AFRICA DAY TO BE CELEBRATED AT UNESCOParis - A round-table on the concept of "Negritude" will be one of the highlights of celebrations at UNESCO Headquarters for this year's Africa Day (May 25), marking the founding in 1963 of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU).
"Africa celebrates" is the theme of this year's activities, which have been organized by Africa's ambassadors to UNESCO and to France. A poetry reading, an exhibition of sculpture and jewellery, concerts and a chance to taste some African food are also on the agenda.
This year's Africa Day will pay tribute to the apostle of Negritude, Léopold Sédar Senghor, the poet-president of Senegal who died on December 20 2001, and will be an occasion to review this literary, philosophical and also political movement which has provoked debate since it appeared in the late 1940s and which still draws artists, intellectuals and academics interested in Black societies.
The round-table will be opened by the president of the African ambassadors' group, Filippe Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) and chaired by its vice-president, the writer Carlos-Edmilson Marques Vieira (Guinea Bissau). Discussion will be preceded by an address by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, secretary-general of the International Organization of French-Speaking Countries and a poetry reading by Nouréini Tidjani-Serpos (Benin), the Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Africa, and Amin Esber, a writer and Ambassador of Syria. Participants in the debate - "Negritude: its origins, philosophy and future" - include Ambassador Albert Owuwu-Sarpond (Ghana), Professor Benedita Gouveia Damaceno (Brazil) and philosopher Spero Stanislas Adotevi (Benin). Congolese author Henri Lopes and Prof. Jacques Chevrier (France) will open the discussion.
An exhibition will follow ofAfrican jewellery by Laetitia Ewagnignon (Benin) who, under the theme of "Ekabo" (Welcome!), makes unique ornaments out of bone, horn, ebony, coral, amber, bronze and other traditional materials. Sculptures of Laurence Chérubin (Gabon), whose work blendsprecious metals and stone, will also be on show.
Finally, African food and music will be honoured, with troupes from all corners of the continent to - in the words of Filippe Sawadogo - "celebrate all the Africas."
The round-table on "Negritude: its origins, philosophy and future"
will be held in Room II, from 3-5 pm.
The African jewellery and sculpture exhibition will be opened at 5.30 pm
in the 7th floor foyer and can be visited until June 5.
Cocktails and a concert will be from 6 pm. in the 7th floor foyer.
For more information, contact Jasmina Sopova,
UNESCO Bureau of Public Information, Editorial Section.
Tel: 01 45 68 47 18. Fax: 01 45 68 57 47. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org