Now in its fifth year, Ghana’s Chale Wote street art festival took place in Accra last weekend under the theme of ‘African Electronics‘. Taking over the streets of the historic Jamestown for two days, the festival saw a wealth of talent from Ghana and beyond, with contributions from performance artists, acrobats, sculptors, designers, graffiti artists, DJs, actors, boxers, traditional musicians, fashion designers, rappers, filmmakers, and more. The festival serves as a platform to promote visual arts in Ghana, where there is limited funding or public engagement with this industry. Holding Chale Wote in this communal space is therefore particularly important as it gives artists and audiences the rare opportunity to interact with and learn from each other. An electric atmosphere could be felt pumping through the festival through constant displays of energy and creativity, as people of all ages and backgrounds came out onto the streets to play their part in the event. In the following pages, we asked 7 of the festival’s exhibitors – from cultural historians to graffiti artists – what African Electronics means to them.
Alice McCool is a freelance blogger, anti-corruption campaigner and masters student at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. You can tweet her at @McCoolingtons.