The Ga-Dangme on the southern coast of Ghana have a saying; Nɔni bɛ gbɛi lɛ ,eyɛ nshɔ sɛɛ, loosely translated as “The things that do not have names live beyond the sea”. Within this thought lies an acknowledgment of realities unknown, beyond the boundaries of the sea. Within Ga philosophical thought, the ocean is the boundary that separates our perception of reality from the mysteries of things we do not have names for, of things yet to be learned and lived.

What mysteries are we not naming in the recent past?

Counter State Mythology


The other world we dreamt about and built has arrived.

Africa’s post-independence political class committed decades to efforts at inducing modernisation which ultimately failed; a reactionary spectacle, which has been in direct conflict with the sensibilities of “free citizens”.

Within our current crisis, dispossessed communities throughout the world are being subjected to an accelerated simulation and centralising of global power with devastating effects. In this lifetime, technology has been created to directly interfere with the structure of our DNA to further abandon our intellectual traditions that make a viable, but also mysterious, world possible.

We remain on the edge of a revolutionary shift in how we have known this world with its various contradictions, and upheavals that have shaped livelihoods and social life in the southern hemisphere. This world is witnessing a dismembering of the so-called nation-state and its ability to cope with global disaster. This model has yet to create a legitimate and sustainable post-independence polity, one that obstructs others from determining our concepts of “nationhood”.

It is time to recreate our own histories beyond the limitations of the post-colony by any means available to us; a definite non-experimental model organised and articulated within contemporary visions of a new way for humanity, a world in which we aren’t all workers and machines for wealth we do no partake in. A subspace that connects varied knowledge systems over different geographical spaces. We are creating an indigenisation of cultural resources that allows us to make cognitive shifts beyond vernacular modes of invention and situated outside our present order of knowledge and chaos.

The modern state and especially the so-called “nation-state” have proven to be unsustainable. But other paths exist, paths that might be nameless for now, ones that can be learned and lived, and ones that alter our sense of possibility. 

What will we replace this unworkable nation-state with? What are the implications of this deconstruction on global politics and, crucially, what is the meaning of the post-colonial subject within this moment?

How do we invent an alternative reality drawing from the mysteries of the nameless and unknown?

The CHALE WOTE Call for Artists is extended to architects, scholars, photographers, performance artists, visual and installation artists, interventionists, musicians, video artists, muralists, filmmakers, thespians, poets, fashion designers and graphic designers . We are also accepting proposals for knowledge and technology exchange sessions, and film screenings for The LABS + SALONS @ CHALE WOTE 2020 (August 18 + 21). Participating artists must be available the week of the festival, August 7 – 13 2020, for virtual meetings, sharing and exchange (in multiple planned activities) as well as to work on production needs for showcasing of works. Please note that we will accept existing and new works that are in dialogue with the theme for 2020. We encourage applications particularly in digital art, comics, video art, graffiti art, and interventions. CHALE WOTE 2020- AUGUST 14-23.

Due to the Corona Virus pandemic – the festival has had to adjust its programming to suit the precautionary guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus. This has limited our ability to fully produce the festival in our usual capacity especially in the event of our 10th edition; therefore Chale Wote 2020 would be the welcoming party for the  10th Edition to allow us combine the celebration of both our 10th edition and our 10 year anniversary for Chale Wote 2021. Chale Wote is going semi-virtual this year. Selected programming will stream on all festival platforms for August 2020. There are other high capacity CHALE WOTE events planned for later dates in the year.

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 as well as virtual participation)

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 resources 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 2020, August 14-23.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES For the LABS @ CHALE WOTE (August 18 + 21), 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 18 + 22 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. Sound files should be converted and sent as MP3.

Fill application Form here:

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. Plagiarised works will not be accepted.

Deadline: JULY 10, 2020 Selected proposals will be communicated to all applicants. 

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