A Glimpse into the BFC/A’s FESPACO Poster Collection, Part 5 – Ghanian Canvas Posters

When I first started working here, I knew I would be working primarily with the FESPACO poster collection. I naively assumed that they would all be made out of some sort of paper product and likely be mass-produced. Well, that turned out to be quite wrong since the BFC/A also has a small collection of rare hand-painted posters from Ghana.

Police Protection 3– This is an example of a one-of-a-kind, hand painted poster on canvas that became fairly common in Ghana in the 1980s and 1990s. I had no idea such posters existed and found them fascinating. These posters were commissioned for traveling theaters or “video clubs”. The posters were often done on opened-up flour sacks and their bright and vivid imagery was important in drawing the local crowd to the theater. It’s also interesting to see how these posters can really tell a story through the artwork. Sadly, this is now a dead movement, but an important art form of the Ghanaian culture.

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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