CHALE WOTE 2014: THE OFFICIAL POSTER

Chale Wote 2014 poster!

This August artists from across the continent and the world are meeting in Accra for this year’s Chale Wote Street Art Festival. Over 200 of the city’s artist will be creating collaborative projects between the 19th to the 24th. Come to the center of the world.

PHOTOSCAPES IN ACCRA: OFOE AMEGAVIE SPEAKS

Story by MOLLY SULLIVAN | Photography by SELORM JAY

OFOE 27 - APRIL 2014 - ACCRA DOT ALT

As photography in Ghana continues to gain recognition, Ofoe Amegavie is definitely one to watch. At 26 years old, Ofoe’s work has quickly gained an international audience with folks across the continent, Europe and North America, checking for his latest additions. The photographer is still finding his voice and evolving into his craft, but this freedom is also part of his aesthetic.  Ofoe shoots in a state of unlimited inspiration, working with what currently intrigues him and avoiding what he finds repetitive and tired. With projects like “Studio of Colors”, an ongoing photo series dealing with diverse representations of African print, he aims to show subjects in a fresh way, distinct from how “Africa-ness” is commercially marketed. Ofoe instantly knows what he does not like. This opens the portal towards a constant, adventurous search for what might break the mold.This story was first published on Africa Is A Country READ MORE HERE Continue reading

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.

SMALL HOLDER FARMERS IN NORTHERN GHANA2

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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Icon From An African City: MaameYaa Boafo

New York based Ghanaian actress MaameYaa Boafo was in Accra a couple of months ago during the shooting of the web series, An African CityMantse Aryeequaye took MaameYaa on a walk through the back roads of Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, for some photos capturing that “fly Ghana girl back home” vibe. Nana Osei Kwadwo chatted with her later on about An African City.

MaameYaa finds home in Accra!

MaameYaa finds home in Accra!

The first time I saw MaameYaa Boafo in Nicole Amarteifio’s An African City, I thought she was beautiful, fierce and versatile. She stars as one of five women characters, in the webisode, that returns to live in Accra after years of studying and working abroad. Debuting less than a couple months ago, the series has quickly gained a popular online following with major media shout-outs hailing via Ebony Magazine, BBC News, BET and NPR.

With comparisons being made to Sex in the City, the webisode is growing its audience by the day and captivating folks with African fashion, fly natural hairstyles and “awkward African girl” situations as the women support one another in acclimating to life in Ghana again.

Taking a Royal walk on the highway!

Taking a Royal walk on the highway.

MaameYaa has lived most of her life traveling around the globe but currently calls New York City home. She’s now working on a new project with renowned African American novelist and playwright, Walter Mosley, as well as a few new films.

Curious to know more about MaameYaa, I caught up with her recently to chat about acting, what it means to be Ghanaian, and her role in An African City. Continue reading

NAIJA FUNK JUNKIE: VILLY MAKES ACCRA HOME

As told to Molly Sullivan | Photography by Mantse Aryeequaye

Villy gets his first experience at the Old Accra harbor in James Town-Accra

Villy gets his first experience at the Old Accra harbor in James Town-Accra

Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, Villy, describes his music as limitless – a free expression that breaks form and expectation. Inspired by a variety of artists, he blurs the lines between genres to create a distinct style that does not adhere to rules or guidelines. By combining rock, soul, hip hop, jazz and a consistent African influence, Villy has created a new sound that is accessible to all but firmly roots African music on the map. Accra got a proper feel for his music at last year’s IND!E FUSE.

Now Villy and his band (THE XTREME VOLUMES) have chosen to uproot and continue the music mission in Ghana, and they are not wasting any time. With a major concert coming up in a few weeks, we were happy to talk with Villy about Afro-fusion music, Nigeria’s wahala, and his move to Ghana. Continue reading

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.