Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy
Ghanaian artist El Anatsui has been appointed honorary academician by London’s Royal Academy. Best-known for his monumental fabrics made with thousands of small metal pieces, he’s the first African to receive the accolade. Question: what does this mean for African art?
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.
Elisabeth Sutherland is trying to figure out how uncomfortable to make her next piece.
“There’s going to be a giant caterpillar and a giant tree monster,” she says with a smile, referring to the large-scale puppets, a trademark of hers, that she’s planning on incorporating into the piece. “I’m going to ask the people who audition for it to evolve from a single-celled organism, and if they can’t do that, if they can’t get down on the ground and improvise, they can’t be in the show.” Continue reading
The LABS went down yesterday and it was so massive. More than 200 people flowed in throughout the day catching sessions and filling the vibe of a music community taking real shape.
Shout out to our Chemists who kept the crowds hanging onto every word:
We are so AMPED about this new edition to IND!E FUSE. For the fourth time round, our team thought it necessary to include what we call The LABS – interactive and creative sessions with artists, industry personnel and audiences on how to grow your music game way up.
We’ll provide critical information for musicians on how to build your brand and develop an artistic sound. Learn how to maximize digital networking and expand your fan base internationally.
See the full schedule for The LABS here. The free event kicks off the start of the 3-day IND!E FUSE party on Thursday, December 12th from 8am – 4pm, Alliance Francaise Exhibition Hall.
ACCRA DOT ALT Presents IND!E FUSE 2013
The 4th Annual IND!E FUSE alternative music festival returns this December 12th to 14th with the coolest artists from Ghana and abroad in an exciting live music concert.
IND!E FUSE is the largest African indie music showcase in West Africa and highlights the best in hip hop, AfroBeat, traditional fusion, soul, electronic and rock music. 22 artists are confirmed for the festival including FOKN BOIS, GYEDU BLAY AMBOLLEY, EFYA, JAYSO, KING AYISOBA, MECHE KORRECT [U.S.], HOLLA BLAK [U.S.] KYEKYEKU, LYRICAL WANZAM, DRUNK BEGGAR THIEF and many more.
This year’s festival starts with The LABS – free creative sessions at Alliance Française on the 12th of December 9:00am to 4:00pm. These pop-up labs will engage artists, industry experts and audiences to openly share information on digital marketing, brand development, music management, international tour networks and much more. See the full LABS schedule here.
The SABOLAI RADIO Street Party follows on the 13th of December at The Republic Bar + Grill in Osu with live music acts and DJ sets from Accra’s DJ patrol – DJ Keyzzz, Fui Dogg, Bad Boy Steloo, DJ K3V, Kwaku Ananse and Kobby Graham. 5ghc at the door.
The final showdown is at Alliance Francaise on December 14th from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. 10ghc at the door.
IND!E FUSE 2013 is supported by Institut Francaise, Alliance Francaise, REDD Kat Pictures, Fullish Art, Hello Foods Ghana, Multi TV, One Nation Entertainment, Pidgen Music, Skillions Records, Eric Adjetey Anang + the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop and The Republic Bar + Grill.
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.
Akosua 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.
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.