Tunneling Through Jamestown: This Is Benjamin Okantey

Benjamin Okantey

To me, it is the current that runs through our reality and how we respond and connect to it.

Those are Benjamin Adjetey Okanteys’ thoughts on the theme for this year’s Chale Wote festival, African Electronics.

BENJAMIN OKANTEY was born and raised here in Accra, in an environment which he describes as normal, where everyone was allowed to freely experiment. He admits that growing up in such an environment had an influence in his becoming an artist.


Benjamin graduated the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2014, with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture. As an artist he is preoccupied with material, form, texture and symbols, how they play within society, and how they are perceived: an interest that according to the artist, was inspired by the shifting nature of experience these materials tend to create within the spaces they connect with.

His work provides audiences with unique perspectives in the distribution of power and other goods. Furthermore, they consider the idea of making works of art with people who may not necessarily have any background in art.

Benjamin At Work

Benjamin At Work

In preparation for Chalewote 2015, Benjamin is currently working out of a studio in James Town and he has this to say about his installation for this years’ festival.

It’s an installation of plastic tunnels which will travel through some streets of James Town. I’m basically connecting spaces through installations made of plastic bags. It will engage its’ audience with blurry lines of sculpture, painting and experiences within the spaces they find themselves.


He goes on to say that “the installation projects the idea of us engaging in conversations we wouldn’t normally engage in, through interacting with the tunnels.”

Benjamins’ project is ‘Untitled, Tunnel Series 601 and the tunnels will be constructed from Appointed Times through Brazil House to Otublohum Square.

Story by Majeed Tayo Ayinde & Moshood Balogun

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