Afrika Eye – the South West’s biggest celebration of African arts, cinema and culture – returns to Bristol from November 4 to 12 with an expanded edition bracketing its ever popular weekend at Watershed with a wide choice of other events, including a feast for Nelson Mandela, high energy dance class and a film screening aboard a Bristol Harbour ferry.
The 15th annual festival begins on Sunday 4 November with a workshop in the foyer of Colston Hall at which South African dance maestro, Professor Lephafa, will teach Pantsula – a high energy dance form related to hip hop and body popping which emerged in South Africa’s townships during the apartheid era.
Other events taking place at this year’s event include:
*Feast For Mandela, a 100th birthday celebration combining African food, live performance and film at Arnolfini, Narrow Quay, Bristol, on 4 November
*Singing and spoken word workshops aboard a Bristol ferry with vocalist Sisanda Myataza (Eastern Cape, South Africa) and Bristol’s current City Poet Vanessa Kisuule
*A ferry boat screening of Vanishing Sails, a film about the lost art of Guyanese boat-building
*Master-classes in school and community venues of the vibrant South African township dance form, pantsula
*Southern African music workshops for local schools
*Film and festival workshops for young creatives, in partnership with the University of Bristol
*Más Morena: an exhibition of photographs by Javier Hirschfeld featuring the Senegalese women of Gorée Island
*A day of school screenings and discussions in partnership with Into Film Festival.
Another new feature will be Afrika Eye’s involvement with the British Council-funded project, Our City – Your Eyes, enabling exchange residencies for young creatives from Bristol and Dakar in Senegal.
This will result in Afrika Eye welcoming two Senegalese creatives to the festival plus showcases of the first outcomes of work done by Bristol-based rapper and music producer Joel Douglas (Splitz P) and young filmmaker Pierre Nyongira during their visit to Senegal in September.
The principal current funders of Afrika Eye are Arts Council England, Film Hub South West and the British Council.