contemporary art platform Derde Wal in Nijmegen, exhibited this project at Rozet Heritage Center in Arnhem and it was a part of the Chale Wote festival in Ghana and the Charlotte Black Film Festival in the United States.
C’est l’epoch is a sequel to art shows he co-curated for the Nijmeegse Kunstnacht and Notre Dame des Artes called the Spirit of Collection. Audiences were invited into afrofuturistic post-apocalyptic reality where structures and institutions have gone up in flames and only stories survived.
Together with author Simone Zeefuik and production house La Fam, Kofi creates the podcast Project Wiaspora. A sonic exploration of the everydayness of art, activism and spirituality in Black communities in the Netherlands and abroad. They do this through an afrofuturist lense, inviting their guests to imagine new institutions, infrastructures and political systems.
In 2019 Kofi was nominated for the Museum Talent Award and the &Award, for change agents in the field of inclusion and diversity. In 2021 he got elected to be the Amsterdam City Illustrator.
Kofi is also head of programming at the Bijlmer Parktheater in Amsterdam Southeast.
Amsterdam City Illustrator