CHALE WOTE 2017 Day 3 was for the Open Gallery Experience. This year, the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is partnering with 15 art spaces across the city where many different events from exhibitions to workshop sessions will take place as part of the festival throughout the week. We started our tour of the satellite locations by visiting visited the Nubuke Foundation to check out the two exhibitions taking place there; DISPERSED by The black British female artists (BBFA) and TWISTS, TURNS AND BROKEN DOORS by Dorothy Amenuke.
The black British female artists (BBFA) collective opened a special exhibition titled DISPERSED featuring the work of 6 women artists. Adelaide Damoah, Arlene Wandera, Enam Gbewonyo from BBFA and Ghanaian artists Dorothy Amenuke, Latifah Iddriss and Samira Said transformed the white walls and grey floors of the exhibition space into a sacred space littered with various objects including old fishing nets,water plants,photographs of fisherfolk and other water themed elements reverberating WATA MATA. The unique take on the theme by the 6 artists to create an oasis of sea-based material illustrating our relationship with the sea, especially in a coastal city like Accra.
Over at Terra Alta in Dzorwulu, another satellite location for the festival, Elisabeth Efua Sutherland led an intimate discussion which centered around her work-in-progress dubbed DEVERB – a multi-art form experiment from Efua’s recently completed residency in Brussels – which touched on a variety of reflective topics, from pop culture to social media. The hour-long discussion began with Efua Sutherland reading a piece of literature from her work that spoke about her process; the internal influences and physical surroundings under which she creates, and how ‘selfish’ she is about her art but shares because, otherwise ‘what is the point?’ After a series of discussions and screenings, DEVERB ended with a dance performance by Elisabeth Efua Sutherland focused on how thanks to social media, we become more and more like little straw men.
Later in the day over in Jamestown, the fabulous women of CHALE WOTE participated in a special photoshoot that showcased the power of womanhood that is converging on the old fishing city and then to the world. The photoshoot happened against the breathtaking mural Argentine artist Barbara Sienbenlist is creating on Brazil Lane. The shoot could very well be regarded as yet another illustration of the very woman-centred nature of this year’s festival – from the all woman K3 Yei performance by the Tifali Cultural Consults on Day 1; to the forthcoming Mami Wata procession on Saturday, 19th August.
The swimmers of Jamestown were also charged up yesterday. We caught them going against the WATA MATA in a special race as part of the Homowo festivities to mark the Ga new year. Later in the night, our artists’ mixer at Brazil House evolved into a frenzied motion of bodies in trance like synchrony to the music selection of Special Sauce. Participating artists plus festival crew danced to a blend of sounds from across the continent, made new connections, renewed old ones and collectively tapped into the current of the WATA MATA. Check out the slider above for more scenes
Day 4 of CHALE WOTE 2017 (Thursday, August 17) is all about The LABs, a series of conversations with participating artists about their work for the festival and beyond, at Terra Alta, Abelempke (near Lucas College) from midday. The program for the LABs includes:
The LABs: ARTIST FLOWS in Ghanaian Digital Art, Graffiti and Photography” (1pm – 1:45pm) with Kamal Larry, Josephine Kuuire, Comfort Arthur and Ahmed Partey; “ARTIST FLOWS on Performance” (1:45 – 2:45pm) with The African Body Snatchers (U.S.A) ; “WAVE MAKING WOMEN: Visual and Performance“ (2:45 – 4pm) with Barbara Siebenlist (Argentina), Abigail Sena Atsugah, Lineo Segoete (LeSotho) and Latifah Iddriss; “CARNIVAL CULTURES, MAMI WATA and CREATING SPACE for WOMEN’S SELF-EXPRESSION; and the CHALE WOTE Mixer with DJ Noss (Martinique) (5:05-5:45pm) as well as many film screenings till 9:00pm.
Check out the Open Gallery Program for all the other tours going on. The exhibition at Brazil House is also open throughout the week and features the work of Ghana-based and international artists on both floors of the building.
Written by: Hakeem Adam, Fafa Macauley & Moshood Balogun
Photos: Josephine Kuuire, Nii Kotei Nikoi & Abdul Arafat