Sunday, 17 July 2011

What I saw at the Chale Wote Street Festival in James Town

Yesterday, I run into more creative people at the Chale Wote Festival in James Town than I've ever seen in any single place in Accra.
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Creativity is gradually finding its voice again in Ghana. Yesterday was proof. Poets, Musicians, Artists, performers, cyclists and all sorts of creatives stormed this ancient part of Accra and breathed fresh life into it.
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The cyclists were impressive. I wonder where they train and who trains them. The atmosphere wasn't designed for conversations. The music was loud and the chatters ear-shattering. The easiest thing to do was to just shoot.
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Ama proudly showed off her colourful scarf :)
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Those who were too lazy to come on the streets seemed rather content peeping through their windows. I also got to briefly meet one of James Town's artists, Attukwei:
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Creativity is contagious. I was really touched, just watching the kids have a go at art. Seeing some of Ghana's best artists at work, definitely sparked something in them.
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The good thing with James Town is there is always something of photographic interest, whether there's a festival or not. I went through the alleys, capturing some of daily life.
It was quite interesting watching these three men read an obituary. "Who's next?" They seemed to ask:
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This fridge had just pulled in for servicing. I wondered if sticking pictures of Jesus on a fridge or writing scriptures on it made it work better. Obviously, it doesn't :)
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One of the signs of a good Ghanaian woman, is how white her baby's clothes, napkins and husband's "supporters" are:
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Frequent readers of my blog know I grew up not too faraway from James Town. Watching these girls playing mum and cooking reminded me of my own childhood. Normally, I would play either the husband to one of them or the son of one. The husband role was always more interesting:
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One of the highlights of yesterday's event was the fashion show. Somehow, I managed to miss that one. I was quite lucky not to miss these guys though:
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They say, everything that has a beginning has an end. These were some of the last images I made before I coiled back in my shell:
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Behind all the noise, the sea lay calmly, full of history but not divulging much. It was calming to stand in the forts and the castles and just watching the sea. We keep piling history on history... and may be someday, we'll take the time and look at all we've been blessed with as a people, all we've been through as a people and come to the conclusion that: God has given us everything we need.
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Have a great week.

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