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The Ghana Think Tank, Wales. Christopher Robbins, John Ewing and Maria del Carmen Montoya (2009)

250' of bright red 2x4s, 80 t-shirts of smiling Welsh faces, funny dirty stories collected from pensioners, bright panels at halfway houses, a yellow wheelbarrow, a car battery, and the steps of the National Museum of Wales.

This was a pretty intense show, in which we hired Iranians, Serbs, and incarcerated teens in the US prison system to solve the problems of Wales. Problems included:

“A large number of people have no concept of social interaction with other passing strangers. They look through you, or worse at you like you're something they've trodden in, with disgust and bitter resentment.”


“To many Liberals allowing immigrants to live and spunch of hard working people kick them out.”


“The psychiatric system in Wales neglects its patients. The hospital feels like a prison - nobody ever invites patients to talk.”

among many others, ranging from high heels and cobble stones to the empty shops on every street.

The project took place in three venues: at the National Museum of Wales Cardiff, Ffotogallery Penarth, and the May You Live In Interesting Times festival. There were columns of hanging t-shirts sporting the smiling faces of Cardiff and Penarth, funny dirty stories collected from the Welsh elderly community, brightly colored panels with comments from people living in institutions, a video 'chandelier,' and a chaotic web of bright red scaffolding infesting the National Museum of Wales.

You can watch a video of some of the actions or follow them on the Ghana Think Tank blog. More info at the Ghana Think Tank website:

More photos here.

Thanks so much to Lisa, Tom and Helen for all their late nights, patience, and goodwill, and to all the volunteers who lent their hands. We couldn't have got it all done without you. Plus, of course, our glorious think tanks!

© christopher robbins 1998-now