Wata Mata! Why Thousands Attended #ChaleWote2017 Street Art Festival

The seventh edition of the mega street art festival Chale Wote held recently with over 30 artists from Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, U.S.A, Lesotho, France, Australia, Kenya, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Argentina, UK, Germany, and Brazil.

Chale Wote Art Festival is a platform that brings art, music, dance, and performance out into the streets of Ghana. It targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons by creating and appreciating art together.

Over the last six years, Chale Wote meaning Man Lets Go! has encouraged the development of an independent creative and arts economy in Accra.

The festival has grown, both in capacity and reputation. In 2016, over 30,000 people attended and this year saw almost twice that size. It has now become one of Accra’s most exciting and popular annual events, attracting a lot of tourists and international audience from all around the world.

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The theme this year was Wata Mata, West African pidgin for “Water Matter“, and the festival which held from 14th to 20th of August was marked by spectacular live performances, exhibitions, film screenings, workshop labs, artists talks, mixers, live art performances and lots more all held at various beautiful locations in Accra.

All roads led to Chale Wote through the week, the sounds of native drums and gunshots to ward off evil spirits, its significance is related to the Homowo festival celebrated by the Ga people.

Chale Wote is a rich repertoire of Ghana’s past, present, future all wrapped into one great amazing spectacle.

The street carnival characterized started on the first-day in James Town, Accra with a passionate parading of colorful and lively artistic performances over the last four years has been widely patronized by a lot of people.

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The event was widely recognized because once again it shed a positive light on the continent, attracting foreign investors and tourists.

It was a great time for local businesses to also get a boost in sales and promote locally made arts and crafts.

Here’s a roundup of all the fun at Chale Wote Art Festival 2017

Open Gallery

The open gallery was a vibrant exhibition of street art to showcase the diverse splendor of African art, film, and performances. It was filled with giant graffiti artworks which welcomed observers into the aesthetically appealing environment. Some of the talents who made appearances to show their skills include Nigerian graffiti artist Osa Seven, Australian artist Jacqui Lewis, graffiti artist Mohawudu, Yussif Sangbe, Eric Gyamfi, Ehalakasa, Kwameboafo, The African Body Snatchers among others.

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Rich Culture

The unimaginable exhibition of culture was not be missed. The festival is clearly aimed at conserving tradition and culture, which may be on the verge of extinction in the face of rising modernity. Food, traditional practices, and historic displays were one of the great highlights of the 7-day festival.

Edgy Streetstyle

Aside from the beautiful art all around, the energetic street style is another important part of the festival. Body art and face painting, usual feature of festivals also came with eclectic styles and afrocentric fashion.

Chalewote 2017 was a great fusion of ideas, technologies, and practices in African liberation while connecting global diasporas.

Credits: Bella Naija
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