Family Ties – The Adamah Papers
Togbui Adamah II was a paramount Ewe Fia of Some in south eastern Ghana. Whilst clearing out the home of a relative, his Granddaughter came upon boxes of paperwork that she had previously brought back to London with her. This collection was donated to Black Cultural Archives in 2014 after they visited us and begun to realise the importance of these documents. The collections create a snapshot of everyday life in early 1900’s-1950s. More than that, it includes important information about what it was like to live under colonial rule with the earliest document dating from 1858.
The Family Ties exhibition will examine topics such as:
- migration of the Ewe People
- the Adamah family history
- Colonialism and interactions with the British
- the role of traditional spirituality and its juxtaposition to Christianity
- day to day family and village life
- interactions with other rival and allied tribes and Fia’s
The material in this collection is a mixture of handwritten and typescript letters, newspapers, photographs, and personal papers. We will also have audio through the use of oral history interview and cultural music. The creation of 12 panels and 2 light box vinyls that will be created for Manchester can be used as well as original material in display cases. Some of the digitised documents can be shown in the digital pod.
This is quite possibly the first time the Ewe culture has been presented in this way, outside of traditional cultural realms, and is contains some amazing artefacts to detail just how colonialism worked and the impact it had on the people in the colonised regions. Here we have a chance to hear the stories of the people that lived these lives and in their own words.
In partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Educational Trust, we will present these remarkable documents in exhibitions at both Manchester and London. In each region, we will hold Family History workshops and a Spokenword event, with school workshops in London that will help to bring the exhibition alive.
Family Ties will tour to Manchester Central Library on 6 April until 31 May 2017, and arrive at Black Cultural Archives, London in autumn 2017.