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.”
“The first thing that comes to my mind in James Town is life. There’s a lot of life around me. Like, human beings. Like, real life – you live how you live.”
“I won’t be able to attend unfortunately. It seems, just like, packed with events, and art, and music, and all of those good things. And it’s Accra[dot]Alt, so I’m sure that it will be fabulous ”
Ama Van Dantzig
“A hidden treasure. A beautiful struggle. History. Rough people, survivors. People who are really surviving, buildings that are trying their best to survive but are crumbling. Crowds, children, colors, history, video games.”
“I’m really looking forward to hearing stories and experiencing folk lore on the streets and I’m looking forward to the burst of color on the streets, a burst of people and some really wicked, wild artistic expressions of our own stories.”
“For me, it’s a lot of energy, you know, and I’m seeing a lot of people and keen interest in everything – like what’s happening around – the people are curious. There’s a lot of curiosity as well, so in relation to this year’s Chale Wote, I think that there’s going to be a lot of interesting stuff for people to see. I think, some of the projects that are going to happen will probably arouse more curiosity in terms of what the artist can do and what you can find in the space that were using as a platform to show or talk about folklore and all that. Really, a lot of energy that I’m expecting. Curiosity to find out what else it is or how far we can stretch this whole idea. With folklore, really what comes to mind is storytelling. You know, so how do we tell our stories apart from the traditional words that we know? How do we tell our own stories on a day-to-day basis? What kind of stories are we creating? I think that with this year, as much as we are looking at the traditional sense of folklore- what it is – it’s also how we create what are ideas is because then times change, stories change. The kind of stories we have – where do we identify them, how do we perceive them and begin to tell and at what angle and what point do we begin to tell these stories.”
“Definitely the people, the food, the architecture here. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of James Town. You know, the kind of living that’s here, the kind of food, the kind of freedom that’s here amongst the people.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of people, you know, coming down to James Town to experience what Chale Wote is about. Hopefully Chale Wote will give them some sort of connection to James Town and how beautiful the place is and how interesting, how cool it is. Even on the weekend, I can just come and hang around James Town, chill on the beach, you know, it’s a place – for a Ghanaian – this is your city alright, but it’s an everyday tourist site for a Ghanaian…you can never get tired of James Town; there’s always something to see, there’s always something to discover. When you come here, people are always dancing, people are always partying. You are always seeing stuff. If you understand the Ga language, you are always hearing new slang. There is always something new – so they are not surprised how Azonto came about because they are always creating, they are always doing something else; you don’t come and see the same old, same old. The only thing see the same old, same old, it’s probably the architecture. It’s what makes this place. You can’t do something about it, but the people, the culture is always changing – it’s something you need to see. I feel that here, Chale Wote 2013, I just wish that a lot of people will come down.
“A contradiction, and the contradiction, I’d say, would be between a very safe place for queer people – people who live outside the norms of what is presented to be normal in Ghana. So you’ll find a lot of people with natural hair, a lot of people who are homosexual, a lot of people who are, you know, secular in their behaviors and their ways of being, which is queer in Ghana.”
“I’m looking forward for different people’s experiences – what I just mentioned – to be represented and presented in a manner that is artistic, that is progressive and that is conscious; that allows a safe haven for people to have discussions about it.”
“Center of Accra, heart of Accra, the culture of Accra, the food, the taste of Accra. The best kenkey”
“Innovation. Something different, you know. After two events, I think we are moving to another level. So, I expect great things to happen. That’s it.”
Nii Ayertey Aryeh
“I’m very familiar with James Town because my family originated from here. So, James Town is a place where I feel always at home. So I think James Town is part of me.”
“I think this year’s Chale Wote, I’m looking forward to exclusive performance by people from different parts of the world. So I think this year, I think there’s going to be a lot of exciting performances that will impact this community”
“Chale Wote! Or James Town, like beach, ? , like, Chale, partying at the roadside, fooling, like free life!”
“More painting things and even events. I want to catch everything this year all the way to the evening shows Chale. This year, I’m bringing people who I didn’t bring last year, so Chale i’m looking to have a ball .”
We’ll bring you more thoughts about James Town and CHALE WOTE from our team in the next update. Stay tuned.
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These are some cool cats! Vim!
Hi Kajsa 🙂
wow! such a dope looking set o’ ppl