Salvador Dalí in his home country

Funny how I am more than happy to be the happy tourist in another city and not in the one I live in. Completely played to my role, camera and map in hand, gazing in amazement on what may appear to be random scenes to the locals and an overuse of my basic Spanish…Ola!
Pictures here. Then there was a visit to the Dalí  museum on Carrer dels Arcs, thought to mix up all the eating with a bit of culture.  It consisted of the private collection of his sculptures, drawings and sketches as well as a collection of photographs taken of this surrealist artist. I was more fascinated by photographs of this very eccentric artist though.

Nuit Blanche

It’s called Sleepless Night and is meant to be an all-nighter; from 7pm to 7am. We tried last night. We went- we saw- and we were back home by midnight. Considering the company, aged 5 and 11 – we did not do too badly.
Nuit Blanche is in its 10th year and is an all-night art exhibition and festival in the Hôtel de Ville, Montmartre, Pigalle and the St. Georges areas. Contemporary art installations, sculptures, exhibits can be viewed all night. The Pompidou Centre opened to the crowds free of charge from 9pm until 1am. Stands were set up where we picked up maps and followed our own course. The metro, lines 11 and 12 were open for the entire night between certain stops.

Chinese Artists in Paris

Writers, artists, designers, foodies and your average francophile are drawn to Paris by one thing-  Inspiration. There is something about the city that is deemed a mecca of inspiration for the creatives, and it has always been the case. In some cases , destination Paris was a result of political and social circumstances forcing people to seek out refuge in a democratic, liberal country that not only allowed but encouraged their creativity. Chinese artists made their way to Paris in the early 1900s, with the formation of the Franco-Chinese Education Society in 1915 and establishment of the Franco-Chinese Institute in Lyon in 1921, encouraging further influx.

‘Chasing Shadows’ with Santu Mofokeng

I almost missed this, but it is still on for two more days. Santu Mofokeng, renowned South African photographer has an exhibit on until Sunday 25th Sept. at Jeu de Paume titled, ‘Chasing Shadows’.
In my month here I have become used to all things French, then this afternoon I was transported back to SA through a series of Black & White photos in works spanning 30 years. He started his career capturing images pre- and post-apartheid in South Africa, but moved away to document religion and its practice by black urban people; practices that were a mélange of christian and pagan ceremonies, in cities, mountains and at times in caves, reserved solely for worship.

The splendour of Palais Garnier

I went on a tour of the Opera house; Palais Garnier on Monday. This is home to one of France’s most splendid historical artchitecture. Home of the Opera and Ballet and a name synonymous with French culture, it was founded by Louis XIV in 1669, who was not only an actor but also a talented ballet dancer. The Opéra Garnier is the thirteenth theatre to house the Opera, and was designed by Charles Garnier, who due to a bureaucratic error resulting in a missing invitation, on the eve of the opening of the building was the only person that had to pay for his ticket.

Jazz in Accra

Last weekend was the Miles Davies Tribute Concert at the Golden Tulip and this weekend +233 – I love that they’ve taken a very unique country code and created a very cool Jazz spot in Accra – is hosting its very first Jazz Festival, to run over three days.
Last night was the debut night and it drew a sizeable mixed crowd; hope it draws an even bigger crowd in the next two days. If anything go for their kebabs and the music. If you’re a Jazz Aficionado go for Gyedu Blay Ambolley, The Sound Factory, Kwame Yeboah & The Ohea BeYeYa Band and others as they play under the cool evening sky.

Ewe Kente

I ventured out to Burma Camp; the Army Barracks in Accra last week, to seek out the weavers of Ewe Kente. I met with Ahiagble Bob Dennis who has written a book about Ewe Kente; The Pride of Ewe Kente and runs a small shop in Burma Camp. It’s a large compound with about four weavers working on the intricate-looking looms the Kente is woven on.

The most noticeable difference between Ewe and Ashanti Kente is in the use of colour. Ewe Kente, can best be described as ‘calm’ according to Ahiagble, predominantly using muted colours; yellow, red, green, black, white and blue whereas Ashanti Kente; described as ‘cheerful’ in colour uses the magenta, yellow, bright green and red colours.