gCON 2019

Reclaiming Space and Engaging Fractured Social Memory: Chalewote Street Art Festival
2019-08-23, 11:00–11:15, Central Library Theatrette 1

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.