Come out to the TALK PARTY SERIES tonite as we celebrate TAWIAH’s new mixtape “FREEDOM DROP” with a listening session. We will also be premiering her second single, “FACES” – directed by Mantse Aryeequaye, produced by REDD Kat Pictures + ACCRA [dot] ALT.
TAWIAH wants to know what you think about her new album and video! We’ll have a Skype call session with the singer/songwriter in London and you’ll have a chance to share your thoughts.
As lovers of good music, the party wouldn’t be complete without the DUSTLYVE Booth’s Kobby Graham + DJ Kev keeping buttorses shaking on the dance floor all night. So come out and let’s get live together.
We’re collecting books to support the Community Creative Center. Be kind and bring a book to donate for this worthy cause.
And the fotos keep coming…check out more street style in Adabraka and our ACCRA [dot] ALT team’s take on life and dreams in the city.
Double-click on photos to enlarge. All photos taken by ACCRA [dot] ALT.
GOING TO THE GO-GO
STOP. NOW GO.
ABASS ISMAIL [Cinematographer/Photographer]:
“Accra is a place that is not so easy for some people to live. You’re living without a place or a car, you have to be struggling for troski. It’s not that easy to get a place for yourself in Accra.”
DEAN OSEI [Intern], right:
“My Accra is a place where everything is possible. Accra is a place where young, vibrant people from all over Ghana come to settle and achieve their dreams. It’s also challenging. Despite the challenges, it’s a place where you can succeed if you are really determined.”
“We’re sick and tired with the lights on and off. And water…for my place the water’s off for like three months before they bring it back. So we are sick and tired of those things. In Accra, it’s easy for some to move forward. Those who have the money, water and lights on in their house, they don’t care about the others struggling.”
Check out more fotos of the ACCRA [dot] ALT crew on location in the beautiful historic neighborhood of Adabraka. The team breaks down their take on Accra and their inner visions for life in the African city.
Double-click on photos to enlarge. All photos by ACCRA [dot] ALT.
O RED, U GO KILL ME
3 WISE MEN
AFUA ASONA [Design Contributor]:
“Everything is in Accra. I think we’re having a peak of it now – a taste of 60’s and 70’s [U.S.] where people are moving back to being natural.”
Accra is a city in transition. It’s a place filled with a multitude of beautiful, thick struggles.
In January, The New York Times described Accra as “a buzzing metropolis for business and pleasure” rating the city #4 of 46 places in the world to visit in 2013. New residents are continually streaming into the city from all over the country and throughout West Africa. Ghana draws major tourist traffic [The World Bank reports 803,000 visitors in 2009] along with more and more immigrants [and returnees] moving into the city for business opportunities from the U.S., Canada, Thailand, India, China, Lebanon and all over Europe [via Horwath HTL].
BAG LADY – photo by ACCRA [dot] ALT
Earlier this month, The MasterCard African Cities Growth Index rated Accra #1 of 19 cities with the highest growth potential on the continent over the next five years. You see it in the countless construction cranes covering the city, rapidly churning up new luxury developments – shopping malls, high rise offices and lofts, hotels and gated communities. The city is shifting and taking on a different shape. Its five million+ population is bulging at the seams – stuck in tight trotros and taxis on traffic-choked two-lane roads.
It was just another song that you heard playing at the club last night. Your head was bobbing, body swaying, and you craved her flow and that bass like no other – you wanted it to play again and again.
Maybe you didn’t know that the lightning quick fire of “Ablua” is by TITICA, a 25-year-old kuduro pop star from Luanda, Angola.
Titica is a transsexual. For some, this may be an insignificant detail but for others it’s quite a pill to swallow. She’s also no stranger to prejudice. Titica has been beaten and stoned before. But growing up in a majority-Catholic country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by hard labor has not diminished her sexual confidence and electric personality. In fact, she has quickly amassed a dedicated fan base and become the new face of kuduro, Angola’s unique urban rap-techno fusion music style. With rhymes on end, Titica could definitely go toe to toe with Azealia Banks.
“Ablua” is the second single off her first album, Chão, released in December 2011. Unless your feet are glued to the floor you can’t help but tap them to the rhythm of this bombastic track. 1:52 onward is quite brilliant—the way she stomps the earth and how clouds of smoke and dust sweep up from her feet. Perhaps this reflects Titica’s shaking up ideas about African gender and sexuality.
Titica was first involved with kuduro as a backup dancer for popular acts such as Noite e Dia, Própria Lixa, and Puto Portugeus. Since the adoption of her new persona five years back, Titica has compiled an impressive record of musical feats in the local Angolan music scene as well as other Portuguese-speaking countries.
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.
Globally renowned Ghanaian-born contemporary artist, El Anatsui, has officially graced the Big Apple. As of February 8, 2013, the Brooklyn Museum welcomed Anatsui’s first solo exhibition in New York City entitled, “Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui.” Over 30 of his metal and wood works will be on display through August 4th of this year.
Born in 1944 to a fisherman father who was also a master weaver of kente cloth, Anatsui grew up in the Anyako province of the Volta Region. He studied art at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology [KNUST] in Kumasi. However, the young artist did not forget his African roots—making efforts to immerse himself in local Ghanaian traditions. In the 1970s, Anatsui’s artistic style was entirely local – wall pieces made from wooden display trays gathered in local markets, stamped with mythical symbols using a hot iron.