Our first few weeks in Accra have flown by…between the new city, new home, new school, and new curricula, we’ve been too busy to get out much. And even when we are out, we’re usually scoping out the best places to buy our groceries : ) Because, as usual, food is the most important thing in our lives.
But this weekend we did get a chance to check out a new part of the city and see some local and international street art.
This year, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival took place from August 15 – 21. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the festival, their theme was “Spirit Robot,” a constellation of art, energy, and passion that signified a united capacity to create meaningful change in our communities and shift our realities into a more livable world for all.
The school was awesome enough to take a bus down to the heart of the festival and drop us all off in James Town, one of the oldest districts in Accra. Known for its remnants of Accra’s colonial past, one of it’s most notable landmarks is the lighthouse.
These days, most of the neighborhood has fallen into disrepair, but the community brightened itself up for the week’s celebrations.
There were pop-up performances everywhere we turned, encompassing many different kinds of art, from painting, to street art, to dancing, to singing, to impromptu yoga sessions, and a pop-up library.
We ended the day at a nearby orphanage. One of the teachers I work with has partnered with them and he runs a part-time bar with all the proceeds going to the orphanage. It may sound like a strange combo, but it’s working surprisingly well and over the summer, the orphanage was able to build this play center that all of the local children can use.
We didn’t, of course, walk away empty handed. The school has provided us with a killer apartment – my only complaint might actually be that the place is too large! Ha! But despite the fact that it came fully furnished, all our walls are cream and empty. So we purchased a few local paintings to hang…as soon as we find someone to frame them! All-in-all, it’s probably about time we got out : ) And it was definitely a unique experience.