Often we are opportune to meet people who dare to be like Gods, and so I was honoured to work alongside a wavy creator, environmentalist and visual journalist, Latifa Iddriss on her social consciousness project about how garbage dumping is detrimental to the environment we live in.

The sun was scorching as usual like it always does in Accra, Ghana. Jamestown was the location and the reason for the great gathering was for the Chale Wote festival (August 14 – 20).

Most people who know Ghana, Accra somehow know what the Chale Wote festival is about, a gathering of artists and culture lovers in the streets for days doing nothing but laughing, eating, appreciating art, making music, taking pictures and connecting with like minds. A festival, which Latifa Iddriss supported in her own artistic way with a socially conscious project. 

Inside the famous colonial slave prison Ussher Fort, Jamestown, Latifa Iddriss placed miniature structures of a church, mosque, house and a kiosk with mirrors on all parts to represent real life structures in the Ghanaian society. The mirrors were for people to see their reflections while standing in the room, an irony, and then trash was outsourced from the people living in Jamestown and spread in the room where the exhibition was taking place.

Why?

Same was the question on most people’s lips. “Why is here so dirty?” “Who would put all these trash in a place where people are expected to pass through?” Some spat, covered their noses as they walked through, in some facial expressions disgust registered itself there and some refused to go into the exhibition. And it all made so much sense. Why have we as a people descended to dirt, refused to recycle and use biodegradable products, why haven’t we shun the use of plastic materials, why are we killing the environment we live in, polluting it to its very core, why?

These are profound questions Latifa Iddriss wanted to spark in the hearts of people and in the same breathe, influence a change in the way we relate to our environment.