Around this time last year, I publicly declared my love for CounterCurrent, Houston’s annual festival of bold experimental art (think audio and visual installations, live performances, talks, participatory events and more). Well, a year may have gone by, but my passion for this free event remains unchanged. If anything, I may be more excited about this year’s edition of the festival than ever before.
CounterCurrent’s various projects do well to make us rethink our surroundings, from the people around us to, more generally, the city we live in as a whole. As much as the festival leads us to look outwardly though, it also usually stirs up some deep introspection. All of this, in my opinion is a good thing, especially when it comes about as a result of viewing/participating in fun, unique and engaging art.
One reason I’m so excited for this year’s CounterCurrent is because of the return of Ghana ThinkTank. Last year, the project asked the question What’s your Houston diversity problem? to Houstonians of all different backgrounds. The answers were gathered and then sent to international think tanks in developing countries who came up with various solutions to these “first world” problems.
Just for some perspective, among the seven citizen think tanks that received our answers were artists based in Tehran, Iran, a group of rural artisans based in Tassoultante, Morocco and a group of Syrian refugees in Serbia. One of the goals of the project is to prove that those in the developing world can be just as good human resources for these type of everyday problems as people in the developed world.
This year, through person-to-person conversation and installation displays, Ghana ThinkTank will reveal and discuss some of the solutions proposed by the citizen think tanks. In addition, for nine of the biggest problems, those proposed solutions are being translated into physical projects. Ghana ThinkTank will take place each day of CounterCurrent, which starts on Tuesday, April 18th and runs through Sunday, April 23rd.
Ghana ThinkTank is just one of a variety of CounterCurrent events and projects that can be seen and experienced all over Houston. This, to me, is a nexus of art, public citizenry, and progressivism (in the least political sense) that signifies just how much of a global art hub our city truly is. Far cry from the hot, concrete-laden oil town that some still think of when they hear Houston.
Go to countercurrentfestival.org for more information about the festival and details about all of the festival’s projects/events. Tickets are free, but they’re also first-come, first-served, so if you’re interested in a project/event, I’d suggest reserving a ticket online as many of them have limited spots available. Online registration begins on Thursday, March 23rd.This entry was posted in Recognize, Rediscover, Reinvent
- An Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra Starring Lili Taylor
- Camp Pause
- CounterCurrent festival
- Dictaphone Group
- Ghana ThinkTank
- Harry Gamboa Jr.
- Heather Bause
- Illusions of Urbanscape
- Kevin Beasley
- Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston
- Movement V: Ballroom
- Raphael Rubinstein
- Snow White
- Stories of Refuge
- Ten Tiny Dances
- The Catastrophic Theatre
- The Miraculous: Houston
- Theater District
- University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
- Winter Guests