Ireland's black community was embraced at the Africa Day festival in the grounds of Dublin Castle.
Ireland's black community was embraced at the Africa Day festival in the grounds of Dublin Castle. Sinead O'Connor, Kila, Mundy, and Republic of Loose performed at the free family event alongside Ugandan drummers, Kenyan acrobats, traditional Nigerian dancers, Congolese folk singers and gospel choirs. More than 40,000 people born in Africa are living in Ireland, with the majority coming from Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Congo. Census figures showed that 20,000 of those were living in the capital.
The Minister made a short speech explaining how welcome Africans are in Ireland and that Africa Day was first celebrated here three years ago. He said that the party is getting much bigger and that it is hoped that it will be even bigger next year with better entertainment an bands (I assume that he was not saving that the entertainment available today needed to be better because it was excellent).
Over the next few hours I will be uploading a large selection of photographs.
Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was in July 2002 succeeded by the present African Union, while amalgamating with the African Economic Community (AEC), but kept the date and name of Africa Day.
Africa Day will be celebrated here in Ireland and some details are included below. I intend to photograph as many of the events as possible but as this coverage will be limited to Dublin I need you, in other parts of the World, to contribute photographs and video and comments.
Here in Dublin The new Foreign Minister Micheál Martin kicked a series of events celebrating African culture as a lead-up to Africa Day on 25 May.
Irish Aid is supporting 58 cultural, sporting and academic events in 21 counties across the island and the Africa Day festival will take place in the gardens of Dublin Castle on Sunday 25 May.
The main stage line up for this event will feature Irish and African entertainers including Mundy, Sinéad O Connor, Republic of Loose with The Discovery Gospel Choir, Motema, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir and Congomania.
'This is a great opportunity for us to look again at Africa and our perceptions of the continent', Minister Martin. 'Irish Aid is proud to support events marking Africa Day in Ireland. Over 80% of Ireland's aid supports development in Africa.'
The Minister launched the Africa Day festival at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre on Dublin's O'Connell Street, where he was joined by representatives of African communities in Ireland.
Major events are taking place in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick and most are free for the public.
Next weekend, prominent Dublin City buildings will host light displays highlighting the lives of Africans in Ireland.
The Africa Day Film Festival features a selection of world classfilmmaking, which celebrates the creative potential that exists on sucha vast and varied continent.
Africa Day Film Festival - Dublin
The Africa Day Film Festival features a selection of world classfilmmaking, which celebrates the creative potential that exists on sucha vast and varied continent. 25 May 12pm/1.45pm/2pm at the Irish FilmInstitute, Eustace Street, Dublin 2 | IFI Africa Day Film Festival
Galway African Film Festival - Galway
Free festival of African films from Senegal, Ghana, South Africa,Nigeria and Chad. 1-2 June, all day from 12pm at Galway Town HallTheatre | http://www.myspace.com/galwayafricanfilmfestival
Sights and Sounds of Africa - Tralee
A night of African Film. The main feature will be supported by acollection of shorts by emerging African filmmakers. 24 May, 9pm, atGortbrack Organic Farm, Tralee, Co.Kerry.
The Reel Africa - Dundalk
A celebration of Africa on film. Recent African cinema will bescreened in an intimate setting with the directors and discussionsabout their work. Opening film on 22 May, 8pm - closing film on 24 May,8pm at the Dundalk Institute of Technology | http://reelafrica.dkit.ie
Celebrating African Film - Dublin
Three films to celebrate African film, suitable for all ages. 22 May10.30am/2pm/7pm at Ballyfermot College of Further Education, Dublin 10.
The Big Idea - TV documentary
Young Scientist award winner, Tara McGrath, travels to Ethiopia totest her latest invention- a pressure cooker designed to tackle thebiggest issues in food preparation faced by the developing world. 26May, 11.30pm on RTE One.
A day of African culture, Art and Crafts, African food, including:dance workshop, hair-braiding workshop, photo exhibition, and adult andchildren's literature.
Africa Day - Dublin Castle
Irish Aid's flagship Africa Day event takes place in the gardens ofDublin Castle and is open - free of charge - to the public. With anAfrican village and range of activities and entertainment for childrenand adults alike. Sunday, 25 May, 1-7pm at Dublin Castle | Africa Day
Africa Day at the National Botanic Gardens
Talk on 'Plants for People in Africa' by Dr. Darach Lupton,botanist at the National Botanic Gardens.'Parched deserts, drenched forests; an introduction to thehabitats, important plant diversity and botanic gardens of theAfrican continent.' Followed by music by Oleku, in the Curvilinear Range.Sunday 25 May, 2pm.For more information please see the website: http://www.botanicgardens.ie/home.htm
Come and meet Africa - Waterford
A day of African culture, including: dance workshop, hair-braidingworkshop, photo exhibition, and adult and children's literature. 23May, 10am-8pm at Waterford City Library, Waterford.
