FESTAC ’77 – the Book and LP soon come!

Early in 1977, thousands of artists, writers, musicians, activists and scholars from Africa and the black diaspora assembled in Lagos for FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. With a radically ambitious agenda underwritten by Nigeria’s newfound oil wealth, FESTAC ’77 would unfold as a complex, glorious and excessive culmination of a half-century of transatlantic and pan-Africanist cultural-political gatherings.

Devised by Chimurenga and edited by Ntone Edjabe, this is 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.

As the tenth title in Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series and the third in Chimurenga’s Chimurenga Library series, the book features a bespoke expanded format and design scheme, and gathers extensive unseen photographic and archival materials, interviews and new commissions by Akin Adesokan, Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Dominique Malaquais and Elvira Dyangani Ose, among others, and archival texts, materials, images and photographs by Wole Soyinka, Audre Lorde, Allioune Diop, Marilyn Nance, Barkley Hendricks, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Betye Saar, Sun Ra and many more.

Published by Chimurenga and Afterall Books, in association with Asia Art Archive, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and RAW Material Company, 2019.

Get a taste with Ntone Edjabe and Kodwo Eshun (The Otolith Collective) who listen closely to records for and from FESTAC ’77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos, Nigeria, from 15 January 1977 to 12 February 1977.

Also: as a 15-year old Michael McMillan wrote an essay that led to him being chosen as one of the “Black Britain” delegates at FESTAC ’77: the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture held in Lagos and Kaduna. Time travellin’ via the Pan African Space Station (PASS), Michael McMillan delved into his personal arkive to recall the life-changing experiences.

Both these sessions were part of the PASS landing at The Showroom, London. Listen to more here.

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