Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Accra's first ever street art festival- Chale Wote

CHALE WOTE means “Man, let’s go!” or is a reference to slippers worn on the feet.

On every last Friday of each month in Accra, a collective of young people ranging from artists, photographers, musicians and writers to designers, students and activists, meet to discuss comptemporary ideas and issues at the 'Talk Parti Series'.

You can call them Accra's alternative group, and in fact they are led by the organisers of Accra [dot] Alt, Ghanaian filmmaker Mantse Aryeequaye and cultural scholar Dr. Sionne Neely.
Both of whom have keen interests in developing and exploring alternative art forms.

They have come up with an idea that has never been tried in Ghana, a festival dubbed 'The Chale Wote Street Art Festival'.

By the time the festival is over tomorrow, 16thJuly, JamesTown, the heart of Accra would have been beautifully transformed with vibrant and colorful painting and chalk art on the sidewalks of this once colonial town close to the Gulf of Guinea coastline. This community is primarily known for its fishing and boxing (akotoku) culture. JamesTown is a strategic part of a bigger Ga ethnic tribe settlement that is often referred to as British Accra, facing the Lighthouse right down to the ruined Kingsway Building.

Professional teams of artists and students will attempt acrylic street painting and stencil work, side walk painting and chalk art, graffiti wall murals, as well as large installation art exhibits and large photography displays at this whole day's event.

There will be many artistic activities taking place concurrently within sections of the entire area. From capoeira demonstrations to acrobatics, bike stunts to skate boarding/roller skating, stilt walking to live DJ/musical performance sets. Slam poets and alternative hair stylists have not been left out of what will become an annual festival depending on its success and patronage.

A complete 'do-it-yourself' festival were the young ones from the community will be given disposable cameras to take shots, which will be featured as part of the post-festival photo exhibition later in the year.

Find out more about the schedule of events for the festival.

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