EVORAFRICA Festival is celebrating contemporary art and music from Africa in the historic city of Évora, Portugal from 25 May to 25 August.
More than 30 contemporary artists, musicians and performers from Africa will gather in the city of Évora in Portugal to celebrate the culture and heritage of the continent. The contemporary art exhibition African Passions , curated by André Magnin, will be accompanied by a music programme and concerts directed by Alain Weber and Alcides Nascimento. Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Burkina Faso are some of the countries that will be represented in the festival. Music and dance workshops will be part of the educational programme by the Mozambican music and dance company, the Xindiro, and by the orchestra of Ballaké Sissoko, master of the kora and Mandingue tradition.
From the 25 May until 25 August 2018, the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval will present EVORAFRICA festival, a multicoloured and extravagant celebration of African heritage through a diverse programme of free exhibitions, concerts, performances, conferences, griots and DJs, in the historic city of Évora in Portugal. With the opening, on the 25 May, coinciding with Africa Day, African traditions will be preserved and imparted while interlinked with the blossoming contemporary African art scene.
Bringing art and music from Africa to Portugal, EVORAFRICA will retrace the roots and historical connections between the continent while celebrating new urban expressions and the influences on Portuguese culture. Over its 3-month duration, EVORAFRICA aims to strengthen the cultural bonds and exchange between Africa and Europe.
The contemporary art exhibition, African Passions
Curated by André Magnin, an expert in art from African perspectives, the exhibition African Passions will present some of the greatest representatives of contemporary art throughout the palace. The exhibition will include works by Steve Bandoma, Filipe Branquinho, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Omar Victor Diop, Phumzile Khanyile, Houston Maludi, JP Mika, Marcel Miracle, Ambroise Ngaimoko, Mauro Pinto, Chéri Samba, Amadou Sanogo, Malick Sidibé and Billie Zangewa. Each artist will present their own culture, style, creative techniques, and their own way of looking at and inventing the world.
Previously Magnin has been the curator of the Pigozzi Collection and commissioned exhibitions at the Pompidou Centre, DIA Centre for the Arts in New York, Guggenheim Bilbao, Tate Modern, the Smithsonian, and the Pigozzi Collection in Geneva, of which he was Director. He has also been advisor to the Art/Afrique, Le nouvel Atelier at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
Magnin has conducted extensive research and curated exhibitions about African art and artists promoting African culture and artists around the world, including iconic Malian photographer Malick Sidibé. Some of the exhibitions in which Magnin and Sidibé collaborated include those at the Cartier Foundation in Paris; Photofesta in Maputo; the Hara Museum in Tokyo; the Hasselblad Center in Goteborg,; the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney; Photo España in Madrid; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Athens Photography Festival. Some of Sibidé’s pieces will be part of African Passions a t EVORAFRICA.
The music programme
Under the artistic direction of Alain Weber, the music programme will re-open the Cadaval Palace to African music lovers. A series of concerts will present the major families of African instruments, including the koras, sanzas, balafons, flutes and percussion, and showcase their capacity for invention, their sophistication, and the vast organologic palette of the continent.
The musical programme will represent the concept of the exhibition – a journey between African tradition and heritage, continuity and change, and contemporary culture. It will take place throughout the palace in locations including the Roman Temple of Diana, the Cromlech of the Almendres and the Public Library. The performances will provide a reflection of the African beauty on display through the lyrics of griots and solo dancers.
Some of the acts include Ballaké Sissoko, The Masks of the Moon, the griot «jeli» and the “Epic of Sundaita”, Ballaké Sissoko Orquestra, Costa Neto, Irmãos Makosa, Rita Só , Johnny Cooltrane, Mbye Ebrime, the young dancers of Xindiro Companhia, Celeste Mariposa, Bambaram, Selma Uamusse, Bubacar Djabaté, the Zaouli de Manfla dance, Miroca Paris, DJ Ibaaku, Sara Tavares and Congo Stars de Vibration.
In addition to the music programme, there will be lectures and conferences, educational activities and public art focused on African music, culture and heritage. Esther Mahlanghu will be producing a mural celebrating African heritage, which will become one of the highlights of EVORAFRICA. Master of the kora and Mandingue tradition, Ballaké Sissoko’s Orchestra will be in Évora for the opening week of the festival to teach the kora. The Xindiro Companhia, a Mozambican music and dance company, will deliver lessons on dance and music in July. This company focuses on providing complementary educational support for local disadvantaged children in Mozambique. Having trained more than 900 children and they will present some of their projects during EVORAFRICA.
About the location – Cadaval Palace
For over 8 years the Cadaval Palace was home to the Festival Os Orientais dedicated to art and music of the Orient and which saw cultural celebrations of the rich traditions from the East, Morocco and India. This year, and with EVORAFRICA, the Palace is reopening its doors, now with a focus on Africa.
The Cadaval Palace has been the home and the property of the Dukes of Cadaval family since its foundation in the 14th century until today. Built on the ruins of a Moorish castle, and subject to many changes over the centuries, the final result is a unique combination of Mudéjar, Gothic, Manueline and Medieval styles in the different sites of the Palace.
Stood in the historic centre of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, across from the Roman Temple, it features a vast residential area, developing over several floors, two inner gardens and a church, which is the final resting place for every generation of the Dukes of Cadaval family. The church is also of national interest, given its stunning interior, highlighted by azulejo tile panels, signed by their artist, António de Oliveira, and dating from the early 18th century.
The Cadaval Palace is currently the residence of the Duchess of Cadaval and her family,
although the church and some of the rooms are open to the public throughout the year, exhibiting rare items: books, charters, arms, paintings, sculptures, furniture, porcelain, portraits and travel accessories, among other objects of value and significant historical interest.
For the last 21 years, the Cadaval Palace has also hosted a series of cultural events: the Classic Évora Festival, The Os Orientais Festival, focused on traditional music from the East, and the Évora Sacred Music Festival, dedicated to traditional and devotional musical heritage of music around the world. The Cadaval Palace often welcomes national and international choirs, for performances open to the public as well as soloists and music groups, and international art exhibitions featuring painting, sculpture and photography, and fashion exhibitions such as Unforgettable Wedding Gowns a haute couture exhibition of wedding gowns curated by Hubert de Givenchy himself as his only exhibition in Portugal to date. More information is available at www.palaciocadaval.com