On the 30th of June 2017, the final Arterial African Creative Cities (AACC) launch was held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, following launches held in Harare, Zimbabwe (May), Point-Noire, Congo Brazzaville (June) and Victoria, Seychelles (June). The ‘Nouakchott, Creative City’ project was celebrated in the presence of local cultural authorities and members of the mayor’s office at the headquarters of the Urban Community of Nouakchott (UCN). To mark the occasion, those in attendance were invited to symbolically contribute their brushstrokes to a collaborative fresco.
The launch was presided over by Arterial Network Mauritania Chairperson and Founding Director of Assalamalekoum Festival, Limam Kane (aka Monza), and attended by Arterial Network Chairperson, Mamou Daffe, who elaborated on the overarching themes of the AACC programme across the continent. “The specificity of this project is that it enables African capitals to be placed on the international stage in that it offers them visibility - to them, to their artists and artisans, but also to their cultural and artistic heritage,” he explained.
Arterial Network established the African Creative Cities programme in order to facilitate cooperation and partnerships between local authorities and cultural actors in a way that contributes to the development and implementation of artistic and cultural policies, strategies and programmes in African cities. Each of the selected cities has its own identity and distinct local circumstances, although they also have a number of overlapping issues, such as a lack of official government support for the development of arts and culture (especially in terms of financial support), or the repression of local cultural actors and artists. “Ultimately, culture is the solution for many of the evils on the continent,” Mamou explained. “We believe today that the main difficulties in Africa can be overcome by art, music and other forms of cultural expression which are points of intersection and gathering.”
Two subsequent events were held in early July to celebrate the AACC launch. On the 5th of July, guests were invited to an outdoor exhibition that included a performance by a local visual artist and examples of local cuisine that showcased Mauritanian culinary heritage. On the 10th of July, Dr. Jenny Mbaye (member of Arterial Network’s Cultural Policy Task Group and consultant for the development of the AACC programme) moderated a seminar that focused on the identification of cultural identities of Nouakchott to be promoted over the next two years
To read more about the launch in Nouakchott, click here and here.
Réseau Kya/ Arterial Network Mali
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