Jamestown, an oceanside community in Ghana’s capital city, was transformed the centre of a seven-day art festival last week. The Sixth Annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival took place August 15 – 21, 2016, in celebration of visual art, dance, music, spoken word, and contemporary street performances.
The first Chale Wote festival was held in 2011, organised by Accra Dot Alt. Organisers envision it as an alternative stage that brings visual and performance art into the streets, fosters exchanges between local and international artists, and above all, provides a platform where lovers of art can meet to appreciate creativity.
Since it began, the festival has featured theatre, spoken word, graffiti, interactive art installations, photography, murals, live street performances, panels, tours, and extreme sports. It has also included a film festival, street fashion, and a market for the sale of creative art. The festival took place along the streets of the historic Jamestown, between Light House down to Ussher Fort.
More about this
Jamestown is one of the oldest districts in Accra, with an amazing history that goes as far back as the 17th century. Its picturesque backdrop serves as the perfect setting for a festival that celebrates contemporary African art, the life and energy of African people, and the vibrant colours of the African landscape.
Inspired by the theme “Spirit Robot”, the 2016 edition of Chale Wote witnessed the highest turnout of both art enthusiasts and participating artists since its inception in 2011. More than 200 local and international artists displayed work during the week’s activities.
Organisers defined this year’s theme as “a sacred current that decodes worldly systems of racist capitalism, alienation, and subjection. SPIRIT ROBOT mutates these frequencies as a way of creating new histories, art, and knowledge.”
“Robot points to mechanical forces that restrict our right to be human – to feel and to express – and to be free. Robot signifies the machine – the myriad constraints that people of African descent on the continent and around the world confront on a daily basis with our very lives.
“Spirit Robot reprograms history by melding West African mythology, cosmogramming, and artistic practice in a radical unveiling of alternative African realities.”
Attendance in Chale Wote is free; however, attendees are always encouraged to support and promote the arts by purchasing collectables from the amazing array of artwork on display or at least trying out any of the delicious street food available at the event while listening to wonderful music.