If you have been following us, you are probably familiar with Strolling Goats in Accra- Our photography series that focuses on repurposing spaces within Accra. Well we’ve been on a little hiatus due to all the running around associated with producing a festival as big as CHALE WOTE. The good news is that we are all set to go and our international participants will start arriving next week. We thought it would be great to show you our team in this episode shot in James Town where the festival takes place. Below are quotes about what comes to mind when one thinks about this part of Accra and expectations for this year’s festival. Photos by Mantse Aryeequaye
“Buzzing stinky, better yet e dey be, nice fish. You know, plenty nice kenkey. Chale, buzzing energy.”
“I’m trying to see a bigger, brighter, definitely more dynamic show, and looking forward to all the artists who are coming from out of town and in to town. What am I bringing this year? The rocking energy. Chale, I just hope the future generations are appreciating some of the things that we are putting in place for them. I’m always looking forward to the future. I hope by the time my child is old enough to understand what’s going on, we would have been able to do something that everyone can be proud of.”
Jahwi is a prolific graffiti artist and photographer
I stared in awe – my mind and soul were buried in what lay before me. In my mind’s eye it was so awesome I forgot someone was trying to get my attention. I was fixated with these kids designing kites; they played different roles in the design process by folding papers, sticks and threading kite. One of them drew a prototype of the kite on the pavement with the oldest amongst them cutting and joining paper with broomsticks. The rest were obliged to tie the thread to the kites and test flights.
We’re working our way to CHALE WOTE 2013 – a massive festival jam in James Town – on September 7th and 8th.
200 artists. 2 days. Too much free fun.
This year’s theme is to Re-imagine African Folklore by creating exciting and futuristic versionsof communal stories that will magically come alive on the streets of James Town. We’ll have it all on High Street from live music, experimental theater and spoken word, extreme sport stunts, dance flash mobs, street fashion parades, graffiti murals and crazy art installations to a film festival, international food and fashion marketplace and even a masquerade procession.
To see a taste of what you’ll experience at CHALE WOTE 2013, check out last year’s highlight video:
Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on CHALE WOTE 2013.
This month we’re teaming up with INVISIBLE BORDERS, an amazing cadre of photographers from Nigeria and other countries across the continent, as a part of The Accra Project. The group is stopping through town to show some of their work, share with us a short film about the project and participate in a chill conversation about art and photography.
Join us TONIGHT Friday, 19th July from 6-9pm for the Talk Party Series. We’re meeting up at the WEB DuBois Centre in Cantonments [behind the U.S. Embassy], Multipurpose Space.
Kobby Graham will be our moderator. DJ K3V is on the 1s and 2s. Live poetry, Cocktails provided by Absolut Vodka and Comfort food by Roots Restaurant. A smashing good time, indeed.
MARIE-Ange BORDAS: “I was too young” | photo courtesy of Addis Foto Fest 2012
AIDA MULUNEH is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The photographer and filmmaker heads up ADDIS FOTO FEST – a biannual, international photography festival in Addis Ababa that brings a diverse cadre of African photographers together to showcase their work [the third installation is Dec 2014]. In direct response to how Ethiopia has been popularly imagined by western development + media agencies since the 1980s, Aida is building an appreciation for photography among the Ethiopian public by re-working how photography takes shape in the country. The festival develops the capacity of emerging Ethiopian photographers to tell their own compelling stories.
I caught up with my fellow Howard U Film Dept. comrade on a recent trip to Accra. Here we rap about Addis Foto Fest and how emerging Ethiopian photographers are in a unique position to transform the country’s visual future.
Up and coming designer Kita Nolley’s new line EXPATRIATE is all about the traveling woman. Popping contrasts, beautifully complex prints, super structured silhouettes and deliciously colorful fabrics – EXPATRIATE is a mix of the heres and nows – simultaneous worlds taking shape together.
Nolley is a nomad in her own right. After ditching her 9 to 5 as a financial analyst in Atlanta, she sojourned all Eat-Pray-Love like around the globe to follow the patterns of her passion stitched in fashion. Nolley’s journey led her to London and work with couture design house Zoe Jordan and farther afield to Nepal, Thailand and Bangladesh, where she designed with a major garment manufacturer for labels such as H&M, Zara and TopShop.
Surprisingly, Nolley began her career only five years ago with a $20 basics class at the Atlanta Sewing Center. Hard work and determination never looked so lovely. She’s been selected as one of Charleston Fashion Week’sTop 20 Emerging Designers of 2013. Nolley will debut her Spring 2013 Collection, CULTURE CLUB there during the week of March 19-23.
I recently had a chance to rap with Mz. Nolley about bold transnational fashion and a woman’s jones for the wide open road.
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out into the streets in James Town Accra. Its aims are to cultivate a wider audience for the arts, break creative boundaries and use art as a viable form to rejuvenate public spaces.
THE WINNEBA MASQUERADE
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival challenges local and international artists and Accra residents to connect by creating and appreciating art together. The festival includes street and sidewalk painting, graffiti murals, large photography displays, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, experimental community theater, independent African film screenings, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.
Nothing like a new year to get you easing on down memory lane. While tripping through our archive this morning, we came across these behind-the-scenes shots of Blitz the Ambassador and Les Nubians rehearsing before that killer live homecoming show at Alliance Française back in October 2011. The concert also marked The Ambassador’s first time performing in Ghana in 10 years.
In retrospect, this was the joint that revealed the pulse of the Accra indie music scene in all it’s raw and vibrant glory. We ain’t been the same since.
Brother Blitz, the folks wanna know – when are we on again?