The city of Wa in the Upper West region of Ghana is set to host the Woori Festival 2024, an annual event that celebrates the rich heritage of Ghanaian weaving and textiles.
Organised by the Nubuke Foundation Centre for Textiles and Clay in Loho, Wa, this year’s festival is themed ‘Weaving a Sustainable Future for the Next Generation’, focusing on the transmission of cultural heritage and the promotion of sustainable artistic practices to safeguard the future.
This year’s Woori promises to be a celebration of culture, creativity and community activism, showcasing the best of Ghanaian weaving traditions and textile design. The festival will feature a range of activities, including educational workshops, an art exhibition, live demonstrations, performances, film screenings, music and a fashion show, all set to take place at the Nubuke Foundation Centre for Textiles and Clay in Loho, Wa between the March 1-3, 2024.
The festival’s programme is designed to be both informative and interactive, appealing to a wide audience, including artists, art enthusiasts, families and tourists.
Workshops and engaging interactive sessions led by master weavers from the Nadowli Women’s Weaving Association, Tietaa Weavers Association (Nandom), and the Methodist School of the Blind and School of the Deaf – both in Wa. This will focus on traditional and contemporary weaving techniques, sustainable practices and innovative textile design.
The weavers participating in this year’s Woori’s festival include Sharllot Awe, Winifred Naah, Rosemary Kavening, Talata Tutiga, Anna Dakurah and master weavers from the weaving associations in the Upper West Region.
Live demonstrations will show artisans at work, from spinning and dyeing to the delicate process of loom weaving, providing a first-hand experience of the skill and experience involved in Ghanaian textile creation. Special activities, live demonstrations and interactive sessions designed for children and young adults also will be incorporated into this year’s Woori Festival to ensure youth participation and engagement.
An art exhibition showcasing a diverse range of woven fabric and textiles designs by weavers, fashion designers as well as tie and dye specialists will be on display throughout the festival period.
Other textile-related artworks by contemporary Ghanaian artists and emerging talents will be exhibited. They include sculptures, paintings, digital illustrations and multimedia installations by contemporary artists like Isaac Opoku, Patrick Tagoe-Turkson, Senyati Koakh, Amelia Cherbu, and Edmund Anyebuno. Panel discussions and thought-provoking conversations featuring artists, cultural historians, fashion designers and environmentalists will be on the role of weaving in Ghana’s cultural identity and its potential for sustainable development.
The evening sessions of the festival will include a series of cultural performances, music, dance, film screenings, and spoken word poetry, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Upper West Region and Ghana as a whole. The line-up features the exhilarating music of Wiyaala, cultural performances by Kparisaga Bawaa Group and the Loho Dance Group, along with spoken word artists such as Mwuintombo the Poet and Guo Naa Francis.
As part of the Woori Festival 2024, attendants will have an opportunity to tour historic sites and prominent weaving centres in Wa to appreciate and purchase unique, handcrafted textiles and artworks, directly supporting local artisans and sustainable art practices.
Woori Festival 2024 is more than just a celebration of Ghanaian art and culture; it is a platform for dialogue, learning and inspiration. The festival provides a unique opportunity to engage with the rich weaving traditions of Ghana, to appreciate their historical significance, and to explore their contemporary relevance, stated Odile Tevie, the Director of the Woori Festival 2024.
“This year, we are particularly excited about the inclusion of children and young adults in our programme. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of artists and weavers, ensuring that the rich traditions of Ghanaian weaving continue to thrive. We invite everyone to join us in Wa to experience the beauty and diversity of Ghanaian textile art.”
The Nubuke Foundation Centre for Textiles and Clay extends its gratitude to its partners and sponsors – The Waa Naa, Loho Naa, the Centre for National Culture, Young Female Influencers, PEPS-C, the University of Applied Arts (Vienna), Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University, and the local community of Wa – for their invaluable support in making Woori Festival 2024 a reality.
We look forward to welcoming you to an unforgettable celebration of Ghanaian weaving traditions and textile design. Woori Festival opens at 11:00am on Friday March 1, 2024 until Sunday, March 3, 2024; however, the exhibition continues until 30 June 2024.
Nubuke Foundation Centre for Textiles and Clay in Loho was conceived in 2010 as an experimental platform to promote connection between the strip woven materials and clay products in contemporary art practice. Its residency programme for artists and creative people opened in 2022.
Nubuke Foundation is a private visual art and cultural institution based in Accra, Ghana. Founded in 2006, it serves as a nexus for arts and culture across the country while supporting the artistic practice of emerging and established Ghanaian artists. The foundation’s programming includes exhibitions, art talks, seminars, workshops and spaces for drama, poetry, music and film collaborations. Nubuke Foundation is a member of the Arts Collaboratory Network.
Arts Collaboratory (AC) is a network of twenty-five diverse arts organisations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe. AC is a trans-local ecosystem focusing on art practices and processes of social change and working with communities within and beyond the arts.