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Lunch & Learn: Female Leadership in Fante Asafo Military Companies

February 10, 2023 | 12:00PM - 12:30PM

Join us to hear from Silvia Forni, co-curator of Art, Honor, and Ridicule: Fante Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana (October 23, 2022–February 12, 2023), who will discuss the politics and aesthetics of Asafo female leadership in historical and contemporary contexts. Among the Fante people of Ghana, membership in an Asafo military company is passed down along patrilineal lines. This differs from the otherwise matrilineal culture of Ghana’s Akan people, to which the Fante belong. In all aspects of life, men and women share political and social responsibilities and leadership roles. 

Silvia Forni is the Shirley & Ralph Shapiro Director of the Fowler Museum. Previously, she served as senior curator of global Africa and deputy vice president of the department of art & culture at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. Forni oversaw the institution’s large African collection and was responsible for the museum’s permanent and rotating displays of African artworks. Her research focuses on the significance of art both in local contexts and within wider exchange networks. She has initiated institutional conversations to interrogate and dismantle the colonial legacies embedded in institutional structures, and sought ways to ground the museum’s impact on more equitable premises.

Lunch & Learn: The Fowler’s Lunch & Learn series offers easily digestible explorations of charismatic objects from around the world. Join us to chew on some sustenance and feed your mind and soul

Image: Artist unknown (Fante people, Ghana), Company Abura Kunkwa, c. 1930; cotton, synthetic fabric, silk; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X81.1640

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