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AFRO FESTIVAL 2016

3-5. JUNE

Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. (ICOM)

The Afro festival is an annual event that last several days and takes place at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade (MAA). By gathering African and local artists, experts in the field of African studies, students, conoiseurs of Africna arts and cultures, the Museum organises exhibitions and lectures, concerts, music and art workshops. The Afro festival offers the “best of the best” of the MAA’s programs.

Click here to download the Program of Afro Festival 2016.

 

PROGRAM

 

AFRO FESTIVAL 2016

3-5. JUNE

Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. (ICOM)

The Afro festival is an annual event that last several days and takes place at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade (MAA). By gathering African and local artists, experts in the field of African studies, students, conoiseurs of Africna arts and cultures, the Museum organises exhibitions and lectures, concerts, music and art workshops. The Afro festival offers the “best of the best” of the MAA’s programs.

Click here to download the Program of Afro Festival 2016.

 

PROGRAM

Friday, 3 June

 

Friday, 3 June
Free Entrance

 

17h
Lecture
IMAGES OF THE OTHER / IMAGES OF OURSELVES

African arts in the first half of the twentieth century arrived in our local community with the “rustle-and bustle” of the times, as a reticulation of visual arts, music, literature, photography, film and advertisements. Taking into account the writings and actions of the intellectuals and artists of these times, the lecture will map the social and cultural frameworks that preceded the understanding of African art, yet to be implemented with the founding of the Museum of African Art: the Veda and dr Zdravko Pečar Collection, several decades later.

Guest lecturer: Аnа Slаdојеvić (PhD), art theoretician and author of the book “The Museum of African Art: Contexts and Representations” (2014)

 

18h
Talk and public listening session
THE ABNORMAL BEATS OF DOGON

At the edge of the Sahara desert, where the river Niger, making a large turn, shifts its course towards the south-east, in the West African country of Mali, lies Dogon country. The Dogon live in the (Bandiagara) highlands, where some of the oldest and most typical Dogon villages are located at the very bottom, below the rocks, which in their picturesque appearance, with numerous natural caves, rise almost vertically above the Dogon villages. The cosmogony and Dogon way of life has inspired numerous anthropologists and artists, including composer Zoran Erić who in 1991 composed The Abnormal Beats of the Dogon for bass clarinet, piano, percussion, bass harmonica and live electronics. On the MAA’s permanent display, traditional Dogon art is represented with a collection containing masks, anthropomorphic figures and other items that Veda and Zdravko Pečar (founders of the Museum) gathered in Mali between 1967 and 1971. Join the conversation and public listening session on the permanent display – beside the figurines, barn doors, representations of Nommo and columns of the Hogon.

Talk guests: Zoran Erić, composer and University of Arts Rector, and Zorica Premate, musicologist and Radio Belgrade 2 Music Editor
Talk moderator: Emilia Epštajn, MAA curator

 

20h
Lecture & Film Screening
NOLLYWOOD OR DOOM

The topic of the lecture is the Nigerian film universe, named Nollywood for easier identification. In terms of productivity it is the second-largest film industry in the world, right behind Boolywood. The case of Nollywood, with all its particularities taken into account, defies the existing colonialist cultural models. Nollywood prompts observers to take caution in their attempt to characterize it as a phenomenon and, consequently, to fit it into an exotic milieu. Nigerian movie directors are not political dissidents, and therefore not interesting to West-European film festivals; neither are they artificial, and not even a footnote will be made about them in the history of film. Precisely because of that, they merit special attention.

Visiting lecturer: Saša Radojević, screenwriter and director
Moderator: Aleksandra Prodanović Bojović, MAA curator

21h - “Powerful Twins”; directed by: Ozoemena Nwakile, length: 60 minutes.

This film is an example of Nollywood's exploitative potential. In this film, which marks the beginning of the eponymous film series, Ozoemena Nwakile questions the notion of twins, which is very common in Nigerian popular culture. The film is an interesting illustration of the thematic exhibition Ibeji: Twice Born, which is currently on view in the gallery space of the Museum of African Art.
(The film is in English, without translation.)

Saturday, 4 June

 

Saturday, 4 June
Entrance: 150 RSD

 

10-18h
AFRICAN BAZAAR

The African Bazaar is a popular Festival program that promotes visual and applied arts of the African continent. It is conceived as a sale exhibition of art and craft items: masks, sculptures in stone and wood, hand-made and painted fabrics, paintings, batik, jewellery and decorative items for interior decoration. Studio MAU is a special part of the Bazaar that brings together young and applied artists who create inspired by Africa.

