Chale Wote - Street Art Festival at Jamestown
As described above, the Jamestown neighborhood is struggling with some problems. But at least once a year, a festival covers the situation and transforms the corner into a colourful cultural landscape – the Chale Wote. Festivals are firmly rooted in culture in Ghana and are celebrated in various forms by the different ethnic groups on various occasions. The Chale Wote Street Art Festival takes up this tradition and falls out of the traditional grid because it gives festival culture a very modern impulse. After all, Chale Wote is still very young and was first carried out in 2011. At that time and in the following year it was still laid down on a single day in July and April, it now takes place annually at the end of August and has been extended to a period of one week. Every year there is a specific motto under which exhibitions, workshops, processions and other activities run. The scene for this is the otherwise busy main road through Jamestown.
I myself have been a guest at this festival twice. In 2014, Chale Wote was the motto: "Death: An Eternal Dream Into Limitless Rebirth" and the following year the theme was :African Electronics" . As mentioned, there are always certain installations that take on the motto more or less closely and deal with it artfully. For example, A procession from 2014 by a group that wore costumes entirely made of recycled plastic waste was particularly stuck with me – in the spirit of recycling and thus following the idea of limitless rebirth. Another group also wore masks made of animal skull bones or coffins in the most extraordinary shapes were carried through the streets of Jamestown. So there are always very nuanced views of the subject. The artistic design of a coffin in the form of a "life content" of the deceased is not an exclusive idea of this festival, but on the contrary belongs to the tradition of many Cultures of Ghana. This can be, for example, a book for an intellectual or a boat for a fisherman. But I haven't seen such unusual variations as on this festival day. Represented, for example, were a kind of cheetah, a howitzer or a sports shoe. In addition to the specific exhibitions and performances, chale Wote also offers thematically detached activities such as the colour-spice of the surroundings through graffiti, boxing matches, other small sports competitions and shops for arts and crafts. Of course, musical performances are also indispensable.