CanadaCanadian News

Reimagining History with LEGO®: Ekow Nimako’s Exhibition at Glenbow

CALGARY, AB – In a groundbreaking exploration of history and culture, Glenbow at The Edison is currently hosting the remarkable exhibition, “Building Black Civilizations: Journey of 2,000 Ships,” by Ghanaian-Canadian LEGO® artist Ekow Nimako. This innovative showcase, running until May 19, presents Nimako’s whimsical yet profound sculptures crafted from thousands of black LEGO® elements, offering a unique lens into ancient African kingdoms and the enigmatic sea voyage of Mansa Abu Bakr II.

Nimako’s work challenges conventional narratives, inviting viewers to reconsider preconceptions of history through Afrofuturistic themes and Akan iconography. The exhibition comprises four major pieces, each a testament to Nimako’s creative vision and meticulous craftsmanship.

“For this body of work, I really got to explore a very specific narrative. Once I learned about this massive fleet that was assembled, I was completely captivated,” says Ekow Nimako. “They represented the culture there, which, at the time, was guided by African, Black, Muslim monarchy and social structure. It was such a significant voyage, and one that notably occurred almost 150 years before Columbus.”

Combining elements of architecture, science fiction, and fantasy, Nimako’s sculptures transcend mere LEGO® constructions, offering a rich tapestry of cultural exploration and historical reinterpretation. His work sheds light on the vibrant African societies that flourished centuries before European colonization, challenging the narrative often dominated by colonial perspectives.

Nicholas R. Bell, President & CEO of Glenbow, emphasized the importance of showcasing diverse perspectives in the visual arts. “It’s vital to demonstrate diverse perspectives and mediums in the visual arts and provide opportunities for deeper conversations about who we are and how we engage with our past.” Bell stated. “It’s such an important role for an art museum to provide opportunities to revisit and reimagine historical events through a contemporary lens,”

The exhibition, organized and circulated by Dunlop Art Gallery and curated by Alyssa C. Fearon, represents a significant contribution to Calgary’s cultural landscape. Supported by the Calgary Foundation, the exhibition offers free admission, encouraging broad access to its thought-provoking content.


In showcasing Ekow Nimako’s innovative work, Glenbow at The Edison underscores the importance of diverse representation in the arts. Nimako’s exploration of African history through LEGO® sculptures not only celebrates the richness of Black civilizations but also challenges historical narratives that often marginalize African contributions. By providing a platform for Nimako’s art, Glenbow fosters a space for critical reflection and dialogue, inviting visitors to reimagine history from a perspective too often overlooked. This exhibition serves as a testament to the power of art in reshaping collective memory and promoting inclusivity within cultural discourse.

Alwin Marshall-Squire

Alwin Marshall-Squire is the Editor-in-Chief and Afro-Canadian Affairs Writer at Vision Newspaper - The Caribbean Update. With over two decades of experience, he is a dedicated advocate for amplifying Afro-Canadian voices. Alwin leads with vision, shaping the newspaper's editorial direction to reflect the diverse Jamaican Diaspora community. His insightful commentary and investigative reporting shed light on issues of identity and social justice, sparking crucial conversations and inspiring positive change. Alwin is not only a journalist but also a community leader, actively involved in initiatives promoting equity and representation. For feedback Alwin can be reached at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *