MONTREAL MOVES TO THE BEAT OF THE FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL NUITS D'AFRIQUE
July 18, 2011
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In Africa, communities traditionally gather under the baobab tree to exchange ideas, discuss life and improve their societies. The tree becomes a civic space where citizens can participate in the development of their communities.
By Rony Civil
The Festival International Nuits d'Afrique shares this spirit, and will use it to transform Le Parterre du Quartier des spectacles into an African village. It's a considerable challenge for the festival organizers, who are using this space for the first time. "It certainly was a challenge to work in this totally new environment, but at the same time, one of the goals of the festival has always been to get close to people. This choice will benefit us by letting us keep that same vision while expanding our reach" explains Hélène Dimanche, national programmer at Productions Nuits d'Afrique.
Photo credit: Festival International Nuits d'Afrique
During the festival, many afternoon conferences will tackle the issue of world music, both for aficionados and for producers, broadcasters and musicians. How to define world music? What does it mean here, and in other parts of the world? What issues do artists fce? "It's important for us to hold these conferences, to help democratize world music and gain an understanding of its reality".
AN AFRICAN VILLAGE IN THE HEART OF MONTREAL
When you think of an African village, you think of the market, where you find a whole host of interesting little items. The village at Nuits d'Afrique is no exception. Festivalgoers will be able to stroll through a typical African market where they'll find clothing, jewelry, sculptures and paintings. Forget your Western reflexes -- in this market, you'll use the art of negotiation as it's practiced so well in Africa. Visitors will negotiate their own price for each item they want to buy. It's a neat way to exchange with artisans and learn a bit more about African culture.
The Festival International Nuits d'Afrique has always aimed to teach the population about African culture. The village at Nuits d'Afrique will offer a special glimpse of the everyday citizen's side of things, by emphasizing creation and exchange. Come gather in the village, our own kind of baobab tree, to exchange, observe and -- most importantly -- have fun, all to the rhythms of Africa.