Go back and get it

POC Sankofa

Go back and get it

Making boundary object from indigenous materials? Storytelling and social connectedness in this period of disruption? Igniting the spirit of Ubuntu–togetherness – for innovation beyond the pandemic? Sankofa– looking back into our cultures – to design and transform livelihoods and spaces and promote a culture of resilience in the post-pandemic era.

Cultures of resilience 

Africa as a continent has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in many people working remotely. Physical spaces have been disrupted, however providing opportunities for innovation. DESIS KNUST lab in Ghana has launched A Call to Actionfor educators, students, community members and partners to respond to the crisis through design-led projects. The projects are strategically designed to accommodate participants from different cities while using online tools as enablers to foster social cohesion during and after the pandemic. 

Ubuntu – cities without borders

Working in collaboration with participants, over 100 participants have designed sustainable solutions in the spirit of Ubuntu and in response to the call, across different cities in Ghana and South Africa. These designs are drawn from Afrikan philosophies such as Sankofa. Sankofa is a Ghanaian philosophy, signifying “go back and get it”– to not forget the past, while moving towards the future – in the post-pandemic era. 

The outcomes include animated health messages, posters and mobile apps for persons with disabilities; facemasks made from African fabrics that convey indigenous stories and are donated to frontline workers, community members and vulnerable populations; digital storytelling to share authentic indigenous African stories on resilience strategies and skills development. DESIS Lab initiatives around Sankofa continue in virtual spaces and cities to provide a safe space for social connectedness and promote a culture of resilience in African communities. 

  • Project holders : DESIS Lab, KNUST, Ghana – Département de design de communication, FoA, CABE, KNUST
  • Designers : Ralitsa Diana Debrah, Edward Appiah,  Eric Francis Eshun 
  • Stakeholders : Membres du corps enseignant de la KNUST, Université de technologie de la péninsule du Cap (CPUT) – Le Cap, Grabouw Youth Team (CPUT), Animation Afrika, Kobbyshots Studios, JOKelli Studios, DesignGhana, GhiGha, TEK TV, KNUST.
  • Photo credits: DESIS Lab, KNUST, Ghana – Département de design de communication, FoA, CABE, KNUST