34. Noise! – A Ghanaian Video Contest

Noise! is a Ghanaian skateboard video contest put on by Surf Ghana in which a team of a filmer, skater, and Afrobeat musical artist create a skate video. This team aspect and the mandated afrobeat soundtrack lends the project a unity typical of the collaborative nature of Surf Ghana, founded by Sandy Alibo. While I knew the contest was happening I’m a bit late on seeing these videos and forget what kind of prize was awarded. Still, I know awards and prizes are not the point. Everything I’m seeing in these videos I’m liking, starting with the rapid growth of a Ghanaian scene built from the ground up. I’m seeing skaters learning about themselves and their environment and themselves through their environment – drastically different things. In the suburban Accra streets and dense inner-city plazas I’m seeing a progression and storyline, spiritually parallel but distinctly unique to my own early proving ground counterparts in suburban New Jersey and spot-rich New York. What begins as a flirtation with ollies and shove-its in neighborhood streets and driveways matures into a sleep-depriving obsession and itch to see, learn, do, and skate. Along with this exploration creativity festers, skits naturally growing from the fissures of a camera and an idea as skateboard dreamscapes cross with various levels of crusty environs into deep studies of editing and music. I’m seeing an antidote to explore-feed trick and fashion trends, a deeply intimate look into the development of a culture.

I hit up Sandy to get her take on what the Noise! contest is really about, how she cooked it up, and hopefully to fill in some of the gaps.

Hi Sandy! How’d Noise! work?

The Instagram Contest opened for Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria from March 8th to 24th. There was no limit on teams but the 8 winning teams got the opportunity to participate in the Final Contest in Accra which lasted 8 days.

For the final contest teams were a trio of one filmmaker, one skateboarder, and one afro beats maker. They shot and edited a video and posted them to Instagram.

How’d you think of Noise!?

Noise as a project was a way to create a link between content creators, Afrobeat artists and skateboarders. It was really about showcasing content makers, skateboarders and an alternative way to push Afrobeat as that kind of music is indigenous to Africans and their roots.

What does Noise! represent to you?

A new way to push the invisibles: content curators, movie directors, and beat makers. And bringing the idea that collaboration is the best way to spread our love for skateboarding!

What’s your favorite part of the contest?

My favorite part was a skateboarder named Lee making a video one hour before the deadline. The main idea is so good, fresh with one main sequence shot, no editing planned, the camera is a simple smartphone and shakes like crazy but the music track from DJ Spilulu helps him to push the concept so he got more views on Instagram than the official winners!

What’s your hope for the future of Noise!?

My hope is that next year we will expand it for the whole African continent, and we will get more than one hundred videos with talented people to share with our community. Outside of Noise!, Surf Ghana plans to be part of Ghanaian festivals this summer to make skateboarding accessible to the masses. And we are currently working on a new event planned in June in Paris to fundraise for our next skatepark!

There ya have it! Here’s the remaining three finalist videos that were screened at Republic Bar and grill in the Osu neighborhood of Accra. I’m embedding them in order of my personal favorites, the first being up top and the next three below, but they all have undeniable talent and vision.


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