John Ewing, * 1964 in Ithaca, NY (US), lives and works in Boston, MA (US); Christopher Robbins, * 1973 1973 in Atlanta, GA (US), lives and works in New York (US); Maria del Carmen Montoya, * 1974 in Housten, TX (US), lives and works in Providence, RI (US)
Ghana ThinkTank was originally formed in 2006 by the artists Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Matey Odonkor in response to their experiences gained in working in developmental aid organizations across the globe. In contrast to the usual mission of NGOs, the aim of their collective is to create problem-solving strategies in the so-called developed world. Since then, experts from their network have formed think tanks in countries such as Ghana, El Salvador or Serbia to formulate solutions at a distance to problems in cities where Ghana ThinkTank becomes active.
These solutions are implemented directly on location even if they seem ridiculously unsuitable for the local situation. While some solutions turn out to be helpful, others have merely created awkward situations that show how difficult it is to grasp the socio-cultural context of another country and how absurd it is to impose off-the-rack solutions on a community from the outside, without taking local conditions and habits into account. The long-term project not only draws attention to inefficiencies of current practices in international aid organizations, but also emphasizes the importance of large institutions re-evaluating solutions after they have been executed. This step is also often neglected in other sectors of society. (AMB)
Ghana ThinkTank in Karlsruhe, 2011