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Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin selected as 2019 TED Fellow

Alan Flurry

 Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, assistant professor in the department of theatre and film studies, has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver:

Dr. Amma was selected for her original and hyper-collaborative approach to creating artistic works based on archival research for the stage and screen, including her new musical in development AT BUFFALO. 

“It is humbling and inspiring to be named a TED Fellow,” said Dr. Amma. “This year’s TED Conference theme ‘Bigger than Us’ especially resonates with my creative research using archives. The AT BUFFALO project intentionally traverses academia and the entertainment industry to convene scholars, students, archivists, professional artists, and communities around vital archival collections that help us understand and confront America’s complicated racial histories.” 

Co-written with Joshua Williams and Khalil Sullivan and developed with creative producer Deadria Harrington and co-conceiver Jim Augustine, AT BUFFALO is a new musical in development about race in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Amma and her team explain that the 1901 world’s fair—most remembered as the site of then-U.S. President William McKinley’s assassination—left behind a fragmented archive of descriptions, newspaper articles, photographs, and film clips that sheds new light on a critical moment in the construction of modern black and American identity. Using collections from over 30 archival institutions, the musical aims to transport audiences into this archive of conflicting visions of blackness that the Fair displayed through exhibits like Darkest Africa, Old Plantation, and The American Negro Exhibit.

Fantastic news. Congratulations to the Dr. Amma on this major career accomplishment and for representing UGA and the Franklin College in the far-reaching TED network of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors and journalists. We look forward to her TED talk this April.

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