CULTURAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Nana Oforiatta-Ayim

We create ourselves through language yet what we say at one moment can at any other be overturned

Does this disrupt a constancy of being or reflect inherent changeability? Is language confirmation or distortion?

In the Akan language, knowledge was constituted anew with each retelling; elasticity of silence as important as authority of sound

Then came Definity and language filled the spaces of silences

History as an affirmation of collective memory

History as the constructed projection of the future. I will be, because I am, and was

History as a narrative of subjugation and disruption: Pre-Colonial, Colonial, Post-Colonial

The Definity of Language in the spaces of silence

Geographies massed by land and boundaries

Geographies separated through histories of language and becoming

Geographies reduced by language to one or other Story: Hopeless Scar, Rising Renaissance

The Authority of Sound, not the elasticity of silence

The Cultural Encyclopedia as narratives of histories flowing in and out

The Cultural Encyclopedia as mapper of continuities and disruption

The Cultural Encyclopedia as collector of remnants

The Cultural Encyclopedia as act of recreation

The Cultural Encyclopedia as re-interpreter of language

The Cultural Encyclopedia as re-examiner of boundaries

The Cultural Encyclopedia as act of recreation

The Cultural Encyclopedia as beginning and not end

How does theory flow into practice?

How does knowledge make itself felt?

How does language approximate what cannot be spoken?

How are foundations earth and not cement?

The Cultural Encyclopaedia is a fifty-four volume Encyclopaedia that traces cultural trajectories in each of the fifty-four countries of the African continent, on subjects ranging from Art and Archaeology; Philosophy and Science; Drama, Theatre and Film; Politics, Sociology and Anthropology; Music and Literature; Mathematics and Economics; and Design, Fashion and Architecture. For now, the paradigm is that of country, though it is possible this will be overhauled. Every six months, a new Encyclopaedia—with entries ranging from classical to contemporary oratures, literatures, and art forms, to alternative mathematical models—will be distributed to schools and higher education institutions; excerpted on radio, television; in magazines, newspapers; and via mobile phones. The first volume, GHANA, will be launched at Dak’art 2014. The printed versions will consist of: selections of essays from published and unpublished manuscripts, theses, and essays by leading thinkers from each country, chosen by a team of editors. The online versions consist of: conversations, portraits, writings on contemporary cultural output, and a database of links to the complete research. Throughout the process, workshops, seminars, and talks will discuss and explore expression, methodology, process, implications, implementation, co-operation and collaboration.
http://anoghana.org/cultural-encylopaedia.