The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out into the streets. The community-based festival takes place in James Town – one of Accra’s most historic communities – and targets exchanges between scores of Ghana-based and international artists creating and appreciating art together.
The annual event is organized by ACCRA [dot] ALT which is an independent cultural network that promotes the alternative work of Ghanaian artists and emerging creatives across the globe.
Since the festival commencement in 2011, CHALE WOTE Festival has completely transformed the city of Accra into the cultural production hub of West Africa. By engaging artists within the city, the festival has given Accra a facelift, revealing interconnected collectives working in multidisciplinary practices that form the pulse of CHALE WOTE.
Chale Wote Festival is the collective effort of many young people- ranging from artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers to designers, students and activists to draw an average of over two thousand art lovers to the streets of James Town each year.
The festival includes street painting, graffiti murals, photo exhibitions, interactive installations, a food and fashion marketplace, live street performances, extreme sports, African film shows, street boxing, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.
More than 200 Ghana-based and international artists take part in the event every year. In 2016, over 30,000 people attended the event.
The first festival took place in July 2011, following a series of discussions about creating DIY (Do It Yourself) community projects by participants at our Talk Party Series. The partners for the festival include
- Dr. Monk, AfroGallonism, and
- Millennium Cities Initiative – AMA Project Management Unit.
Vision of Chale Wote Festival
The vision of Chale Wote Festival is to cultivate a wider audience for the arts in West Africa by breaking creative boundaries and using art as a viable form to rejuvenate public spaces. The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival challenges both artists and community-based audiences to connect through art.
The purpose of the festival is to promote the exhibition of alternative art in Ghana and to nurture an appreciation for different kinds of art among Ghanaians. CHALE WOTE means “Friend, let’s go!” It also refers to the slippers (rubber flip-flops) worn on the feet. Chale is a Ghanaian way of calling a friend. Wote is a word in the Ga language which means “let’s go“.
Chale Wote Festival themes since 2012
2012 – “Outer-space” exploration
2013 – Re-imagining African folklore by creating exciting and futuristic versions
2014 – Death: An Eternal Dream Into Limitless Rebirth
2015 – African Electronics
2016 – Spirit Robot
2017 – Wata Mata
Chale Wote Festival in pictures