In the last 500 years, the African continent has provided free labour for the Western imperial project. Whether via the triangular traffic of human-merchandise or conscription into two world wars, the implications of this brutal harvesting of bodies are yet to be fully measured. Presently, we are witnessing the rise of fascism and the confinement of thought through technologies of coercion. The bodies of marginalized people from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean continue to endure cycles of genocide and genomic manipulation as fascism is emboldened and normalized. An impending global economic recession has energized fascism and threats of a world war. Presently, human labor has become much less critical than it has been at any time before in history. Artificial intelligence and automation technologies have displaced human labor in a way that now requires a response.

Machine learning is continuously improving its accuracy, and  artificial intelligence computers at this stage are often as accurate in its predictions as humans. If AI surpasses human intelligence – a point usually referred to as “technological singularity” – what can we expect?

Amidst all this chaos exists an equally tenacious desire for a new world.  Africans have had to create alternative worlds of existence to survive through time, non-spaces and under-land lifeworlds of dreams. Such a non-space of refuge is sustained by “vernacular creativity”, a limitless “pidgin technology”, mediating our seemingly permanent state of siege. This requires us thinking about pidgin outside of it being a language, and more as a philosophy of resistance.

The so-called periphery has demonstrated over time, the existence of an Under-land Assemblage. This is a counter-model for societies thriving and side-stepping our hierarchical world traditions and the hegemonic power of capital. The under-land is a non-place of advanced care and accountability. This place silently rivals omens of modernity and re-centers philosophical contestation through a pidgin imaginarium. A free-forming phenomenon of desire, intuition and ever-present multi-reality. It rapidly transforms, shifts and circumvents.


Pidgin imaginarium exists within other imaginaria and remains a place of refuge, possibility, experimentation and critical insights to overthrow the exploitative hierarchy of the hegemon-led world system. Centuries of resistance has produced this elusive imaginarium for a new world, a fresh start for people on the margins. Pidgin is a time capsule, a time travelling memory repository and a metaphysical extension of many other lifeworlds of creation and exchange. The pidgin imaginarium is a vortex of liberation methods accessible to all. It is a force functioning within other pidgin technologies and translated throughout the autonomous under-land.  Pidgin imaginarium seeks no form of control or dominance.   It is constantly re-birthing and mutating across geographies. It is the driving force of all liberation technology for communities on the margins and a source of solidarity. This imaginarium is our bridge into the new world we are building. We have taken up the responsibility of our collective dreams of liberation. We are our own liberators.     How do we build communities and methods of resistance, around communal labor and aid? How do we liberate our communities from exclusionary social relations and the State? How do we hold up our dreams in a fascist, exploitative, capitalist world?


The Call for Artists is extended to visual and installation artists, interventionists, musicians, makers, photographers, performance artists, filmmakers, thespians, poets, architects, fashion designers, graphic designers and scholars. We are also accepting proposals for knowledge sharing sessions, panels and film screenings for The LABS @ CHALE WOTE (August 21 + 23). Participating artists must be available the week of the festival, August 13 – 25 2019, to meet one another, share and exchange (in several planned activities) as well as to work on production needs for the festival. Please note that we will accept existing and new works that are in dialogue with this year’s theme. We encourage applications particularly in digital art, comics, video art, graffiti art, and interventions.

International Artists: This is an independent, community-based festival and our support for participation is limited. Therefore, international artists are encouraged to seek private and public sources to fund their participation (travel, lodging, food, transportation,  production costs, insurance).

Ghana-based Artists: This is an independent, community-based festival and our support for Ghana-based artists is limited. We are only able to provide a production stipend to a selected number of artists who will present works at the festival. All other artists are encouraged to seek external means of support for the production of the works at CHALE WOTE 2019.  

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES  For the LABS @ CHALE WOTE (August 21 + 23), applicants should submit: CVs, 1-2 page proposal of project and one (1) sample of work per person. Filmmakers and Video artists must submit completed short or feature length films/videos for review. Applicants interested in participating on August 23 + 24 should submit an artist resume (bio, artist statement, and CV), 1-2 page proposal of project, and five (5) samples of work. Images must be in jpg or png form.   Films or videos should be submitted via link or WeTransfer. Audio files should be formatted and sent as MP3. All applications should be submitted in a zip file with the applicant’s name and subject line: CHALE WOTE 2019

Send Application to  Note that applications that do not adhere to the above criteria will be considered ineligible. Artists shortlisted to participate are reminded to submit works they own. Plagiarized works will not be accepted.  

Deadline: JUNE 1, 2019 Selected proposals will be communicated to all applicants within the month of June.



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