artists share messages of hope: as parts of the world continue to endure lockdown conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, designboom has reached out to artists to share messages of hope with our readers worldwide. since beginning the initiative, dedications have been kindly contributed to us by olafur eliassondavid shrigleyjulian charrièredoug aitkenmonica bonvicinitomás saracenotony oursler, ryan gander, and paola pivi.


ghanaian artist ibrahim mahama now dedicates images taken at his studio (redclay), in tamale, ghana, and the following message: ‘the promises of the present can start with ghosts from both the future and past. ghosts are an embodiment of failed revolutions and unrealized futures, which need to be used as a starting point for new conversations within this century and beyond. every life form is a gift.’

ibrahim mahama
redclay, tamale, 2020



mahama’s artist studio, redclay, forms part of the savannah centre for contemporary art (SCCA) in tamale, of which mahama is the founder. SCCA is an artist-run project space, exhibition and research hub, cultural repository and artists’ residency that contributes towards transforming the contemporary art scene in ghana. with its diverse programming and research interests, SCCA spotlights significant moments in both ghanaian and international art within a communal environment. the site is dotted with aircraft that have been removed of their seats and repurposed as educational spaces, with the seats taking on new life within cinema halls for screening both local and experimental films.


a central part of redclay is mahama’s ‘parliament of ghosts’ — an installation artwork that comprises an assemblage of rescued and repurposed objects that form a parliament-like seating space for conversation and collective thought. first presented for the whitworth gallery as part of the manchester international festival, ‘the parliament of ghosts’ in tamale is permanent, and will be used as a classroom, cinema and exhibition hall for site specific installations. in our interview with the artist at design indaba 2020, mahama said that ‘it was an important decision to situate the work there not only to amplify the kinds of social transformations which would happen as a result of that, but also simply produce artworks for ourselves rather than institutions. the idea is for this to inspire building of more local institutions ever more even within the difficult times and conditions we find ourselves.’

ibrahim mahama
parliament of ghosts. pool of ideas, 2020