The Wax Print Film is a documentary style film that explores the origins and cultural implication of wax print fabric by investigating its past, present and future in Ghana and Nigeria. As wax print becomes increasingly popular across the diaspora, people are starting to take critical look at whether “African prints” are truly African.
With a multitude of names including Dutch Wax, Liputa, Kitenge and Ankara, this textile has become an important part of African cultures across the diaspora, according to the documentary director.
Surprised to learn from her Nigerian grandmother that ‘traditional’ African wax printed fabrics were a colonial invention made in the UK and Holland, British-born filmmaker and fashion designer, Aiwan Obinyan, sets out on a journey across four continents to trace the 200-year history of this iconic textile that has come to visually represent Africa and Africans.
This documentary charts the development of the industry from the Industrial Revolution when European mills took cotton from North America and the batik print was discovered in Indonesia.
Dutch and English traders copy the designs and industrial innovators mechanise the process leading to the creation of wax prints. In the scramble for Africa, wax prints are brought on merchant ships and sold by missionary trading companies in the bustling markets and village squares of West Africa. Local women are economically and politically empowered by this new import.
Then we move to the late 20th century and the influx of Chinese counterfeiters flooding the market with cheap copies. But all is not lost, as new cottage industries, where designers reclaim the means of production in their homes, studios and local communities, are emerging.
Screening will be followed with a Q&A with Director Aiwan Obinyan, a Nigerian-British, Filmmaker, Composer and Fashion Designer.
The documentary has gained funding from the British Arts Council England.
Read more about the history of batik and our identity here: Tracing identity and ownership through batik.
When: Saturday 4 May, 2019, Grenada
When: Saturday 4 May, 2019, Macon, USA
When: Saturday 23 May, 2019, Wellington, New Zealand
When: Saturday June 16, 2019, Accra, Ghana (10:00 – 16:00)
When: Saturday June 23, 2019, Kumasi, Ghana
For more information visit: waxprintfilm.com
Watch my video blog to find out what designers think makes African wear African.
Black Prophet Homecoming Celebration
Musician Zonto aka Black Prophet will be performing his latest album ‘Stories of Life’ on Ghanaian soil as part of his Black Prophet Homecoming Celebration. The album, “Back to My Roots, will also attract musical brethren from Jamaica to celebrate Ghana Year of Return 2019.
“The Black Prophet Homecoming Celebration” will be featuring international Reggae Artist, Reggae Legend, Leroy Sibbles, Hit maker Dwayne Stephenson, son of Culture, Kenyatta Hill and Special surprise guest from Morgan Heritage Family. Performances will also feature Ghana’s top Reggae heavyweights.
Date: Saturday, Jun 29, 2019, 3:00PM
The event will be held at The Banquet Hall. This will be a VIP occasion.
Monday, July 1, 2019, 4:00PM
This will be an outdoor event with Dance Hall music during the day from Jah Marcus Sounds from London England, Presentation on the need for African Unity and Live Stage show at Independence Square. For more information, www.jahmikalentertainment.com