Decommissioned aeroplanes have transformed the village of Jenna, just outside Ghana’s northern regional capital of Tamale, into an educational and tourist hub.
The aircraft had been left for junk on the grounds of Tamale airport and at Kotoka International, but Ghanian artist Ibrahim Mahama spotted a way to use them to inspire children and create a place of learning. He used the proceeds of his own artwork to buy six planes and the land for his purpose-built “Red Clay Studio” as well as the “Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art.
“We started playing around, first of all, by taking the seats out of the aeroplanes, and it gave us room to imagine the space in a different way,” said the Artistic Director of the centre, Selorm Kudzi. “We were experimenting with classes, drawing classes, and also working with kids to learn how to fly drones and also draw.”
Youngsters are taught about the technology behind aeroplanes, computer science, and basic engineering, as well as about the arts, which funded the entire idea.
“I think it is something encouraging. Back in the day, people were not interested in the arts. Everybody wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or teacher, but now I think people think the arts can be an interesting profession to pursue, “Kudzi concluded.