Wednesday 4 July 2018

In Lagos, Macron announces France's 'African Cultural Season 2020'

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, being presented his portrait by young artist, 11-year-old Kareem Olamilekan with Akinwunmi Ambode (middle) admirring the drawing.

The President of France Emmanuel Macron's visit to New Afrika Shrine, Lagos brought alive one of the legacies of late afrobeat musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Macron also used his visit to announce African Cultural Season 2020 holding in France.

Located just about 500 metres from the seat of power of Lagos State Governmennt, Afrika Shrine is Femi, Fela's son's continuation of his father's musical legacy. Afrika Shrine, launched in 2000 by Femi hosts musical and other cultural events, particularly of Femi's performances.

However, Macron, who was in Nigeria, specifically New Afrika Shrine, eight years ago on a private visit, used the opportunity of his latest visit to promote France's 'African Cultural Season 2020'

“I believe that we have to build together, a new and common narrative. And this new common narrative is not based on what is important for Europeans, but what is important for Africa about their culture – how they want to build their culture, how they want to explain their culture, how they want to promote their culture and which places are important for them for these promotions", said Macron who was accompanied to the Shrine by his host, Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
“European leaders are not here to lecture African leaders. African leaders are here to take care of their people. They are not there to lead the young generation to believe that their future is outside Africa. They have to build their future here in Africa.

"We decided to organize African Cultural Season 2020 in France for several reasons. It is about a team of young creatives coming from different parts of Africa. You’ll have contemporary artistes, painters, people involved in fashion, movies, visual arts, architecture… all different arts existing and present in Africa, especially Nigeria.

“Some people say this is a tremendous continent. This is a unique place…. And at the same time, some people say Africa is a place of terrorism… these two messages are true at the same time.  But why I believe it is possible to change all these negative messages is because what we need is for African people to speak about Africa. Because you always replicate, mirror Europeans impression about Africa. When I say we need new narratives, what I mean is that we need you people to make these narratives. I see a new generation of artistes, of entrepreneurs, of people coming from civil societies, of journalists, of intellectuals coming from Africa and explaining, speaking about Africa in Europe and everywhere".

During his visit, Macron also opened the new French Cultural Centre, in Lagos, said to have been donated by businessman, Mike Adenuga.


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