 

10-18h
SAILING THE RIVER NIGER – Third MAA Art Competition exhibition

We present the most successful works of the participants of the Third MAA Art Competition organized for children aged 6 to 18 years, from March to May 2016 on the theme "Sailing the river Niger - a visual journey through West Africa." Over seven hundred children and young people from a number of pre-schools, children's art studio, primary and secondary schools, took part in the Competition. Awards are given to the best young artists in three different age categories. The works in the exhibition reveal the developed sensibilities of these young artists, their analytical views, intensive colours, images and imaginative compositions, thus introducing us to a new generation of artistic talent in our midst and the strength of African creativity that inspired them. Awards will be on Sunday 5th June at 11h

 

11-14h
ART WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS:

- ОМОLАNGIDI DOLL
In traditional Yoruba culture, girls played with dolls called omolangidi (wooden child). The girls treated the omolangidi dolls like babies - feeding, dressing and bathing them. The dolls have pronounced facial features and hairstyles, while the body is presented as an elongated board that resembles the board used for writing used by children in Muslim schools. This emphasises the importance of learning for children. The well known Yoruba proverb says that a person who is beautiful but whose character is bad is no better than a wooden doll. The dolls are reminders of the importance of nurturing and developing a child’s character. The workshop is lead by: Milica Josimov, sculptor, & Ana Knežević, art historian.

- WHAT DOES THE DRUM SAY?
At this workshop, children will make different types of drums and rattles from recycled materials and decorate them with drawings and collages. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to hear the story about the creation of percussions and learn how to use them, they will learn which instruments were used by rulers to silence the people at a gathering, and with the help of musical games "The land of silence“ and "Loudly – Quietly“ will learn to use the instruments. In the end, the children will make up a story with the educators which will be told using different sounds. The workshop is lead by: Milena Miladinović & Nevena Trivić, music educators, & Milica Marinković, textile designer.

 

11h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“The Visual Identity of the Museum of African Art: Architecture, Design and the Permanent Display”
Ana Knežević, master student of art history

The tour through the Museum of African Art and considerations about its visual identity, which creates its architecture, design and the permanent display, requires a very special guided tour. Namely, the focus of the tour are not the objects displayed and safeguarded by the Museum, but the building, its architecture, opened to the public in 1977. The design of the interior and permanent display, in its original and authentic form (evident today) were commissioned, conceptualised and realised with attention to the overall architecture and surroundings of the Museum of African Art as a conceptual whole. Following the multilayered and interesting visual identity of the MAA, the guided tour will lead visitors through both the exterior and interior, later

 

12h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing” (African proverb)
Jelena Vesković, master student of art history

The first association to the African continent on a global level is a deep sense of rhythm and a secret connection with music. What is behind the term “African dance”? Why do we link a mystical rhythmic sensibility to the whole continent and what is it like when music is the building block of everyday life? Using different examples we will try to decipher and understand traditional African ritual dance and its influence on contemporary dancing styles.

 

12-18h
MANCALA – African board game...

Learn the rules, find an opponent and play!

 

13h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“Creating Art – the Artist in West-African Society”
Olgica Lukanović, history student

If you want to learn more about the origin of traditional African ceramics and fabrics, or if you are interested in how an artist lives, then you are welcome to visit this tour. Through the story about techniques and materials used to make traditional African objects we will learn more about the status of the creator-artist. We will try to dispel some of the prejudices which are still largely present (for example, that their African art is primitive and religious, and that the artists are unknown). Finally, we'll consider the motivation of the “African” artists today.

 

14-17h
ART WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS:

- THE TRICKSTER ESHU IN STORIES AND PERFORMANCE
Fun and educational, the story of the trickster Eshu comes from the Yoruba tradition. Eshu is a deity who has a lot of power; he is wise, clever and often ambivalent. Eshu is "not perfect" and, perhaps precisely because of this, he is very popular. Eshu plays tricks on people to reveal how vain, arrogant or resourceful they are. After hearing the story, the children will create a magical tree, draw motifs inspired by Yoruba fabrics, all of which will serve as scenery – because the children themselves will tell the stories of Eshu in a performance on the "children's stage in the museum’s garden." The workshop is lead by: Marija Ličina, curator, & Ana Nikolić, educator.

- THE BIRD IN SENUFO ART
In traditional cultures of West Africa the bird is a symbol of life, unity, parental love, knowledge and human intellect. In the art of the Senufo people, the bird as motif appears in many forms: as a sculpture in wood representing the "Kalao" bird, and also, as a small figurine on "Kpelie" masks. The bird also appears on the filafani fabric marking the importance of the bird in myths. At the workshop, children will have the opportunity to depict and colour an "African flock" on a large-scale fabric. The workshop is lead by: Milica Josimov, sculptor, & Milica Marinkovic, textile designer.

