THE FOURTH CHAPTER: CHALE WOTE 2014

Strolling Goats in Accra with Chale Wote 2014.

Strolling Goats in Accra with Chale Wote 2014.

Chale Wote 2014 will open with a heady rush of sights, sounds and vibrant creations by Ghanaian and international artists in James Town. This weekend over 200 artists will transform old Accra into a live museum with a long trail of multi-disciplinary art. Festival producers, ACCRA [dot] ALT, are collaborating with REDD Kat Pictures, Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, NO LIMIT Charity and Attukwei Art Foundation for this year’s festival.

This is the fourth edition of the festival since it started in 2011. Last year was a major success and the collective effort of many young people—ranging from artists, musicians and writers to designers, students and activists. The two-day festival will feature graffiti murals, film screenings, theater, installations, live music performances, a fashion circus, extreme sport, dance, spoken word and art workshops. Continue reading

THE TAKERS #CHALEWOTE2014

Photography by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

Here are more photos from the Strolling Goats in Accra with CHALE WOTE 2014. We are less than a week away from the Chale Wote Street Art 2014,and the artists + volunteers are ready to make the festival happen on August 23 & 24 in James Town.

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Strolling Goats in Accra, Chale Wote 2014 artists + volunteers touring festival routes.

Accra's most fashionable House Music DJ, Steloolive.

Accra’s most fashionable House Music DJ, Steloolive .

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THE ARTISTS BEHIND THE SCENES: CHALE WOTE 2014

Photography by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

As we ready ourselves for the CHALE WOTE Street festival 2014, we’d like you to familiarize yourselves with the works of some of the artists who are coming to the festival.

The Strolling Goats, DJ Steloo, Nii Aryittey, Abrokwah & Din.

The Strolling Goats in Accra, DJ Steloo, Nii Aryittey, Abrokwah & Din.

DJ Steloo will be rocking the turntables at the Accra House Music DJ booth. Abrokwah A.K.A “Bike Lord” is getting ready to serve some Kpakpo Shito Bicycle stunts at Chale Wote 2014. Nii Aryertey and Din are part of the amazing Chale Wote 2014 production team.

Selorm Jay looking forward to the rebirth of GH Hiphop at Chale Wote 2014

Selorm Jay looking forward to the rebirth of GH Hiphop with Yoyo Tinz at Chale Wote 2014

Yoyo Tinz: Gbobalor

opposite Mantse Agbonaa

Gbobalor evokes the reincarnation of newborns in Ga. In the same way, Yoyo Tinz presents the evolution of hip hop culture in Ghana. This event will take hip hop lovers, spectators, community members, artists and art lovers on a journey into how broad and diverse Ghanaian hip hop culture truly is. On the bill: interactive freestyles, rap battles, dance, graffiti, beatmaking and much more. Continue reading

LOOK WHO’S COMING TO CHALE WOTE 2014

Photography by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

Here are more pictures of the Strolling Goats with CHALE WOTE 2014. This edition features some of the amazing artists who are coming to the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival in James Town on August 23 & 24.

 

Emelia & Elizabeth Efua Surtherland of Accra Theatre Workshop in James Town.

Emelia Pinamang Asiedu & Elisabeth Efua Sutherland of Accra Theatre Workshop in James Town.

DREAMSCAPE explores the act of living as violence, following a young woman as she traverses a dream world, battling her mental fears.The piece asks the question, do we have the courage to take a hold of our destiny and translate dreams into waking? Does the strength we find in our daily death have any relevance in the land of the living?

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Abena will be in charge of “The Ideal Woman Vision Boards”

The Ideal Woman Vision Boards

Brazil Lane [just behind Otoblohum]

Obaasema Magazine comes to CHALE WOTE with a focus on unearthing images of inspiration, integrity and action for women. Four vision boards on display will create a launchpad to discuss how images matter and what these representations mean to African women. Continue reading

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.

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

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

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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THE ACCRA PHOTO SAFARI

Story by NANA OSEI KWADWO | Photography by SELORMJAY 

Tacitus aka GaGreekGod says hello

Tacitus aka GaGreekGod says Hello.

Growing up, Tacitus Nana Yabani aka the Ga Greek God, was always fascinated seeing himself in photos. A curiosity to know how photos were made led to the dream of becoming a professional photographer. But as a street child, he had no idea how he was going to make this happen. With determination and perseverance, Tacitus didn’t let his vision go to waste. Like the saying goes, “little by little the eagle builds its nest,” Tacitus learned photography by teaching himself and developing his own techniques. Small small, Tacitus became the photographer he always envisioned he’d be.   Continue reading

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013: THE GIRL WHO BROUGHT YOU KWAKU ANANSE

words by NANA OSEI KWADWO | images by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

The Kwaku Ananse premier in July was everything a film loving crowd would hope for ; great turn out, a participatory crowd and fierce music. The 26 minute short immortalizes the mythical spider by constructing a fresh narrative that retells this famous Ananse tale with multilayered, moody, elliptical shots of a wandering Jojo Abot, who plays Ananse’s daughter. The film suggests that stories normally seen through the lens of post-colonialism could just as easily be seen in existential or mythic terms.

For the record this film had the biggest turn out for an experimental Ghanaian picture, which is a refreshing start. Ghana isn’t known for experimental artsy movies and over the years John Akomfrah has been the only reference when such conversations came up. Our lame claim to his notoriety can stop now.

Adoma at the numbers station.

Adoma at the numbers station.

Akosua Adoma - James Town - 2013 Tagged 8Akosua Adoma Owusu represents a new wave of filmmakers making bold attempts at disrupting the Ghanaian narrative in order to create new forms of story telling that involve risk taking. Hopefully these risks will explore new audiences and markets that would in turn create Ghanaian cinema the world looks forward to. This Kwaku Ananse story feeds our curiosities and creative interpretations made by the audacious individuals it features.

Grace Omaboe who plays Ananse’s wife has not been in a Ghanaian movie for years. At the height of her career, she was in a very popular TV drama series ‘OBRA’. Then through the mid to late 90’s she had a TV show “By The Fire Side” where she told Ananse stories to children. For the people old enough to remember, this film is like a time machine that travels into that past but tells the story in a sequence far removed from what a Ghanaian audience might be used to.

Another character worth mentioning in the movie is Highlife living legend Agya Koo Nimo who played Kweku Ananse. Koo Nimo brought such character volume to the 26 minute picture, it begged further exploration. That was four months ago, Adoma has since gone on to start new projects, but this is certainly worth the reminder.

We caught up with Akosua Adoma Owusu recently during our STROLLING GOATS episode and talked about film and her new projects.

AKOSUA ADOMA OWUSU hangs low on James Town Beach

AKOSUA ADOMA OWUSU hangs low on James Town Beach

What first interested you in film?

Well, my background was in the fine arts, specifically, printmaking and sculpture. I discovered my interest in filmmaking after studying 16mm Cinematography at the University of Virginia with an African American filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson. Kevin came from a working-class background – I identified with this in Virginia – and his work in experimental short films and traveling to film festivals really inspired me. So I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Film/Video and Art at CalArts against my parents’ wishes. They wanted me to be more practical and pursue a career in medicine like basically all Ghanaian parents. But creating art through a cinematic medium really spoke to me and impassioned me far more than any “practical” choice could have.

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