The maiden edition of the Wax Print Festival took place over the weekend as part of the Year of Return – Ghana 2019 events with a rich display of fabrics that paid homage to Afro fashion and creativity.
For three days, the festival celebrated African textiles through music and arts, giving young fashion designers a unique platform to showcase their works. There were exhibitions of fashion related items, food and beverage, visual and contemporary arts, fashion shows, kente weaving, musical performances and a lot more. The crowning moments was the premiering of the Wax Print film which was followed by discussions on its content.
According to Amma Aboagye, founding curator of Afropole, who hosted the event, it is the first of many yearly festivals to come. She said, “We are celebrating African ingenuity, we are celebrating textiles, we are celebrating arts. What comes from our hands and how it is valuable to the world, and why we should work to protect and also share what it is that we do with our textiles. So the inspiration for this is recognizing that the rest of the world who are looking at African prints as an addition to their closet; they love it.”
She added that “Africans are asking themselves, is this really African, did we create this from our own hand? At the same time, Africans are also embracing batik, they are embracing kente and other types of local fabrics. So we wanted to create a space and a forum for us to really shine the light on what this fabric is, what it is about and how we can put it out to the world.”
Organisers also believe that the Wax Print Festival is an important way of pushing “Afrodiasporans” and Africans to be nuanced in their conversation about wax print and consider the multiplicity of ways in which, from the cotton to textile to dress, Africans can benefit socially and economically form the industry.