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40 years after FESTAC, African Culture and Design Festival beckons


Titi Ogunfere

Africa’s rich cultural heritage can no longer be overlooked or viewed remotely from discriminatory and narrow foreign perspectives. African Culture and Design Festival will serve as the nexus between Africa’s past and present through the careful selection of relevant and specific objects.

With the theme ‘This Is Africa,’ the festival, being one of a kind, will bring the world to experience Africa in Nigeria through tastefully segmented pavilions namely Design, Modern and Contemporary Art, Traditional and Video Installation.

Curating the Design Pavilion will be President, Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN), Titi Ogunfere. It will feature notable works from Malian design maverick, Cheick Diallo, the avant-garde pieces of Nigeria’s Damola Rufai, as well as several other personalities that continue to redefine interior architecture globally.


Modern and Contemporary Arts pavilion will be curated by renowned consultant and director of Centre for Contemporary Art, Bisi Silva. This segment has a laudable line-up of artists from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal and several others. In partnership with Goethe Institute and VAN Lagos, she will be cataloguing the intricacies of works created by Tobenna Okwuosa, Adjaratou Ouedraogo and Kelani Abass.

Historical pieces by renowned Traditional Art collector, Femi Akinsanya’s will be the highlight of the Traditional African Art pavilion. To be curated by articulate museum specialist and former Chairperson, Committee on Inventory of Collections in the National Commission for Museums and Monuments Nigeria, Ronke Ashaye, the pavilion will have over 100 traditional art installations on display that have been carefully preserved for centuries and have been featured in major exhibitions across the globe. The Gelede Headdress, Yoruba and Edan Ogboni are only a few of what visitors at the pavilion can look forward to.

Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), Azu Nwagbogu, will be curating the Visual Art pavilion. His montages are a combination of rare picturesque, raw truths and realities that have pervaded society and global communities, telling stories that are not easily forgotten.

​The cxhibition, which opens November 9, 2017 will run through to November 12 and will take place at Balmoral Hall, Federal Palace
Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Coming 40 years after the iconic FESTAC ‘77, Nigeria and Africa will once again get the opportunity to showcase the resplendent beauty of Africa’s historical and emerging art.

Event sponsors include Lagos State, MTN, Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank, First Bank, Stanbic Ibtc, Skye Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Custodian Pensions, Bank of Industry,  Eko Hotel and Suites, Dangote Cement, British Airways, Notore, MidWestern, Eroton, Boff and Company, Seplat and Balmoral, Robert Taylor Media, B.A.P, High Impact Planet, SMIL and Cantagali. Media sponsors are BusinessDay, The Guardian Nigeria, Ventures Africa, ASIRI magazine, LIVIN Spaces, City 105.1FM, WISH Africa, Essential Media, Insecta Studio.

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