Building Unity through Diversity - Dublin
Building Unity through Diversity is an awareness project promotingthe diversity and potential of Africa. Exhibition 19 May-2 June at theIrish Aid Centre, 27-31 Upper O'Connell St, Dublin 1. Also at DublinCastle on 25 May | www.buildingunity.eu
Embracing Diversity - One people, one heritage - Limerick and Dublin
Art & Crafts, Music, African food, African literature and afootball tournament. 23-24 May from 11am at City Hall, Limerick.Cultural workshops, masquerades and performances, African food andstory-telling workshops. 24 May from 1pm at National League of theBlind Hall, 21 Hill Street, Dublin 1.
Feile Africa - Cork
Concerts and club sessions plus workshop exhibitions, discussions,and lectures at a number of venues throughout the week in Cork city.19-23 May. For more details, see: http://www.feileafrica.com/feileafrica_news.htm
The Afro-gig music extravaganza will feature Kanda Bongo Man, the mostfamous exponent of Soukous in Africa will play at the AmbassadorTheatre.
Afro Gig with Kanda Bongo Man - Dublin
The Afro-gig music extravaganza will feature Kanda Bongo Man, themost famous exponent of Soukous in Africa. 24 May, 7.30pm, at theAmbassador Theatre, Dublin 1 | www.africacentre.ie
Sights and Sounds of Africa - Tralee
African beats with Clubheadbangbang. DJ Wax will play a Nigerianhip-hop set. 22 May, 10pm, at the Greyhound venue, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Spirit of Africa Voice - Galway
Open-air stage to celebrate Africa Day, with an African musicconcert, children's storytelling and face painting. 25 May, 1-6pm, atEyre Square, Galway. Concert and BBQ at NUI Galway Bar on 24 May 3-8pm.www.spiritofvoice.com
Lively Up Yourself - Mayo
An African drumming event with a workshop and free publicperformance. Workshop starts at 11am and performance at 4pm at MarketSquare, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Rythmix Africa - Limerick
A youth participation music project - a series of exciting workshopswith African drumming experts and a free lunchtime concert. 25 May,12pm, at Limerick Institute of Technology, Millennium Theatre, Limerick.
The Africa Centre annual lecture - Dublin
This lecture will present an image of Africa by Africans not oftenheard in mainstream Irish debates. 21 May, 7.30pm at the Irish AidCentre, 27-31 Upper O'Connell St, Dublin 1| www.africacentre.ie
Human Rights in Zimbabwe - Dublin
Post-elections, what now for Zimbabwe? Discussion on the possiblerole of the Churches in helping create a better future for thiscountry. 22 May, 9.30am-1pm at the Irish Aid Centre, 27-31 UpperO'Connell St, Dublin 1.
Embracing Diversity - Limerick and Cork
Debate on Ireland's contribution to African development on Limerick95FM, 19 May. Seminar on African Heritage and Integration with liveperformances, 23-24 May from 12pm at Clarion Hotels, Cork.
Writing Africa - Dublin
A celebration of African literature; a weekend of discussion,readings and workshops with leading African authors. 24-25 May at IrishWriters Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
The flagship event will take place in the gardens of Dublin Castle on Sunday, 25th May from 1 to 7pm.
'Africa Day @ Dublin Castle' is open - free of charge - to thepublic, and will showcase many aspects of African culture, includingmusic, literature, art and cuisine. The event will take the form of anAfrican Village and will comprise the following elements:
When entering the event and its specially created African Village,visitors will walk through a bazaar area, comprising stands from Egypt,Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa andUganda. Visitors will have the chance to sample wine, coffee andtraditional foods in this area; to partake in a mint tea orcoffee-drinking ceremony; to play popular African board games; seedrumming demonstrations, acrobatic performances and lots of traditionalAfrican costumes, and even send greetings to Nelson Mandela for his90th birthday in July!
