Call for Applications: June 2019 Writing Workshop: “Accra Architecture: Future of the Past”


Image: Round Pavilion, Accra International Trade Fair Centre. Photo: Kuukuwa Manful, 2018

In Ghana’s independence era, Accra experienced an architecture and construction boom during which monuments and state buildings such as the Black Star Gate and Parliament House were constructed, and schools such as Labone Senior High School and Nungua Senior High School were expanded or founded. Along with all this state-led architecture and construction activity, private citizens were also building houses, shops, places of worship and places of entertainment.

Linked to the “Accra Futurism” project led by Dr Łukasz Stanek of University of Manchester and Prof. Ola Uduku of Manchester Metropolitan University, this writing workshop aims to produce researched essays and articles around the architectural remnants of this historical period, focusing on current use, reuse (or disuse) as well as contemporary (re)imaginations. Some of architecture sites that this workshop will focus on include: Ghana International Trade Fair Center, La; Accra Metropolitan Assembly Office (Community Centre), High Street; Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum; Standard Chartered and Barclay Banks, High Street; Korle Bu Hospital, 1950s and 1960s housing in Accra, Kingsway Building, and UTC Department Stores (now premises of Nankani & Hagan Ltd).

Students and recent graduates are invited to apply for this all-expense covered residential writing workshop with mentorship and guidance from Prof. Ola Uduku (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dr Irene Appeaning Addo (University of Ghana), Dr Joseph Oduro-Frimpong (Ashesi University), Victoria Okoye (University of Sheffield), and Kuukuwa Manful (SOAS University of London).


— Students and recent graduates in Ghana in the following fields and other related disciplines are encouraged to apply:  Architecture, Urban Design, History, Social Science, Journalism, Urban Studies, Creative Writing. Applicants with demonstrable interest and experience in these fields will be considered even if they do not have academic qualifications in these fields.

— Students must be able to travel to Accra and stay from Wednesday, June 12th 2019 to Sunday, June 16th, 2019. The workshop will be a full-time residential workshop, and accommodation, food and travel within Accra will be covered by us. We will also consider funding travel from around Ghana to Accra on a case-by-case basis.

— Students must have strong written communication skills. Previous experience conducting and communicating ideas or research publicly (blogs, articles, dissertations) is desirable.

Application Procedure:

To apply, please email: Kuukuwa Manful at with the subject line “Accra Writing Workshop 2019” by 3rd June, 2019 with the following:

— Statement of purpose indicating your specific interest in the workshop related to your interests, experience, and academic qualifications. If you are interested in writing about a particular building or site, please indicate this in your statement.

— A brief writing sample demonstrating your writing ability (this can be an extract from a previously completed piece of writing such as a dissertation, article or blog post. You may also write a short piece specifically for this application.

— A brief CV listing all relevant writing skills, experience and academic qualifications.