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Ekow Eshun (born 27 May 1968) is a Ghanaian-British writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Until November 2010 he was the artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, leaving before the end of his six month notice period. He is a contributor to BBC2's Friday night arts programme Newsnight Review and a former editor of Arena magazine. Eshun is also the editor-in-chief of Tank Magazine.
Eshun was born in London, the younger brother of writer Kodwo Eshun. His family are Fante from Ghana, but although three years of his childhood were spent in Accra, for the most part he was brought up in London. He attended Kingsbury High School in North West London. and read politics and history at the London School of Economics. During his time there he edited both Features and Arts for the student newspaper The Beaver.
He sometimes appears as a critic on Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4. He appeared in 2009 in the television advertisements for Aviva (formerly Norwich Union). He also sometimes appears as a critic on The Review Show on BBC Two, as on 30 September 2011.
In the 8 December 2010 edition of the Evening Standard Eshun erroneously claimed: "Last year, only one black student was accepted at any of Oxford’s 38 colleges to study as an undergraduate." This statistic actually referred only to Black Caribbean Students who self defined as such, the number of Black students was at least 27. The paper subsequently corrected this mistake but only in a low-key way, on its website. Later (11 April 2011) David Cameron repeated the untruth.
Eshun's memoir, Black Gold of the Sun, published in 2005, deals with a return trip to Ghana, Ghanaian history, and issues of identity and race. He currently lives in London and presented a show on More4 called The Last Word, a topical talk show discussing culture, politics and other issues of the day.
- Mark Brown (2010-01-12). "Gregor Muir to be new ICA chief". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- Jessica Hodgson, "Ex-Arena editor commands Tank magazine", The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Black Gold of the Sun by Ekow Eshun
- BBC profile.
- Ekow Eshun profile, Evening Standard.
- Saturday Review website.
- "Oxford University: PM incorrect on black student intake", BBC News, 11 April 2011.
- Full transcript of a talk given by Ekow Eshun about his book Black Gold of the Sun
- Ekow Eshun at the Internet Movie Database