GAJ – Since 2011, the CHALE WOTE festival in Ghana has taken its position and gained recognition and positive feedback from people locally and internationally. Each year artists and art aficionados from all across Africa troupe Jamestown, the heart of Accra to make and see beautiful exhibitions and displayed art amidst music, dance, poetry food street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theater, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.
It has gained prominence in Accra, due to its unique and contemporary nature, and has inspired similar events across the country. There have been 6 editions so far; the first two ran for one day each. In 2013 and 2014 both editions run for two days each, in September and August, a week after the Homowo festival of the Ga people at the historic Jamestown, on High Street in Accra.
The format switched in 2016 when the festival lasted an entire week, from August 18 – 21. This switch saw the festival upgraded from open street galleries in Jamestown to other art spaces, such as the Nubuke Foundation, the Museum of Science and Technology as well as film screenings at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel.
The 2017 edition, themed, Wata Mata with further immersion into Accra, spread to areas such as Nima, Osu and more. This year’s events theme was to appreciate the binding agent, both spiritually and physically, especially in Jamestown where life is centered around the ocean, and therefore, can be used as a catalyst to generate our deepest visions. Thousands of people trooped to Jamestown from all walks to catch a glimpse of the amazing art display throughout the week. This yearly event is produced by Alt Radio, with support from other local cultural networks like the Attukwei Art Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana, Dr. Monk, and Redd Kat Pictures.
Ghanaian American Journal (GAJ) Special report by Hephie Armah, Isaac Boateng and Iddrisu Yahaya