CHALE WOTE 2019 DAY 7 – The LABs

Day 7 of the 2019 Chalewote Street Art Festival Pidgin Imaginarium saw the festival heard back to the Museum of Science and Technology, where the Shika Shika Art Festival was still ongoing, for another day of conversations and connections with artists participating in CHALE WOTE 2019 to share with audiences about their creative thought, innovations and collaborations. On this day, the LABs explored artistic perspectives on music, digital art and theatre.

Effie Nkrumah led the first panel to delve into African Electronic music to unearth its roots and explore the various ways younger minds are manipulating electric current to find voices for themselves and their communities. Providing insight on the topic were panellists Moto Kiatu (Spain) and TMSKD (Ghana), 

The ensuing panel was dubbed “The Woven Narrative” inquired into the various methods and practices that enable Africans to craft narratives using different material mediums, be it digital video, installation, theatre or organic raw materials. Once more moderated by Effie Nkrumah, the panel comprised mixed-media artists Esther Ofosu (Ghana), Marilu Namoda (Mozambique), Theresah Ankomah (Ghana), Percy Nii Nortey (Ghana), Ade Solanke (UK/Nigeria) and Maureen Douabou (Côte D’Ivoire/France).

Following the insurgence of digital arts across the continent from growing access to new media tools and languages; the third panel for the day examined how African artists are owning and transforming the digital space through art. Moderated by Russel Hlongwane (South Africa), the panel hosted digital and video artists Kofi Oduro (Ghana/Canada), Diego Crux (Brazil), Valerie Amani (Tanzania) and Francis Nii Addo Quaye (Ghana).

Kofi Oduro followed his panel discussion with a live demonstration on generative visual arts; using programming codes to develop visual art and sound pieces.

Visual artist Kofi Oduro presents his generative design work

Re-screening of films from the Chale Wote Film LABs was interwoven between the panels. Patrons were treated to the masterful visual storytelling of Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Kristen Calhoun and Fitzgerald (USA), Adenike Oke(UK/Nigeria) and Helel Smith (Ghana). The directors present uncovered the inner workings of the creative thought behind their films in brief panel discussions that accompanied each screening.

FIlm-maker Helel Smith during his panel discussion

To cap the events of the day was ‘Quilombo’ a play directed by Kristen Calhoun. The short theatrical piece was centred on the search for freedom and rediscovery in another world, where people of African descent could find who they truly are. It was a thrilling encounter and wound up to the fitting sounds of a standing ovation.



Written by Fafa MacAuley and Nii Komey

Image Credit: Mawutor and OBE Images

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