Family Ties - The Adamah Papers

Family Ties - Adamah Papers

new exhibition opening spring 2018

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 1900s to the 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 communities 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 presented these remarkable documents in a pop-up display in Manchester, and will open in London in Spring 2018. In each region, we will hold family history workshops and spoken word event, with school workshops in London that will bringing the exhibition alive.

Family Ties toured to Manchester Central Library on 6 April until 31 May 2017, and arrive at Black Cultural Archives, London in spring 2018.

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