By Dr Jermaine Bamfo
Comfort Arthur is a freelance editor, illustrator, graphic designer, actress and animator. Having moved to Ghana in 2012, she has worked on several award winning Ghanaian films such as Shirley Frimpong Manso’s ‘Potomanto’ and ‘Rebecca’.
Comfort’s animations ‘The Peculiar Life of a Spider’ and ‘Black Barbie’ have garnered international recognition and awards. The Peculiar Life of a Spider is a modern adaptation of the Ghanaian folktale known as Ananse stories. The growing phenomenon of skin bleaching in Africa is also depicted in her work – Black Barbie.
It is no doubt that Comfort is dedicated to creating awareness through her animations. We interview Comfort Arthur to find out more…
Congratulations on your nomination for the Animator of the Year Award! How do you feel about it?Excited, overjoyed, flabbergasted, surprised and shocked! These are all the different emotions I felt when I received the email that I had been shortlisted. I was running around my living room screaming and my mother thought I had lost the plot. When I told her of the good news, she started screaming too! It’s an honour to be shortlisted in this category, especially being the only woman.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do
I am a British-born Ghanaian that moved to Ghana almost 4 years ago. I work as a video editor, illustrator, graphic designer and animator. I also occasionally work on some acting projects.
Why would you say you deserve to win?
Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the other nominees for being shortlisted. They are great animators and have all contributed tremendously to animation in Ghana.
I believe that I should win this year’s GUBA Award because my work challenges the mainstream animation that are widely used in Africa. I create work with social messages, and my film ‘Black Barbie’ tackles issues about bleaching and its dangers. The film has been screened at numerous festivals around the world and AJ+ recently did a short documentary on my activism on skin bleaching. I think I deserve the GUBA award not just for the quality of my works but for fact that it’s created a widespread awareness and dialogue.
What motivates you and your work?
Everything around me motivates me! I spend a lot of my time reading the news, drawing, writing poetry and listening to conversations and all of these things have informed me in my work. There are a lot issues in society that need to be addressed and animation is a powerful medium which is a great way of engaging an audience.
What are your thoughts on the GUBA Awards?
I think GUBA Awards is an awesome opportunity to support the diverse talents that we have in Ghana. It is also good that it bridges together both Ghanaians living in the UK and in Ghana.
Are you involved in any other projects?
I am currently working towards publishing my short travel book called ‘I’m Living in Ghana, Get Me Out Of Here!’ This book will be about my hilarious experience when I first moved to Ghana. I am hoping to get the first volume of the book finally published after years of working on it.
Comfort Arthur has been nominated for the Animator of the Year Award. To cast your vote, visit http://www.gubaawards.co.uk/voting/animator/