Galway City Council marked Africa Day 2019 with an exciting programme of engaging events and initiatives throughout the months of May and June, details of which are outlined below.
The SONKE Choir with the newly formed Galway African Diaspora group provided a lively, entertaining workshop celebrating African culture and music in the United Presbyterian / Methodist Church, Victoria Place, Galway on Tuesday, 28th May.
Speakers and musical performers from the African diaspora and of African origin joined the choir to provide an afternoon of celebration. The workshop was facilitated by Wally Nkikita, choir leader, and was open to the public. Attendees were encouraged to share and teach new African music and songs to the choir, allowing a creative opportunity to portray traditional symbols, song and dance from Africa, furthering a sense of trust and belonging for the African community in Ireland.
Curated by VisionFish, the 12th Galway African Film Festival took place on Saturday, 1st June and Sunday, 2nd June in the Bank of Ireland Theatre in NUIG. The aim of the festival is to introduce audiences in Ireland to the brilliance and variety of African cinema and to overcome the under-representation and marginalization of African film in Irish film-going culture.
One of the best ways to learn about Africa is to listen to African voices and to view representations created by Africans themselves, as these often counter the stereotypical representations seen in the Western mainstream media. By screening a selection of shorts, feature films and documentaries the film festival highlighted the variety of life experience on the African continent. This year’s screened filmed covered a range of topics including women’s rights, cultural identity and freedom of expression. The event in itself was educational and challenged stereotypes about the African continent, its people, cultures and histories.
Approximately eight to ten films, documentaries and/or shorts were screened throughout the duration of the festival and a talk in a local art studio was given by Daniela Ricci as a closing event which was open to the public to attend.
The ARD Family Resource Centre hosted an Africa Day 2019 celebration in Doughiska, Galway’s most multicultural suburb. The event will took place in the Cumasú Centre in Doughiska on Saturday, 25th May and people of all ages and nationalities from all over Galway city and surrounding areas were welcome. The aim of the event was to raise awareness about Africa and to promote African culture in Ireland.
The family friendly event will included performances from over ten African country groups local to the area, along with performances from TY students. Each group hosted their own stand with native food as well as indigenous crafts, fashion and jewellery.
Eight primary schools in Galway City participated in an FAI football schools event on Friday, 24th May in the Westside Sports facility on the Seamus Quirke Road. Each school received a football coaching session prior to the event and participated in the Show Racism the Red Card programme.
Ahead of the event, each school will identified themselves with a country in Africa and designed a placard highlighting the country’s history.