May #TALKPARTYSERIES: Mensa Highlife + Terrence Nance’s “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”

10268526_789654847758020_2240493638726115436_nWe’re back after a short hiatus in April. This time with a two-for-one banger in May.

THE FILM SHOW [begins at 6:00pm]: We are super excited to premiere Terrence Nance’s acclaimed film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, in Ghana. The film is produced by Jay-Z, Wyatt Cenac, Dream Hampton and Joy Bryant, among others, with the soundtrack created by electric wonder, Flying Lotus. It has played at Sundance and along the global circuit and next Friday the film will debut in Accra.

An Oversimplification is a splendid exploration of love and mourning that blends animation, drama, fantasy and sonic color together. The story follows a quixotic artist who falls for a lovely lady who doesn’t quite fall for him. He then makes a film about their ambiguous affair and shows it to her. Director Terrence Nance will join us for a Q&A via Twitter.

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THE LIVE MUSIC SHOW [begins at 8:15pm]: Mensa Highlife grew up in Sweden, the UK and the U.S. The London years shaped him into a full-fledged music producer while the U.S. years shaped an even sharper poet and lyricist. This itinerant lifestyle became the inspiration behind a quirky Jazz-Funk expression that has come to define his art today.

Now back in Ghana and inspired by the traditional mystic of sparse drum rhythms, Mensa Highlife is experimenting with a soulful unity between the past and present. He is currently promoting the single, “Ofori’s Story,” and Mensa will premiere it live at the Talk Party Series this month. He will also be performing songs from an upcoming album.

It’s a free party as usual. Join us for dope dialogues, a cool crowd, ice cold drinks and mad music!

6-9PM | Friday, May 30th | Passions Premium Restaurant | Osu Ringway | 2 streets behind Country Kitchen or 1 street behind Pippa’s Gym

ACCRA’S LOKKO MAMA: STEFANIA MANFREDA

As told to Nana Osei Kwadwo  |  photos by Selorm Jay

Chilling like a boss - Stefania

Chilling like a boss – Stefania Manfreda outside the Lokko ’08 store

Five years ago when STEFANIA MANFREDA and her business partner, Alon Hassid, realized there was a building frenzy taking place in Accra, they decided to turn their designer T-shirt line into a concept store. This birthed the Lokko’08 store, where contemporary Ghanaian art and lifestyles are articulated.

The Lokko’08, located on Lokko Street in Osu, is a hub of coolness showcasing emerging designs in photography, fashion, music, and technology. The urban shop is quickly and quietly playing its part in the creative renaissance sweeping across the city.

Lokko’08 is gaining popularity not only for its support for young artists but also for its one-of-a-kind offerings. The store stands out as one of the few places where you can cop fresh and different threads in the city. For example, Lokko’08 exhibits and sells the slick works of street photographer, Tacitus Nana-Yabani, chunky Adinkra necklaces from Clove Clothing, beads and bracelets from the ever-popular Heel the World [HTW], hip hop artist M.anifest’s latest Apae album, as well as music by Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, Villy. In addition to all this, Stefania is cooking plans to make Lokko’08 a serious, weekend joint where people can chill after work on Fridays, jam up on Saturdays or wind down on Sundays.

I visited Stefania at Lokko’08 and we talked for a bit about the vision for the concept store, what it’s like being an entrepreneur in Ghana, and how you, too, can rock the Lokko look.

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SMALL HOLDER FARMERS IN NORTHERN GHANA PROTEST GMO & PLANTS BREEDERS BILL

What follows is an official statement released by Food Sovereignty Ghana on Monday, May 19, 2014, in response to the Plant Breeders Bill.

The debate on the Plant Breeders Bill (PBB) and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ghana and across the globe is of concern to food security, socio-economic, cultural and human dignity. This is most important to small holder farmers due to implications for agriculture which still forms the backbone of the economy.

Having provided the platform for small holder farmers in the northern Ghana courtesy the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Action Aid Ghana and the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development to understand both the negative and positive effects of the above topic have agreed on the following

The PBB in its current state undermines and threatens the inherent right of indigenous peoples and farmers to access to, own, save and share their traditional germplasm and biodiversity, which is necessary for their survival. Therefore privatization of seed and biodiversity through any intellectual property rights (IPR) regime, favors large-scale plant breeders, while violating the basic right to seed of indigenous communities and small holder farmers, who depend on seed as a resource for survival.

The passage of the PBB in its current form, which is at the consideration stage, would allow multinational seed and chemical companies to take over the country’s seed market from Ghanaian seed producers and indigenous farmers.

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March Against the Plant Breeders Bill in Tamale, Ghana on May 16th. photo by Food Sovereignty Ghana.

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E.L SAYS HE IS THE BEST RAPPER IN AFRICA

Ghanaian HipHop artist E.L says he is the best in Africa

Ghanaian HipHop artist E.L says he is the best in Africa | Photo courtesy of the artist

Ghanaian hip hop artist E.L has crowned himself as the best rapper on the continent with the release of The B.A.R. Mixtape two days ago. That’s a ballsy proclamation. But it’s also the kind of confidence African music needs at this moment. A time where music makers across the continent are trending more and more on global, and particularly western, radars.

