Gameli Tordzro

Pan African Arts Scotland & University of Glasgow
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In April 2014 I received an AHRC PhD Scholarship under the Researching Multilingually at Borders of Language, The Body Law and the State (RM Borders) Research Project. As part of my Doctoral research, I set up Ha Orchestra; the first symphonic African Orchestra in Scotland in June 2014 through a Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life Glasgow 2014 Cultural Grant. I led the Orchestra made up of African migrant musicians living in Europe and Scottish musicians to perform my new compositions in all the major festival venues including Glasgow Green, The Kelvingrove Band Stand, The Merchant’s Square and BBC at The Quay. The Orchestra’s first music video was filmed at the University of Glasgow.

I was appointed the first Artistic Director of Pan African Arts Scotland in 2006 where to develop the artistic programme. As part of this, I set up a number of African arts project initiatives including the the Adinkra Creative links workshops programme for schools and community groups including The Hesu African-Celtic fusion Band, Sima Fashions and the Glasgow Highlife Band. I also produced a three-episode Life Stories documentary films ‘Our Stories’ on the life stories of three creative artists of African African and African-Caribbean community in Glasgow: ‘Tawona’s Story, on Tawona Sitholé ‘Clare’s Story’ on Clare Robertson and ‘Graham’s Story’ on Clr. Graham Campbell.

I moved to settle in Scotland in 2003. In Ghana, I am well noted for my role as ‘Grandpa’ the storyteller on the Ghana Television ‘By the Fireside’ Storytelling programme in the 1990’s. I also worked as the first producer of the TV3 Network youth magazine programme ‘YouthQuake’ and directed children’s theatre productions for the National Theatre of Ghana’s Kids Festival Kidafest 1996 and 1997 for the Goethe Institute in Ghana.

My community theatre work in 2001 contributed to the eradication of Trachoma in Ghana. Working as a theatre for development consultant for the BBC World Service Trust, I designed a community theatre intervention that worked with schools, communities and the local radios and resolved the communication difficulties around the knowledge and understanding, beliefs and practices that posed difficulties to eradicate the disease.