Magic And Art At The 2018 Chale Wote Festival
Over the past eight years, Accra’s Chale Wote Festival has brought thousands from around the world to Ghana’s capital for a week-long celebration of art and culture.
They anchor most of the festivities at Jamestown – a neighbourhood that was once the city’s bustling port and is now home to many locals and a lot of fishermen. This year’s festival theme was ‘Para-Other’, and hosted several exhibitions, interactive installations, film screenings, music and dance performances that transcended radical belief and imagination via the LABs.
The overall experience was inspiring unto breaking away from what has been normalised to encourage and foster better relationships with our locals and our continent but here are the sessions that made the entire week worth it:
A Gentle Magic
For as long as colourism has been practised across Africa, it is about time it became a hot topic. A Gentle Magic is a feature-length documentary by Lerato Mbangeni and Tseliso Monaheng that explores the resurgence of skin lightening in South Africa today. Besides the dangers, these unregulated skin lightening formulas pose questions on race, identity and social change.
After the screening, the members of the audience were called upon to share their views on the topic and what we believe can be done to curb this phenomenon.
Sitting with a few hundred people from across the world beneath a white blanket tent with low-hanging lights and tearing up at a film is unforgettable. It was an emotional rollercoaster as we watched Jo, a young girl living in a small Kenyan village, try to fulfil her dream of being a superhero.
We laughed as her sister played little tricks to show Jo she could move objects with her mind, we rolled our eyes in unison as their mother frowned on all these antics, and cackled as the entire community came together to help a young girl with a terminal illness fly.
Sensei Lo Mixers
Music unites across the board, and nothing proved this more than seeing people from almost every corner of the globe throwing away all inhibition every time Sensei Lo spun. Impressive was how she seamlessly mixed several genres of music without breaking flow.
I saw Nigerians teaching Irish attendees the shaku shaku, South Africans didn’t hesitate to bust out the gwara gwara, and everyone that dared to try joined in an enjoyable few minutes of the electric slide.
The Panel with Samia-Abdul Arafat
After the screening of an intense multi-mural and media film installation titled Awakening of Sankofa, After the film, Komi Olaf, Ian Keteku, Donisha Prendergast and Samia Nkrumah, whom all worked on the installation together, spoke at length about the importance of unity among Africans and their diaspora.
Samia gave pointed and passionate speeches about how it is up to this generation to prove that Africa is ready to stand on its own through our creativity and unity