Your Name: Amoako Boafo
What do you do?: I am a Contemporary Artist and a Co-Founder of WE DEY.
Where is your organization located?: Vienna, Austria.
How did you get started in your field?: Well, its a funny one. It was never a guarantee that was going to become an artist. I drew when I was little and it was something I would do to avoid getting beat up so for me I knew it is a weapon and a very strong one. I always come back from school with home work and I would need some assistance to be able to do it but it did not work that way - I was expected to know how to do it already and if i couldn't, I would be beaten. Now, this is where it gets interesting! Since nobody checked my home work when I was done, I had to adopt a technique that showed that I was doing something with my books and that's how I started drawing.
Tell us a bit more about your organization: 'WE DEY,' is an artist collective aiming to support the struggle of international artists for recognition, and to challenge labels which are often used to justify exclusion from the main contemporary art scene.
How did your education and previous experiences help you to become what you are today?: I studied for 4 years in an art school where they teach you all basics of painting before I left Ghana and that has helped me to express my emotions, struggles and experiences [into my art].
Is there anything else you are working on at this time?: Personally, I am also studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Professionally, yes, but not sure if i should say it because the title is still not certain... But I am working on something new!
How do you define success?: For me, success is when you can make a positive impact on people's lives.
Who are your heroes and why?: Yaa Asantewaa and Kwame Nkrumah because they played an important role in getting Ghana to be what it is today.
If you had to start your career over again, what would you do differently?: Nothing. I would go about it the same way. My experiences are what shaped my dreams or have driven me to do what am doing.
What are the top qualities you would require in someone who wants to work with/for you?: Drive - they should have the same drive to want to do something or change something positively.
What advice would you give to students, young professionals and aspiring change makers/entrepreneurs?: I can only tell from my field [- art]. Most of our struggle is to make money out from what we do - which is okay, but for me the purpose of art is to criticize, stir up conversation, make the comfortable uncomfortable and give voice to the so called 'weak', and if in the long run, you happen to make money then great but money should not be the sole purpose for art.
For more information on Amoako Boafo / WE DEY, visit the following links