Hipsters, Fishermen and Art

    So there are hipsters in Ghana and they had a very cool art festival last weekend. Jamestown and Usshertown are two of the oldest and poorest parts of Accra. The big attraction is the lighthouse, Ft. James and Ussher Fort. Both forts were at some point converted into a prison. Now they're tourist attractions and Ussher Ft. is being converted into a museum. This region is on the coast, so it's home to a community of fishermen. So it was an interesting juxtaposition of cool young hip artists, fishermen and tourists in an old neighborhood with a colonial past. It's a part of Accra that I hadn't visited before so it was new experience. I'm glad I made the trek with my friend Kodjo, a local who I had made friends with on my last visit to Ghana. It's always better when you have a local to hang with who can give you more insight into things. Of course I probably saw more westerners at this festival than I had in my previous trips to Ghana in the past so it wasn't like I was feeling too much like an outsider. 

    The highlight for me was seeing Ussher Fort being converted into an art space. There were some really cool contemporary installations that were very different from the indigenous art of the region that you see everywhere. It was a breath of fresh air. I hope that the renovations do justice to that space and it becomes a significant presence in the art community. Anyhow, lots of fun that ended with a bowl of Banku, palm nut soup and fish. Yum!

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