Skip to content

Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 Curator Lesley Lokko on Decolonisation, Decarbonisation and Diversity

As an architect, novelist and academic, Lesley Lokko straddles many worlds, making her especially well-suited for her latest role as the curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale, which begins in May 2023. Of Ghanaian-Scottish descent, she is currently forming Accra’s new African Futures Institute, a center focusing on architectural research and education, where issues of decolonisation, decarbonisation and diversity will be hot topics. Lokko worked with graphic designer Fred Swart to visualise the school’s identity. Its name – African Futures Institute (AFI) – was established after a walk in Edinburgh, where Lokko came across the Edinburgh Futures Institute, part of the city’s university. ‘I knew I had found my name,’ she recalls. ‘From there, I got some seed funding from the Ford Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, set up some office space [right underneath her home in Accra, which is raised on stilts], found some staff [there are three people employed at the moment] and got to work.’