The Main Stage
A main stage in front of the picnic area will feature a line-up of leading Irish and African entertainers, including: Mundy; Kíla; a very special guest appearance from Sinéad O'Connor and Republic of Loosewith The Discovery Gospel Choir; Motema (40s and 50s Congolese rumba);R'n'B act, Stone & Jezreel; The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir;energetic dance act, Congomania; Ugandan traditional dance and afashion show. All of the main acts participating on stage areperforming free of charge.
Stone & Jezreel will be performing at Dublin Castle
The Culture Section
The Culture Section will feature spoken word performances on themain stage and in the theatre of the Chester Beatty Library. Inputswill be provided by:
- Irish Times writer, Roisin Ingle.
- Founder and Artistic Director of Arambe Productions (Ireland'sfirst African Theatre), Bisi Adigun. Bisi's performance title is 'PeigSayers - A Fear Gorm Perspective'. He will read from 'Peig', theautobiography of the native Irish speaker, Peig Sayers, and explore theuse of a rich heritage of proverbs in the Irish language and in hisnative Nigeria.
- Ghanaian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who hasbeen invited to Ireland to celebrate Africa Day by the Dublin Writers'Centre. Nii is a writer of poetry, prose and articles, and haspublished three poetry chapbooks: eyes of a boy, lips of a man (1999);M is for Madrigal (2004), a selection of seven jazz poems; and shorter(2005), published to raise money for a writers' fund in Ghana. Anexperienced performer of his work, he has appeared all over the world,including at NuYorican, New York; The Royal Festival Hall, London; andJava, Paris, and often leads writing and performance workshops.
- South African author and journalist, Thabi Madide, who will readfrom her debut novel 'Really'. Her novel tells the story of a blackSouth African woman who moves to live in Ireland and unexpectedly fallsin love with a former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging commander.
- Irish author and journalist, Declan Lynch, who will read from his hugely popular novel 'The Rooms'.
- Editor of Metro Éireann, Chinedu Onyejelem, who will give a spoken word performance on the topic of Igbo marriage customs.
The Culture Corner will extend into the Coach House at DublinCastle, and will feature art and photography exhibits, as well as craftand artefact displays. The Irish Ethiopian Friendship Association willbe on hand with a display of Ethiopian artefacts and textiles; WorldDesign will display contemporary African design and craft; the'Building Unity Through Diversity' exhibition will offer families thechance to have their photos taken and become part of Ireland's familyalbum, while other African photographs and art will also be on display.
In addition, the Chester Beatty Library will extend its openinghours until 7pm on Africa Day; the Library houses the newly opened Artsof the Book exhibition and the Sacred Traditions exhibition, whichincludes a number of manuscripts from Ethiopia.
Former Republic of Ireland soccer manager, Brian Kerr, will be onhand - together with SARI (Sports Against Racism in Ireland) - tooversee sporting activities at the African Village event. This willinclude Extreme Trampoline, five-a-side soccer and mini-tournaments forall ages. The Ugandan Association of Ireland will also give somedemonstrations of netball, one of the most popular sports in Uganda.
Open Area and Kids' Corner
In the Kids' Corner, there will be a story-telling area,face-painting and fun activities focusing on different aspects ofAfrican culture. Older children can participate in workshops onbracelet-making.
Traditional African Dancers, hair-braiders and face-painters willmingle in the main 'market area', which will be set in front of themain stage.
In a corner of the market area, a group of Zambian artists willcreate a mural of Africa using newspaper images and materials fromAfrica. Visitors will be encouraged to contribute to the process.
Screenings of the acclaimed animated film 'Kirikou and theSorceress' will take place. Taking its artistic inspiration fromAfrican sculpture and Egyptian art - and featuring an authenticsoundtrack from Senegalese musician Youssou N'dour - the film will beappreciated by parents and children alike.
Visitors to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle are encouraged to bringpicnics and to stay for a few hours to soak up the carnival atmosphere.African food will also be available for sale, with the renowned SilkRoad Café providing catering facilities.
Prizes and Treats
Traidlinkswill provide tea, coffee and fruit, as well as offering two familyhampers for winners of the Africa Day Quiz. Silk Road Café will alsooffer a family hamper for the quiz, while Edun Clothing will provide100 per cent organic cotton t-shirts from Africa as prizes for thoseparticipating in sporting events.
Register your Interest
Entry to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle is free of charge. To help uscater for numbers on the day, we would ask you to register yourintention to attend the event by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in your mail the number of people that will be attending in your party.
Note: this email is not for general queries about Africa day, if you have general queries contact: email@example.com
Africa Day on Facebook
Join the Africa Day group on Facebook and get updates on acts, activities and special guests.