Ghana ThinkTank was founded in 2006 and is a project of Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, Matey Odonkor and Maria Del Carmen Montoya.
Ghana ThinkTank is an international collective that “develops the first world” by flipping traditional power dynamics, asking the “third world” to intervene into the lives of the people living in the so-called “developed” world.
Ghana ThinkTank collect problems from communities throughout the USA and Europe, and send them to think tanks created in “developing” communities. The think tanks – which include a group of bike mechanics in Ghana, a rural radio station in El Salvador, Sudanese refugees seeking asylum in Israel, an artist collective in Iran, and a group of incarcerated girls in the Boston penal system, among others – propose solutions, which are then implemented in the “first world”.
Ghana ThinkTank’s innovative approach to public art reveals blind spots between otherwise disconnected cultures, challenges assumptions about who is “needy,” and turns the idea of expertise on its head by asking people in the “third world” to solve problems of people in the “first world.” This process helps people overcome their own stereotypes while being exposed to the stereotypes that other cultures have about them.
In 2017, Ghana ThinkTank participated in CounterCurrent festival in Houston TX, with the Mobile Mosque, an elegant Islamic structure that traveled throughout Houston on flat bed trailers.
For one week, the Muslim community in Houston took over this Mobile Mosque, offering a place for prayer, poetry, music, art, and a fundraiser for Syrian Refugees.
The Mobile Mosque has since traveled to Detroit, MI where it is part several ongoing projects.