Africa ?95 on Course
Africa '95 - the show tagged "the greatest celebration of African art outside Africa" - is on course to commence on 12th of August. The show was launched with a press conference on 12 October 1993 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and was attended by News at ten anchorman, Trevor MacDonald and Malian Musician Salif Keita (Standing in for an indisposed Manu Dibango).
Africa `95 will run between August and December this year, starting with an open air concert of African and African Diaspora Reggae and rap. The concert, which will take place in Alexandra palace, Birmingham, and will be broadcast live by Radio 1, is expected to attract popular African and Caribbean stars such as Lucky Dube, Burning Spear and Steel Pulse.
The programme will cover African art and culture over a very wide time span (ie from 20,000 BC to the present day) and because of the sheer size of this task, it will have to be selective, concentrating only on the major African civilisations. It will include Visual arts exhibitions, Music shows, Theatre, Cinema, Literature and Debate. In September, the Royal Albert hall will host an evening of music by major African stars and guest musicians from Brazil and the USA. The artistes, in collaboration with choreographers dancers and painters will perform under the direction of Senegalese musician Youssou N'dour. The performing arts programme will involve theatre and dance venues in the UK collaborating with Africa `95 to encourage a wide range of visiting Solo performers and companies. In December, Talawa will produce a musical on Harriet Tubman. September at the South Bank Centre will see "In Conversation", an evening of reading and interviews with African writers. The entire programme will cover more than 30 core events all over Britain, complemented by an associated radio and television season.
The original plan to woo soccer aficionados with a series of matches between a pan-African teams and four premiership teams appears to have been shelved.
Africa `95's 89-member executive council includes Alan Yentob, Wole Soyinka, Brian Lara, Desmond Haynes, Trevor MacDonald, Trevor Phillip, Buchi Emecheta, Dorris Lessing and Yvonne Brewster.
Further information on the show can be obtained from Africa `95, Richard House 30-32 Mortimer Street, London W1N 7RA Tel: 0171 637 4388 Fax: 0171 637 4580.
Highlights of the Programme:
? 12 August, Perry Barr Stadium, Birmingham: Launch of Africa `95 with an open air rap and reggae concert.
? August-November: Invitation by the British institute of the award winning Ethiopian film maker Haile Gerima (maker of Sankofa) to conduct discussions and give lectures.
? September, The South Bank Centre, London: "In Conversation" Three evenings of readings and interviews with African writers.
? 9 September Barbican Centre, London: an exhibition featuring artistes from Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco who use calligraphy in their work.
? 20 September: Serpentine Gallery, London: An exhibition of contemporary African art.
? 22 & 23 September, Royal Albert Hall, London: Goree, Youssou N'dour and guests.
? October, Theatre Royal, Stratford East: "Sheila's Day". A joint US/South African production combining drama, humour, music and dance in celebration of the achievements of Black domestics in South Africa and Southern United States.
? 5 October-26 January Royal Academy of arts, London: "Africa, the Art of a Continent". Exhibition to examine the classical art of the entire continent.
? December, Talawa at he Cochrane theatre, London: A collaboration at the West Yorkshire playhouse top produce a musical about Harriet Tubman.