 

14h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“Secret Knowledge and Rites of Passage among the Peoples of West Africa”
Ivana Zatežić, master student of art history

Religion and tradition are deeply rooted in traditional African life, which becomes apparent in all aspects of individual and community life – birth, death, agriculture, respect of ancestors, etc. All these moments are marked by certain rituals led by particular members of the community who have been initiated, through rites of passage. To be initiated, means to have earned a new, special rank in society, which carries with it certain obligations and responsibilities regarding the transmittal of the knowledge acquired, to younger generations. By observing the masks and sculptures on the permanent display, we can learn something about these masked keepers of knowledge, their rituals and why are certain associations within the community  called “secret” societies?

 

15h
Book presentation: “PHANTOM AFRICA“ by Michel Leiris, Kiša publishing house from Novi Sad

Presentation by dr Pavle Sekeruš, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, Sonja Segić, translator & Dragan Mišković, MAA curator

 

17h
Catalogue presentation: IBEJI: TWICE BORN – Yoruba Twin Sculptures from the Pаvlić Collection, Museum of African Art publication

Talk with Senka Kovač (PhD) & Aleksandar Bošković (PhD) professors at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, & Aleksandra Prodanović Bojović, exhibition curator and catalogue author

Sunday, 5 June

 

Sunday, 5 June
Entrance: 150 RSD

 

10-18h
AFRICAN BAZAAR

 

10-18h
DURBAR

The most important day of the Afro Festival is Durbar Day: Festival of Festivals – a day for friendship, music and dance. With the participation of the Africna embassies in Belgrade – in the pleasant exterior, the Museum garden – this day celebrates african music, dance, crafts, arts and cultures. With the kind support of the African Diplomatic community in Belgrade, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the culinary specialites from different parts of Africa: Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Guinea, Congo, Libya, Morrocco, Nigeria and Tunisia. Guests of the Festival: the Consulate of Jamaica.

 

10-18h
SAILING THE RIVER NIGER – Third MAA Art Competition exhibition

We present the most successful works of the participants of the Third MAA Art Competition organized for children aged 6 to 18 years, from March to May 2016 on the theme "Sailing the river Niger - a visual journey through West Africa." Over seven hundred children and young people from a number of pre-schools, children's art studio, primary and secondary schools, took part in the Competition. Awards are given to the best young artists in three different age categories. The works in the exhibition reveal the developed sensibilities of these young artists, their analytical views, intensive colours, images and imaginative compositions, thus introducing us to a new generation of artistic talent in our midst and the strength of African creativity that inspired them. Awards will be on Sunday 5th June at 11h

 

11-14h
ART WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS:

- ОМОLАNGIDI DOLL
In traditional Yoruba culture, girls played with dolls called omolangidi (wooden child). The girls treated the omolangidi dolls like babies - feeding, dressing and bathing them. The dolls have pronounced facial features and hairstyles, while the body is presented as an elongated board that resembles the board used for writing used by children in Muslim schools. This emphasises the importance of learning for children. The well known Yoruba proverb says that a person who is beautiful but whose character is bad is no better than a wooden doll. The dolls are reminders of the importance of nurturing and developing a child’s character. The workshop is lead by: Milica Josimov, sculptor, & Ana Knežević, art historian.

- WHAT DOES THE DRUM SAY?
At this workshop, children will make different types of drums and rattles from recycled materials and decorate them with drawings and collages. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to hear the story about the creation of percussions and learn how to use them, they will learn which instruments were used by rulers to silence the people at a gathering, and with the help of musical games "The land of silence“ and "Loudly – Quietly“ will learn to use the instruments. In the end, the children will make up a story with the educators which will be told using different sounds. The workshop is lead by: Milena Miladinović & Nevena Trivić, music educators, & Milica Marinković, textile designer.

 

11h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“Hunting for Objects: the Pečar Couple as Collectors”
Aleksandra Todorović, ethnology and anthropology student

The Pečar Couple – founders of the Museum of African Art in Belgrade, spent about twenty years in West Africa. Their residence on the continent inspired them, as did the ingenuity and creativity of the African artist. With a desire to share “among their own people” part of their love of the continent and collector’s passion, a collection of objects was acquired that makes today's permanent collection of the Museum. Even today, the permanent exhibition inspires us today and calls for a deeper understanding of the art and cultures of the West African nation.

 

11-16h
MAA MAGAZINE COVER

Take your photo in our special photo-booth and send your friends a greeting from the Museum using social networks!

