Three organizers of the popular ‘Chale Wote’ street festival held at Jamestown in Accra have been arrested by the Accra Central Police.
They were picked up Saturday evening at Jamestown while the event was being held virtually.
It is unclear the reason for the arrests but Starr News sources say they are being processed for court.
Journalist Anny Osabutey who has followed the festivals for years took to Twitter to express his frustration over the arrests.
“Mantse, Nii Ayertey Aryeh and one other artist are currently locked up at the Central Police station. They have no idea about their crime. Manste was heavily involved in the murals around Ako Adjei and other places. This is how he’s THANKED.
“Mantse and Co are behind bars at Central police station, not been told what the crime is but police say ORDER from the TOP insists they are CAGED. No charge has been preferred but Mantse Aryeequaye and Co. are being processed and will be thrown into the cell any moment from now. His crime ? Nobody is telling him”
In other tweets he said: “For staging an indoor activity at this year’s #ChaleWote2021, Mantse Aryeequaye curator of Chale Wote has been picked up by police for his works….currently at the police regional command, Accra .since when did the art become a crime?
Chale Wote is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out of the galleries and onto the streets of James Town, Accra.
The first festival took place in July 2011, following a series of discussions about creating DIY [do-it‑yourself] community projects by participants at our Talk Party Series. Partners for the festival include Redd Kat Pictures, Dandano, Mumble, Chaka Orleans Heritage and Gamashie Development Agency.
The festival includes street painting, graffiti murals, photo exhibitions, interactive installations, a food and fashion marketplace, live street performances, extreme sports, African Cinema pavilion, street boxing, a fashion parade, a music block party, design labs and much more.
More than 200 Ghana-based and international artists take part in the event every year.