From the 20th to the 30th of October, a Festival of African Arts will be bringing African traditions and culture to the streets of Buenos Aires.
This exciting event was conceived by members of the first African Ballet in Argentina “Africa Fare Serpiente de Danza“, a group directed by Guinean artist Mafila Kouyate. “Africa Fare Serpiente de Danza” was created by Kouyate in 2012 and is made up of 20 artists representing many different nationalities and cultures. The group performs and teaches classes regularly in Buenos Aires, as well as giving seminars in other parts of Latin America.
With an undeniable history of whitewashing and denying African roots in Argentina (a problem experienced by many Latin American countries), this event recognizes the challenges that come with sharing and respecting African culture here. There are endless generalizations, stereotypes, and racism towards recent African immigrants and Afroargentines alike. Keeping this in mind, the organizers of the festival explained that that one of their goals was to bring the two continents closer through the arts, reconstructing [eurocentric] histories and constructing societies without discrimination or racism.
It’s all about bringing people together and offering the experience of another culture that is so rich, but often overlooked and oversimplified. They open spaces dedicated to showing the diversity of African arts and it’s legacy in Afrolatino arts. The festival is “autoconvocado“, meaning it is happening thanks to the huge efforts of and economical resources of those who are involved, without government subsidies.
So what can you expect to see during the Festival of African Arts? There will be a series of cultural events. A mixture of dance workshops, live performances, storytelling, panel discussions, and a continuous sharing of cultural experiences unique to Africans and Afro-latinos.
Thursday October 20 | 20hs | Gallo 283, classroom 13
A Panel discussion on the importance of African arts in the social construction of Guinea and its impact in Argentina, with perspectives from social scientists, artists from Guinea and Colombia, and ethno-musicians. The discussion centers around the importance of the arts in society. FREE ADMISSION, registration via firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Oct. 21-Tuesday Oct. 25 | 10-16hs | Federico Lacroze 4181
African dance classes for those who have some dance experience, following a model of intensive training used by ballets in Guinea. Participants have the chance to dance 25 hours over the course of 5 days. There are also many options to participate on a drop-in base at a lower cost. FROM AR $300-$1,700 (depending on hours and days of participation), registration via email@example.com
Thursday October 27 | 16:30hs | Corrientes 5426 (Espacio La Quince)
An afternoon of energetic performances of song and dance. There will be six groups representing different countries and different parts of Argentina, united by their connection to African arts. FREE ADMISSION, mandatory registration via firstname.lastname@example.org to get your ticket
Friday October 28 | 21hs | Hipolito Yrigoyen1440 (Espacio Mu)
An evening of various artist interventions, including singing and storytelling. There will be food and five performances, extended until about midnight. DONATION BASED ENTRANCE (AR $50 suggested)
Sunday October 29 | 15:30-20hs | Serandi 1280
Seven different local and international African dance groups will perform in this action packed gala. The performances will be followed by a fair of African clothes, accessories, instruments, and food. Admission is AR $200 (at the door) or AR $150 when purchased in advance via email@example.com.