People’s Stories Project (PSP) is a cultural platform, an archive and an editorial ‘connector’ with a vision to broker relationships between African artists and global cultural platforms.
A core element of the project is to sub-commission a dedicated number of new and established writers, photographers, video makers and illustrators across Africa – and the diaspora. These contributors produce features, interviews, images and commentaries that very often break convention as part of the project’s mission to provide nuanced and personal perspectives on contemporary art from Africa, as well as reflections on what it is to be African in and beyond the continent.
People’s Stories Project also instigates creative-to-creative online dialogues across African cities, to highlight unique or innovative ideas, creative processes, politically-infused narratives as well as distinct or offbeat cultural dynamics that span all arts genres. These cross-border conversations form part of a larger, evolving movement that has long existed in niche and independent online spaces – essentially driven and shaped by the continent’s predominantly youth-led, digitally-influenced urban energy. It is essentially this spirit of vitality – both creative and exploratory – that is fuelling a robust internationalisation of contemporary African culture, knowledge and experience. This, in turn, continues to impact on creative culture and economics in and beyond the continent.
Nana Ocran is the Founding Editor of People’s Stories Project. She was formerly Editor-in- Chief for the Time Out Group’s series of guides to Lagos and Abuja (2007-2013) and has consulted on and established publications on West African culture for the Danish Film Institute, Arts Council England, the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) and the British Council. In 2014 she was a curatorial advisor for the Afrofuture design programme at (La) Rinascente during Milan Design Week. She has also written design-focused articles for Design Indaba (Cape Town), Gestalten Books (Berlin) and has previously been a Pan African trends watcher for the Breakthrough Innovation Group (B.I.G) – a creative marketing think tank for Pernod-Ricard, Paris. She is an Associate Lecturer at the London campus of Inseec Business School where she has designed courses in Visual Culture for international students. Nana continues to work as an independent writer for commercial and cultural organisations and platforms.
The People’s Stories Project website exists as an online archive that captures the current zeitgeist of African artistic and cultural expression through commissioned conversations, collaborations and partnerships that develop during the initiative.
Our logo font, Tuckshop Titling, is by designer Tapiwanashe Sebastian Garikayi. It’s inspired by sign writing in Chinotimba, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where it’s seen on posters, billboards, t-shirts and headlines.
People’s Stories Project is supported by the British Council UK as part of their arts programming across Africa.