Home AFRICAN STORY Legacy Of Festac ’77: Unveiling The Pan-African Cultural Celebration In Lagos

Legacy Of Festac ’77: Unveiling The Pan-African Cultural Celebration In Lagos

by inlandtownadmin
0 comment

Festac ’77 in Lagos (Jan 15 – Feb 12, 1977) was the largest pan-African gathering, showcasing African culture in music, art, literature, drama, dance, and religion.

Erhabor Emokpae crafted a replica of the royal ivory mask of Benin, serving as the official emblem of the festival. The festival led to the creation of the Nigerian National Council of Arts and Culture, Festac Village, and the National Theatre in Lagos. The inspiration for convening FESTAC can be traced to the development of ideas on Négritude and Pan-Africanism. The forums were convened with the intention of promoting black culture and civilization. In Lagos, Nigeria, preparations for the second festival started on October 3, 1972. The International Festival Committee, in their first meeting, decided to hold the festival in November 1974. The festival’s name changed to “Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture” to reflect African unity.

The opening ceremony of the festival took place inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. A highlight of the ceremony was participants from 48 countries parading past dignitaries, diplomats, and Nigerian Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo. The festival events typically kicked off around 9 a.m., extending until midnight. Moreover, the colloquium, held daily during the initial two weeks of activities, constituted the centerpiece of the festival.. About 700 writers, artists and scholars participated in the lectures. Lectures delve into Third World countries’ quest for intellectual freedom, balancing dependence on colonizers with projecting global confidence and independence. Among the speakers at events were Clarival do Prado Valladares, Lazarus Ekwueme, Babs Fafunwa and Eileen Southern.

Several art exhibitions took place at the National Theatre, at the Nigerian National Museum and around Tafawa Balewa Square. At the Square, nations exhibited diverse art, showcasing “Africa and the Origin of Man” and “Ekpo Eyo’s 2000 Years of Nigerian Art” with Nok terracottas, Benin court art, Igbo Ukwu, Ife, and Tsoede bronzes. A contemporary Nigerian exhibit featured works by Onobrakpeya, Enwonwu, Grillo, Okeke, and Oshinowo. The National Theatre displayed African architectural tech, including banco masonry and the Berber Courtyard of Matmata.

Post-festival, Nigeria retained artifacts from 59 countries, founding the Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) in Lagos and Abuja. The Center preserves the festival’s monuments in a museum. Photographer Marilyn Nance owns and maintains the USA contingent’s archive.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More