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Akosua Adoma Owusu Named Recipient of Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship + New Film Project ‘Bus Nut’

Akosua Adoma Owusu Named Recipient of Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship + New Film Project 'Bus Nut'

We have been
following, for quite a while now, the career of the extraordinary filmmaker and
artist Akosua Adoma Owusu, who films are in the permanent collections of
both the Whitney Museum in New York and the
Fowler Museum at

Last summer,
for example, Tambay reported (HERE) on her experimental feature film, “Black Sunshine,” when it was selected  as one of four films to receive production
financing from the World Cinema Fund, which is an initiative of the German Federal
Cultural Foundation, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the

And as I’ve said before about Ms. Owusu, her goal, is to use her work to "… open audiences
up to a new dialogue between the continents of Africa and America; one that
incorporates more than just stereotypes, but includes both conventionalized and
un-conventionalized discourses of race in its service. By creating complex

She also
hopes that, through her filmmaking that "a new meaning can emerge and be
deposited into the universal consciousness. If I can do this by creating an
experience for the audience that enables them to experience what it is like to
find oneself, while being foreign in a community, then perhaps I can help that
new meaning come to light."

Born in
Virginia to Ghanaian parents, Ms. Owusu got her MFA in Film, Video and Fine
Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and has established an
international reputation as an experimential filmmaker and artist of note, whose
numerous works have been screened worldwide at film festivals, museums, movie
theaters, art galleries, and universities. And she was named by The Huffington Post
as one of their "30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should

And now Ms. Owusu
has received a new honor, awarded this month, from the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim
Foundation Fellowship, presented to scholars, scientists and artists every
year, “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise." 

Edward Hirsch,
president of the Foundation, said of this year’s 175 fellowship awardees: "The best of the best… It’s an honor to be able to support these
individuals to do the work they were meant to do."

Needless to
say, Ms. Owusu is "very honored and excited" about this new honor, but she is not resting on her laurels. She also has a new short
film project titled “Bus Nut,” which is currently traveling the international film festival circuit.

The film,
starring MaameYaa Boafo from the web series, "An African City," takes what Ms.
Owusu calls a "fresh look" at the 1955 Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, and juxtaposes recreated images and the words of Rosa Parks, against an
educational video about public school bus safety.

Ms Boafo
shared that it was powerful and jarring "to portray
these two individuals – with words from the trial of why an innocent woman had
no reason to leave a bus, and footage of a little girl who dreams of always
being in one."

To find out
more about "Bus Nut" and follow its progress go HERE to Ms. Owusu Facebook page; or HERE to check out her website.

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Virginia Daughtrey

So proud of you!!!!!

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