CREATIVE ARTS UNDER ATTACK – FOCAP
Foundation Of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP) is calling on the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to with immediate effect intervene in the harassment and attack on the organizers of CHALE WOTE FESTIVAL.
This continues harassment on the organizers of the CHALE WOTE FESTIVAL organizers clearly shows how we value arts in this country. The organizers clearly did not defy any police order which makes the narrative false but they have been charged under Public Order Act for failure to notify the police of special event.
It started with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly issuing a press statement to halt such a wonderful festival/event and in an attempt made by the organizers to seek audience with the Mayor was turned down with an excuse that the Mayor was not available to meet the organizers.
FOCAP sources indicates that the order was from above to derail and attack the festival.
The CHALE WOTE FESTIVAL this year was strictly an indoor event after the AMA Mayor had refused to grant them audience and FOCAP can say that the Jamestown police commander and other officials had had discussions with the organizers and measures were equally put in place .
What we should know is that, the Ussher Fort is under the Museums and Monuments Board and considered a world heritage site.
The unique aspect is that it’s opened every Saturday for tourist visits.
FOCAP can say, even on that faithful day (Saturday) the Fort was working where staff were at the venue ticketing tourists and strictly enforcing covid measures and therefore the arrest of the organizers and subsequent 48hrs dentition In Police Custody must be genuinely INVESTIGATED.
FOCAP clearly sees this as an ATTACK ON The CREATIVE ARTS Industry and it’s very unfortunate the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture have not even placed a call or met the organizers of the festival. The very Ministry that once upon a time under Catherine Afeku decided spent state funds on this same festival to see it become one of the best festivals in Africa and bring tourists to the country.
If the Ministry believes in the drive of Creative Arts and what the world is now seeing as the source of revenue and attraction, the cry for the full establishment of our Creative Arts Agency (CAA) to help mitigate and help smooth operations of the Creative Arts in this country is urgently needed.
As it stands, there is no hope for the industry as almost all Agencies and associations are ineffective to the plight of their members.
FOCAP is asking the creative arts industry players and agencies to with immediate effect intervene for the organizers of CHALE WOTE FESTIVAL and allow creative to operate with freedom.
We’ll also per this release advice the Organizers of the CHALEWOTE Festival to seek Legal advice in order to retrieve any funds lost in these hard times as a result of the Actions of the AMA since Ghana is a Democratic Country and not a Banana Republic.
Kojo Preko Dankwa
25th AUGUST 2021 C: All Media
Mel Kwesi Davis