9 years ago at one of our Talk Party, an idea for a street art festival was introduced to a gathering of young artists. 3 months later, on July 16th 2011 we put on Ghana’s first street art festival in one of the most historic communities in Accra; Gamashie James Town. Ten editions later, we have gone from a small community festival to a worldwide phenomenon rewriting art history in Africa. Through it all we have witnessed some ground-breaking work and supported the work of hundreds of artists across the world while building Ghana’s art economy. Running a festival of this magnitude, as an independent art network has been an amazing journey filled with joy, sweat and strife sometimes. We have triumphed regardless and continue to be a haven for artists across the world whose works are directly impacting their communities.
Chale Wote has also served as a launch pad for the international careers of several Ghanaian artists. It is a legacy we share with the people of Accra and our comrades on the African continent. Our next chapter holds even more wonder and fulfilment for creators in Africa whose works have challenged the world’s paternalism towards Africa. There is not much to say about where the world is at the moment, our material reality has dramatically changed so we have had to adapt. This year’s theme ; Counter State Mythology explores options that will replace the nation-state. It is a “refunctioning” of new political action and even better ways of articulating our identities in unexpected ways. What are the implications of the deconstruction on global politics and more importantly, what is the meaning of the post-colonial subject within this moment?
We are creating a way out of the centralised capital machinery that is using the current global crisis to replicate certain types of social relationships on a global scale; one that ensures that the periphery become reflections of the metropoles. Welcome to a perception of reality from the mysteries of things we do not have names for, of things yet to be learned and lived inside this ether CHALE WOTE. Join us in virtual space for our 10th edition celebration beaming out of Ussher Fort in Accra Ghana. Download the Counter State Mythology program here