gCON 2019

Philip Kwame Boafo

He is a movement artists, physical theatre performer, curator, producer and theatre researcher. He received a BA Theatre Arts at University of Education, Winneba, Ghana before moving to Shanghai for his MA in Intercultural Communication Studies. His research thesis took him to Guangzhou to study on inter/intra socio-cultural relationships between Africans and Chinese. His works mainly engage and serve as an entry point to issues facing marginalized minority, social identity, gentrification, colonialism, gender, and capitalism.
He sees the body as an archive of both private and public, past and present memories. His work searches for an opening for the body to [re]member lived experiences and create counterforces to resist contemporary forms of oppression.
He’s currently a graduate student at National University of Singapore with research interest in Collective Memory, Mobility, the Living Body, African Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Archiving, Post Coloniality.

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Reclaiming Space and Engaging Fractured Social Memory: Chalewote Street Art Festival

In this paper I use Chalewote Street Art Festival; an independent curated art event in Ghana to frame a discussion of how cultural producers are negotiating around public spaces that represent material traces of colonial atrocities as spaces for freedom making while at the same time engaging with fractured social memory. The Chalewote Street Art Festival over the past 9 years of its existence is noted for eclectic art exhibition, performance installations, film screenings and curated talks. The immediate iteration of the festival is to provide open space for local and international artists to engage with their own peculiarities and vocalized them through their artworks and make these artworks accessible on the streets of Jamestown. In this paper, I will examine how the festival opens a public narrative that seeks to claim intellectual space for collective engagement and connect people with the unimaginable tapestry of historical trauma that is susceptible to clouding in this technological new space. I further will highlight on how the festival shifts the discourse to ways of collectively authoring creative resistance strategies sourced from indigenous knowledge systems as basis for reflecting and imagining new realities.