Lesley Lokko Positions Africa as a Laboratory for Harnessing the Vast Possibilities of the Future
For Lesley Lokko, plurality comes naturally. Born in Scotland to a Ghanaian father and a Scottish mother, and moving frequently between Ghana and the U.K. during her youth, the architect-scholar-novelist has long navigated these countries through an insider-outsider lens. As the curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, titled “The Laboratory of the Future,” she’s bringing exactly this outlook to the main exhibition. On view from May 20 through Nov. 26, the six-part presentation will put the spotlight on Africa for the first time in the Biennale’s history—with more than half of the contributors hailing from Africa or from the African diaspora. The timing of Lokko’s Biennale appointment is not so coincidental: In 2020, she founded the African Futures Institute in Accra, a new architecture school and research institute that, as with her Biennale show, positions Africa as a laboratory for harnessing the vast possibilities of the future.