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CHALE WOTE 2014 : CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

 

ACCRA [dot] ALT in association with REDD KAT Pictures, Foundation for
Contemporary Art Ghana, Dr. Monk, Attukwei Art Foundation and No Limit
Charity have begun preparation for the Fourth Annual CHALE WOTE Street Art
Festival, which will be held over two days on Saturday, August 23 – Sunday,
August 24, 2014.

The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art,
music, dance and performance out of the galleries and onto the streets of James
Town, Accra. Our vision is to cultivate a wider audience for the arts in West
Africa by breaking creative boundaries and using art as a viable form to
rejuvenate public spaces. The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival challenges both
artists and community-based audiences to connect through art.

Accra’s deepest history lies in James Town, the original port city leading to the
development of Ghana as a nation. James Town is a time capsule and a treasure
trove all at once. The place is filled with beautiful colonial architecture and
spirited boxing legends, a tumultuous history of the transatlantic slave trade and
and a people’s diehard spirit to remember who they are. Here a constellation of
families, cultural practices, and aquatic livelihoods persistently remix James
Town’s past, present and future. It is a place of endings and beginnings, of
ongoing deaths and rebirths.

CHALE WOTE 2014 - Call for submissions.

CHALE WOTE 2014 – Call for submissions.

 

Download application here  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8kvvoVZsmurSy1aMVhqZ3Focmc/edit

Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy

Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy

via Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy.

THE TALK PARTY SERIES: LAWN JAM

 

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We’re back this March with a special TALK PARTY SERIES event to celebrate International Women’s Month. We’re bringing the ever-dope LAWN JAM to Trade Fair, in collaboration with Fashionista GH.

We’ve got a bangin’ SUN-day party planned with two of our favorite DJs – DJ Pam Bam + DJ Keyzzz – who will keep backsides bumping all afternoon long. Stop over on Sunday, 30th March from 3- 6pm at the Fashionista Pavilion [Event Haven], Trade Fair and jam with us small.

HOME FOR INSPIRATION: TAWIAH’S ACCRA REUNION

Tawiah - Accra dot Alt

Stopping traffic in Downtown Accra

by MOLLY SULLIVAN | photos by ABASS ISMAIL and MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

A year after her first Skype Talk Party Series experience, TAWIAH’s much anticipated return to Accra proved to be well worth the wait.

An intimate evening with the Ghanaian British singer/songwriter began with an open Q&A, where questions sprung out about her creative process and the musicians that influenced her at ages 8, 16, 24, and now (her list included gospel, Wu-tang Clan, Erykah Badu, Radiohead, Me’shell Ndegeocello, the Spice Girls, and her own stuff)

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Posing with a thrift store owner in Downtown Accra

Accompanied by Tawiah’s commentary, we screened music videos from FREEdom DROP, her illmatic mixtape released last March. Videos for  “TearDROP”“FACes”, and “SEAlion”- all teased the crowd into stunned silence. Tawiah shared with us the inspiration for these songs, the vision behind the videos, and amusing anecdotes from her creation process. She discussed the decision to set the music video for “FACes” in Accra, the choice to deviate from the standard song structure with “SEAlion”, and her inability to sink during the filming of “TearDROP”.

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Posting up outside a clothing stall in Northridge

The evening concluded with a chillingly beautiful, live performance. Tawiah, poised for utter destruction, propped up her guitar on a knee, a loop station beneath her feet. There was a noticeable shift in the room when Tawiah began to sing – a collective leaning in of bodies gravitating towards the perfect plethora of sound making. The set included two new songs from a forthcoming album this year. Upon much pleading from the audience, Tawiah consented to perform again, this time with a slow jam remix of Soul for Real’s ’95 classic, “Candy Rain”.

Luckily, amidst the praise and congratulations from fans that followed, we were able to pull Tawiah aside for some final questions about the reception to FREEdom DROP, her two week visit in Ghana, and what to expect next from the musician.

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2/28: TAWIAH x The Talk Party Series

Meet us at Friday's Talk Party, 6:30 - 9:30pm

Meet us at Friday’s Talk Party, 6:30 – 9:30pm

Last February, we held a special Talk Party Series with Ghanaian-British singer and songwriter, TAWIAH. At that time she had just wrapped production on her much-feened for mixtape, FREEdom DROP, and we gave the Accra fans a rare premiere before the rest of the world heard it. We also got a chance to rap with Tawiah via Skype and were even privy to an intimate live performance.

For those of us who saw Tawiah tear the stage apart at IND!E FUSE 2012, we have been patiently waiting to resurrect the magic of that night’s performance. Well wait no more, Accra city people. Tawiah’s back in the building and she will be representing at this Friday, Feb. 28th’s Talk Party. Tawiah will share a bit of her audiovisual exploration with us plus you’ll get to ask her all the questions you want. We also get a chance to hear some of her new material.

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Blitz The Ambassador is coming to The Talk Party Series

Afropolitan Dreams listening session

Afropolitan Dreams listening session

Blitz The Ambassador is heading to Accra to launch is new album Afropolitan Dreams. On thursday 23rd January we’ll be hosting Blitz at our first Talk Party for 2014 – he’ll walk us through the album before the concert at Alliance Francaise on saturday 25th. See you at the Republic. The Talk Party is free. Advance tickets to the concert are 15ghc.