I first attended the #ChaleWote festival in 2013. It was an interesting, street art from coming to life which had been hidden. The concept of street art as far as Ghana goes has been buried in notions of traditional clothes, wood carvings and so forth. And in the more suburb areas, this perception has been tainted with American influences.
Chale Wote festival gives a window into a brewing perspective of Ghanaian street art and entertainment. Although I could see the vision in 2013 and 2014, my interest in participation was strictly media based. Get there, cover something and get out!
This year, I was literally about to miss the event. With so much work on the table and very little promotion seen on my side, I thought it might be best to simply get images from photographers who attended and cover it that way. Instead I decided to go, and I am beyond glad I didn’t miss it.
First and foremost the streets was packed beyond usual. The ladies (and men) in attendance were extraordinarily beautiful. All walks of life of people were at the festival. I mean people I never thought existed in Ghana. You know the nose ring, hat wearing, cut up jeans, free life type, to the 3 piece suit dancing along to Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’.
Beyond my fascination of the beautiful people in attendance, there was a great amount of culture in display, paintings, street dancing, role playing, fashion show, stands and stalls with retailers, performers and more.
I can personally compare it to that of Nottinghill carnival in London. All that will a great vibe and no worries of trouble. My only fear is the festival might outgrow the streets of James Town. Well done to the organizers. See a few pictures below. Might bring out a video if time pardons us.