Pan-African Festivals

Now Online! PANAFEST Web Documentary

(EN) Over a ten-year period, Dominique Malaquais and Cédric Vincent developed the PANAFEST website to document four major Pan-African festivals of the 1960s and 70s.

The PANAFEST web documentary focuses on four major Pan-African festivals of the 1960s and 70s: the First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar 1966), the First Pan-African Cultural Festival (Algiers 1969), Zaire74 (Kinshasa  1974)  and  Festac77  (Lagos  1977).  54  interviews  recorded  on three continents (Africa, North America, Europe) by a transdisciplinary team of researchers, interactive maps, archival documents and texts coalesce to bring to the fore novel, open takes of these four keyevents.

For decades, these events were thought of as separate occurrences. Where links between them were taken into consideration, it was in the context of linear, chronologically grounded readings. Ill- equipped to think through the complex ties that bind the four festivals, such readings are replaced, here, with a focus on entanglement. Intermeshed oral accounts by festival organizers, byparticipating artists and spectators/witnesses; analyses of themes and tropes, as well as rumors and anecdotes that cut across all four events; comparisons between levels of information; echoes and reverberations reflecting personal experiences and partial ortruncated memories: PANAFEST looks to a range of interlaced gazes. As a result, multiple narrations emerge that significantly complicate how one addresses the four festivals – narrations such as have been historically silenced, or altogether elided, by institutional archives.

Univocal stances, teleology: these are absent here. PANAFEST foregrounds multiple, at times contradictory points of view, soas to open up new perspectives on four events that played a pivotal role in the early years of African independence from colonialrule, in the construction of varying, at times contested ideals of Pan-African encounter, and in the making of global historieslinking politics and art.

The PANAFEST web documentary is one of several projects (an exhibit,  publications,  a  physical archive), all focusing on Pan-African festivals of the 1960s and 70, curated  by  Dominique Malaquais (IMAf-CNRS) and Cédric Vincent (ESAD Toulon) over  a  ten-year  period. The web documentary was conceived, designed and produced by Arghyro Paouri (IIAC-CNRS/EHESS), based on content, methodology and theoretical takes developed by Vincent and Malaquais, in conversation with Eloi Ficquet, Katja Gentric, Fanny Gillet, Seloua Luste Boulbina, David Murphy, Aline  Pighin,  Malika  Rahal,  Pascale Ratovonony,  Estrella  Sendra and Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik. Funding: Fondation de France,  IIAC  (CNRS/EHESS),  IMAf- CNRS, TGIR Human-Num (CNRS), Université Paris 1.

The PANAFEST web documentary is hosted by Chimurenga at the following URL:

http://www.panafest.org.za

 


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