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A Benin Kingdom mask used as a symbol for FESTAC ’77.

Press release:

Chimurenga at The New School, NYC | 23 -25 October 2019

From 23–25 October 2019, Chimurenga will install its Pan African Space Station (PASS) at The New School’s Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New York City.

The three-day broadcast, which will run from 3pm – 7pm (EDT) daily, will explore the participation of African American artists, activists and intellectuals in the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC ’77, held in Lagos, Nigeria, in January-February 1977. The nearly 700-strong US delegation at FESTAC ’77 was “the largest single group of African Americans ever to return to Africa in one body” (Ebony Magazine), and featured luminaries such Sun Ra, Stevie Wonder, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Jayne Cortez, Barkley Hendricks, Betye Saar, Louis Farrakhan, Faith Ringgold and many, many more. The poet Kalamu ya Salaam described the event as “the culmination of the Black Art Movement oriented artistic conferences, festivals, and gatherings”.

The PASS landing at The New School will close on 25 October with a rare performance of composer and trombonist Craig Harris’ jazz suite titled FESTAC ’77 at the John L. Tishman Auditorium. Harris travelled to Lagos as a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, and this composition responds to that soul-stirring experience. The concert is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. To book please go HERE.

This event will also include a presentation of Chimurenga’s new book on FESTAC ’77, the first publication to consider FESTAC in all its cultural-historic complexity, addressing the planetary scale of the event alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible.

Visit Chimurenga for more information.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Chimurenga’s Broadcast & Book Launch at The New School (NYC) Will Explore African American Participation in & Cultural-Historical Complexity of FESTAC ’77 | 23-25 October” Subscribe

  1. Olaniyi October 20, 2019 at 11:08 am #

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