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February 27 2017

ARTERIAL DAY 2017 | 10th Anniversary Programme, Abidjan

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Members and honoured guests of Arterial Network will soon be gathering in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to celebrate a special Arterial Day that will mark a decade of advancing Africa’s creative sector. Arterial Day is celebrated every year during the week of the 7th of March - the anniversary of Arterial Network’s inception. This milestone is uncommon for any arts organisation on the continent, but particularly one with such a large mandate and widespread representation. Over the 10th and 11th of March 2017, delegates will be reflecting on the successes of the first 10 years, putting in place reforms and conceptualising the renewal of Arterial Network with various activities to underpin the network’s primary passion: arts and culture.

In recent weeks, messages of support for the continued growth and success of the network have been streaming in from far and wide.

- Mike van Graan, first-ever Secretary General of Arterial Network: “I am more convinced than ever of the need for an organisation like Arterial Network given the incredible nationalism, anti-immigration and xenophobic attitudes towards Africans in Europe, in the USA and indeed, in my own country, South Africa... We need a pan-African network to exchange ideas, to share learnings, to build capacity and to play an effective advocacy role at national, regional and international levels.”

- Mulenga Kapwepwe, first-ever Arterial Network continental Chairperson: “Some things didn’t work out as we had planned and not everybody agreed on everything, but I think all in all, for me, the creation of the Arterial Network was one of the best and very positive learning experiences of my life.”

- Jelili Atiku, multimedia and performance artist, member of Arterial Network Nigeria: “Culture itself needs a kind of advocacy. I remember when I was arrested and the activities of Arterial Network saved me. Arterial Network and other advocacy organisations from all over the world - if not for them, I would still be sitting in jail right now.”

- Idriss Nor of Stichting DOEN: “Arterial Network, in the past and in the future, is made of the passion and the commitment of all the different members and of how much they are willing to invest in it. We still see a strong relevance of this network and wish that everyone who is a member continues to invest a lot of passion and commitment.”

- Maswati Dludlu, National Coordinator of Arterial Network Swaziland: “Arterial Network has shown artists the path to an alternative future - there is no other organisation that has done as much.”

Arterial Network’s 10 Year Anniversary programme will represent the continental diversity that continues to inspire the network, and the network’s common goal: to develop the arts and culture sector. The activities will be an opportunity to demonstrate the important work undertaken by Arterial Network which remains one of the largest pan-African networks in the sector. The morning of Friday the 10th of March will be dedicated to a review session of the network over the last 10 years, including reports, and an address from the continental Chairperson, Mamou Daffe (Mali) that will note the network’s strong and weak points. Numerous founding members of the network will be in attendance and are invited to share their experiences of the network’s inception and progress.

In the afternoon, the delegation will regroup at La Rotonde des Arts for a brief General Assembly meeting, followed by a photo exhibition of images that epitomise the spirit and vision of the network through its 10 years.

On Saturday the 11th of March, the festivities will continue with a session that will explore Professor Felwine Sarr’s latest book Afritopia (2016), with the author present to elaborate on the theme of culture and imagination for renewal in Africa. Sarr is a young Senegalese economist and philosopher who has been making waves as both a respected academic and musician. In the evening, guests will be treated to a reception at the Palais de la Culture. The evening’s programme will include an awards ceremony that will honour esteemed founding members and partners, as well as a theatre piece and a performance by Limam Kane (alias Monza), the notable Mauritanian rapper and Arterial Network Steering Committee representative for North Africa.

The anniversary event is made possible through the continued support of various affiliates and partners, including MASA Côte d’Ivoire, Fondation Festival sur le Niger, Stichting DOEN, Mimeta, Goethe-Institut, Swedish Institute, Afrikayna, Culture Funding Watch (CFW), The Service Mag, Hivos, Swedish Foundation for Human Rights (SFHR) and La Rotonde des Arts.

If you are a member of the press and would like to arrange an interview with an Arterial Network member or apply for media accreditation to attend the anniversary activities in Abidjan, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Arterial Network’s Press Contact.

To download a press release with more information about Arterial Network, please click here.

Press Contact
Marie-Louise Rouget |

What is Arterial Network?
Arterial Network is a dynamic Pan-African, civil-society network of artists, cultural activists, entrepreneurs, enterprises, NGOs, institutions, and donors active in Africa’s creative and cultural sectors. Established as a member-based, non-profit organisation, Arterial Network operates all across the continent in both English and French, and is led by an elected Steering Committee which represents the five regions of the continent. Arterial Network's five core focus areas to support the arts are advocacy (through the Artwatch Africa project), capacity building, market access, knowledge management and information dissemination. Its Continental Secretariat is now based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as of the 1st of February 2017.

Photo Credits
Arterial Network
4 Festival sur le Niger

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