Ifeanyi (ee-FAH-nyee) Awachie (AH-wah-CHYAY) is a Nigerian-American writer and arts curator passionate about creating progressive black and African representation through storytelling and programming. With a B.A. in English from Yale University, Ifeanyi is author of nonfiction work Summer in Igboland and has worked as a spoken word poet and journalist.
At Yale, Ifeanyi produced a novel and multimedia novella as senior projects in the selective Writing Concentration, where she was advised by author Caryl Phillips. She wrote, performed, and competed with Teeth Slam Poets, Yale's nationally-recognized slam poetry team, of which she was Artistic Director. She was chosen to perform her poem Let's Commence as the Ivy Ode, an annual tribute to Yale College, at the 2014 Class Day Ceremony, where she shared the stage with Secretary of State John Kerry.
As an undergraduate, Ifeanyi also founded contemporary African arts festival AFRICA SALON. Following the success of the inaugural event, she was hired as Yale Africa Curator and invited to co-curate programming at the Brooklyn Museum. Continuing to demonstrate her talent for producing dynamic, meaningful, and sustainable cultural programming, Ifeanyi founded Literary Happy Hour, a reading and performance series for writers of color in New Haven, Connecticut. She won the Arts Council of Greater New Haven Community Engagement Grant to support the series and successfully embedded Literary Happy Hour in the local community.
A visual thinker determined to source images of Nigeria missing from Western media, Ifeanyi traveled alone to the country for the first time since birth in 2013, aiming to document Nigeria's nuances and rebrand the country in a positive light. She won the Tristan Perlroth Prize for Summer Foreign Travel to support her project and hosted multiple exhibitions of her photography, eventually publishing Summer in Igboland in 2015.
In 2016, Ifeanyi was accepted to the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation writing workshops, where she studied fiction under acclaimed author Tayari Jones. She went on to complete an M.A. in Global Creative and Cultural Industries from SOAS, University of London, where she wrote the dissertation, "Listening to Nigerias in London: A Reflexive Space for the Présence Africaine in First-Generation African Art," exploring diasporic African identity and cultural production in screen media and popular music.
Ifeanyi is currently based in London, where she works as Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and co-directs FUNCTION, a creative partnership founded with stylist and art director Moha Lami Audu. Ifeanyi is also one-third of The Politics of Pleasure, a black feminist collective exploring the ways in which black women engage in pleasure as a politics of refusal. View Ifeanyi's resume here.
Ifeanyi's collage, pictured throughout the site, was a collection of professional and personal photos, music and art posters, city maps, clippings from magazines, a drawing of the Yale logo by her baby sister, and other fragments plastered to the walls of her New Haven, Connecticut apartment.