One of the most anticipated events during the Year of Return activities is the Wax Print Festival. Ghana’s creative community will be out in full force exploring the many activations at this event. Wax print fabrics are always associated with African fashion and style. The bold, vibrant colours and interesting patterns have become a part of the culture in most countries across the continent and beyond. In Ghana, Vlisco is perhaps the most popular brand and it’s often said to be the best quality on the market. How is it that a Dutch company, now British-owned, has become the go-to brand in many fashion circles when it comes to African fashion?
The on-going debate which begs the question, “Are wax print fabrics truly African?” is part of what intrigued Amma Aboagye, Founder of Afropole, to launch the Wax Print Festival, which takes place 14th-16 June at Untamed Empire in Accra.
Amma, Founder of the Wax Print Festival, added that after learning there was a documentary film on the topic, she knew she needed to bring this to Ghana. Doing that as part of ‘Year of Return’ made sense because these conversations about our culture, tradition and heritage when it comes to textiles, is happening both locally and globally. The Wax Print Film will have its African premier on the 15th and 16th June. The film’s director, Aiwan Obinyan will be there as part of a panel to discuss the film and questions that arise after the film’s showing.
Amma Aboagye says that the team hopes to “unpack prejudice and uncertainty about the topic by creating informative, fun experiences that encourage new thinking on all of the diverse African textiles worn by Africans and Afrodiasporan people.” She wants the festival to encourage black communities to profit from the creation of these textiles the same way Europeans have for decades.
The three-day event will have exhibitions divided into sections titled, The Past, The Present, Intersections and The Future. She says the exhibits are going to explore themes that are relevant to the conversation about African textiles. There will also be discussions on traditional Kente and batiking with live demonstrations on the weaving process.
The event also includes music performances by some talented artists including, Trigmatic, Worlasi, MaaYas, DJ Vim Tinz, Eff the DJ and more.
The Wax Print Festival is an event designed for everyone; Ghanaians, Africans and Afrodiasporans, as described by Amma Aboagye. It’s about claiming and celebrating what African textiles mean for us culturally and economically.
Written by Ivy Prosper