 

12h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“The Encounter of Two Worlds – Africa through Travel Writing”
Jovana Tešić, master student of history

National elements of African art have lured the attention of the West for centuries, but political, ideological and social occasions of the societies to whom the observers belonged have influenced the way these elements were interpreted.  Hence, travel literature is a very valuable source for the observation ideas, attitudes and prisms through which travellers were looking at the “new” art they were encountering. By considering medieval sources, across colonial literature, to modern writings, this guided tour enables the audience to experience the development and changes that travel literature was going through in throughout the centuries, and also to interpret, in a relevant way, the characteristics of African art that of the travellers, presented in their characteristic writing style. The comparison of the modern, scientific interpretations with what the travellers presented will make the audience understand how, particularly the European civilisation, throughout time, formed and changed its attitudes and relations toward African culture and art.

 

12-18h
MANCALA – African board game...

Learn the rules, find an opponent and play!

 

13h
The official address of the Dean of the African Group, H. E. Mr. Tajouri Sh. Tajouri, Ambassador of Libya in Belgrade.

 

14h
CONCERT – TOMMY Т & LION VYBZ

Lion Vybz is a reggae-Jazz fusion band based currently in Belgrade, Serbia.

The bandleader is Horace Thompson who goes by the Stage name Tommy T. Jamaican born Tommy T currently resides in Belgrade, Serbia. He has been active on the reggae music scene in Serbia since the early 2013 recording solo projects and doing collaborations with artists Such as Hornsman Coyote, Zemlja Gruva and Igor Vince.

Lion Vybz comprises of 5 other members: Dunja Divić (vocalist) , Filip Smigović (lead guitar), Feđa Stojanović (base guitar), Relja Derbogosijan (drums) and Pavle Mihailović (trumpet).

 

14-17h
ART WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS:

- THE TRICKSTER ESHU IN STORIES AND PERFORMANCE
Fun and educational, the story of the trickster Eshu comes from the Yoruba tradition. Eshu is a deity who has a lot of power; he is wise, clever and often ambivalent. Eshu is "not perfect" and, perhaps precisely because of this, he is very popular. Eshu plays tricks on people to reveal how vain, arrogant or resourceful they are. After hearing the story, the children will create a magical tree, draw motifs inspired by Yoruba fabrics, all of which will serve as scenery – because the children themselves will tell the stories of Eshu in a performance on the "children's stage in the museum’s garden." The workshop is lead by: Marija Ličina, curator, & Ana Nikolić, educator.

- THE BIRD IN SENUFO ART
In traditional cultures of West Africa the bird is a symbol of life, unity, parental love, knowledge and human intellect. In the art of the Senufo people, the bird as motif appears in many forms: as a sculpture in wood representing the "Kalao" bird, and also, as a small figurine on "Kpelie" masks. The bird also appears on the filafani fabric marking the importance of the bird in myths. At the workshop, children will have the opportunity to depict and colour an "African flock" on a large-scale fabric. The workshop is lead by: Milica Josimov, sculptor, & Milica Marinkovic, textile designer.

 

16h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“The Social Status of West African Peoples”
Uroš Nikolić, ethnology and anthropology student

How much is an artist appreciated? What is the role of woman? What kind of initiations do children have to go through to earn the status of an adult? How do the head of a village or king express their social position, power, superiority and exclusivity? How are ancestors and death understood? Based on the material culture of West African peoples such as the Dogon, Senufo, Bambara and others, find out in which ways these artefacts have symbolised and affirmed the social statuses of certain individuals in society, and how those objects met individual needs, but also the cultural ideals and the notions of a community.

 

17h
PRACTICUM – thematic guided tours
“Religion or Magic? Traditional Beliefs among the Peoples of West Africa”
Sara Lazić, PhD student of History

Old prejudices about African peoples have long been blurring the true picture of the achievements and philosophy of the many peoples of this continent. With the 20th century and by adopting an objective approach in the study of non-European cultures, African art, religion and mythology finally receive their rightful place in science – their uniqueness, excellence, originality, and in certain areas even exceptional advancement, have been recognized. Namely, among the Dogon, a West African population that lives in Mali, knowledge of the movement of celestial bodies was far ahead of modern science and telescopes, and certain astrological knowledge which is part of Dogon mythology has been confirmed in the second half of the 20th century with the help of modern technology and advanced scientific method. If this and similar information stimulate your interest and curiosity, visit the Museum of African Art and find interesting things about the traditional beliefs of the Dogon, Bambara, Senufo and others.

***

Entrance:

Friday: free
Saturday: 150 RSD
Sunday: 150 RSD
*Tickets are bought at the entrance
** Entrance is free for children under the age of 6

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