Living History Hub, Chale Wote Festival, 20 – 23 August 2015

The Living History Hub is a purpose-built structure/kiosk that revolutionizes the idea of what a museum is and can be, that will be built as an adjunct the Cultural Encyclopaedia, a large-scale documentation and archive project, dedicated to mapping trajectories and the re/ordering of knowledge, narratives and representations from and about the African continent. The architecture of the Hub will be based on the kiosk model, the makeshift structures ubiquitous in Ghanaian streets and throughout Africa, and will exhibit objects, photographs, documents of inhabitants of Accra, contextualized and written about by archivists; alongside videos and audio recordings of oral testimonies and histories, which will be edited into a radio programme and podcasts about the cultural history of Jamestown/Accra. In addition to this, a number of schools from the area will be invited for a series of workshops, in which the contextualized objects will respond to the school curriculum, into subjects such as history, geography, language, and science, with activities held around them.

The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out into the streets. The festival targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons by creating and appreciating art together. Since 2011, CHALE WOTE has included street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theater, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more. This year, CHALE WOTE is tapping into a super power grid. Over the last 50 years, Ghana has been caught in a web of instability. Despite “Independence,” the country has not been able to create autonomy for the state or its citizens. If we are unable to think ourselves out of this state of hyper debt and powerlessness, we will one day become permanently crippled, or worse, extinct. We have now reached a point that requires the impossible. Ghana is filled with an abundance of natural resources, including an ever-present beaming sun. So how can we, as people, tap into the natural, human and man-made resources surrounding us? How can we imagine and create more fulfilling lives?

These questions shape the theme of this year’s CHALE WOTE. In 2015, we meditate into action on the term, African Electronics.

African Electronics is a popular term describing indigenous esoteric knowledge that Ghanaians use to create the impossible. It is the grand manifestation of our most powerful creative ability as a people, the cryogenic refrigerant that has kept our technologies alive across time. It is a way out – a secret pathway to possibilities unseen before. Through this portal, we document histories of triumph, innovation and encounters with the unimaginable. It is the magic wand that creates what we want at will and transports us wherever we want to go. African Electronics is timelessly regenerating the next wave of transformative energy. Here are no more borders, no need for passports and aircrafts. New frequencies are recreating Ghana, Africa, and the world, through a tunnel traveling from the past through the future. With African Electronics, we look at how race, culture, art and technology merge to create a different kind of world that is inclusive, diverse, electric, and on the move. How do we imagine a world where we are technology and in full control of our systems and data – our histories, realities, and dreams?