Proposal for Sankofa Cultural Arts Festival and Colloquiem
by Mwalimu W. Kabaila
on Friday,October 30, 2009 at 7:46am
The Sankofa Cultural Expo/Tour Project is a bold, yet comprehensive approach at cultural reconversion and reconstruction in the Pan African Community. It is grounded in the fact that many festivals which take place in black communities are either singular or dual focused (Film, Performing Art, Fine Art., Caribbean, Brazilian)
Sankofa as a theoretical and conceptual framework seeks to take a Renaissance approach to art and various forms of artistic expression. In this context, art is not just art for art's sake, but is the creative cultural production of a peoples common history, common life styles and their common and collective aspiration for a higher form of life and humanity. Building on the notion that 2011-2021 is the UN sanctioned, International Decade for People of African Descent, the Congress of African People (in collaboration with the Friends of African Union) will advance the notion of an Annual Global Pan African Festival Tour (Sankofa Productions Inc.), which will showcase the breathe and expansiveness of African and Diasporan creative productive capacity with an emphasis on sustainability. The goal of such sustainability is to create and support the growth of the creative industries, such that they generate their own revenue streams and are not just dependent on government, foundation, or corporate charitable giving, which may change from year to year. A key goal in this respect, is to contribute to the re-introduction of the Arts back in school curriculums, with a focus on Cultural Reconstruction. The Sankofa Cultural Project, CAP, and Sankofa Productions will work in concert to market the creative genious of the African mind and spirit, consistent with the communal character of the African Personality.
This will be achieved by harnessing and assembling the best and brightest creative minds in the Pan African Global Community. Festivals are not only for entertainment, but are the artistic manifestation of a peoples values, collective personality, cultural creativity and ultimately, their aspiration and vision of a higher level of life. Thus, in this context, the African centered Approach to Wholistic Medicine becomes an art form. The Sankofa approach would also highlight the Africanity in Architecture, Technology, Applied Math (STEM), Natural Hair Design, Interior Decorating, Fashion, Language and even the artistry of the way we love when in harmony with our African self. The distinctions in these art forms are not only a source of pride and dignity for our people, but also form the basis for creating and developing new industries which give rise to jobs and revenue sources for our community's creative expansiveness, self sufficiency and sustainability.
This Annual Event would designate certain cities around the globe where it will be held every year.
The theme for this event should be based on Cultural Sustainability. Sustainability in this context means that we seek to control creative production of every aspect of the industry, vertically and horizontally, unlike what has happened in the Black Hair Care Industry. Vertically, refers to control in each component of an industry, such as agriculture, processing, distribution, management, marketing, trademarks, intellectual rights, and residual revenues. Horizontal merely refers to control in each of the above categories. Building this kind of Sustainability into our industries insures not only control, but cooperative and collective benefit, as revenues can be used to build other industries in our communities, such as Cultural Centers and Sports Federations which are also revenue sources. These are the kinds of methodologies which will allow us to achieve the dreams and vision of Garvey, Nkrumah and Malcolm. Ashe', Shem Hotep.
Humbly Submitted by Mwalimu Kabaila
Copyright@Simbamaat Consultants 2009
A title might be, "The Sakofa Cultural Arts Festival and Colloquiem: Building for a Sustainable Future". Or we could place Renaissance in front of Building.
Prelude: A Drum Call would accompany a procession where each represented peoples' flag will be recognized. This will be followed by a Libation invoking spirits of the ancestors, followed by a Request of an Elder to begin Program.
1. Dance - Creative expression, African centered (theme, style, content, artistic expression)
2. Music - Involving Song, Drum, Instramentals Promoting Sustainable themes, and key interest areas such as STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering , Math) Key example is Dwight Trible
3. Comedy - as opening for other acts - Michael Williams as resource.
4. Theater - multiple venues…..themes must project some positive vision of Sustainable future and unification of our community. This is not form of censorship, merely pushing for new creative themes, which are community driven, and at the same time build their own audieces by directly speaking to community needs and aspirations. Howling Monk Coffees to be served.
5. Art Exhibit - multiple venues, each with own theme; assemblage, sculpture, AA, Continental, Diasporan, Haitian, utilizing malls, Crenshaw, Fox Hills, Leimert, and AA museum, Libraries.
6. Literature - Readings of literary works along with discussions to be held at libraries, restaurants, book stores and/or coffee shops. This concept to be promoted and instituted community wide, as an ongoing activity to increase literacy, and alternative to gangs, drugs, violence. Seek available grants. Get all book clubs to address same book for the month, and have a mass gathering/event every month with author, theme, content, skit. Awards program at designated time of year for those who have advanced the most in terms of their literacy. This fosters community unity, fights against illiteracy, increases status of nerds in school, and gives community concrete means of supporting anti-gang/drug/violence culture. African style Story Telling cannot be under estimated in this genre.
7. Mini Film Fest - Classical Black themes and/or he/sheroes, and which used mostly black labor in making and bringing to market. Also, film about or from Africa or Diaspora whereby we begin a methodology and/or modalities of creating more exchange, thus creating our own markets and need for community theater.
8. Poetry and Spoken Word - Leimert, Kamau Daoud, Makeda
9. Photography and Visual Arts
10. Cultural Tourism/Travel Exhibit
Identify and dissimenate info on Travel and Resort destinations where blacks have ownership.
11.Fashion - Renaissance Show - including Fashion Dress Design (shoes, jewelry, henna Design, Face art, waste beads, Oshun Whispers) for every occasion and segment of our community. This will be designed to be the Centerpiece of the Extravaganza, with a special emphasis on Natural Hair Designs in order to engage community interests in the politic/economy of Black Natural Hair. Featured Designer, Clara Ames, though not exclusive.
We'd like to particularly encourage African centered dress for Sunday church services, which is the one area Blacks exert most control over their lives.
12. Wholistic Health as an African Centered Art Form
a. Massage Techniques, Herbs and uses, Reiki, African Yoga and Martial Arts, Capieora
b. Belly Dancing as health Therapy - Dr. Sunyatta Amen
13. African Centered Architectural Designs -Mathu
14. African Centered Interior Design
15. African/Black Inventiveness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
16. African Crafts - beading, glass blowing, carving, shoe/sandal making, furniture design, purses, caps.
1. An event of this type would build on the energy generated by the local Cultural oriented events, which can serve as feeders for this one. and could become a practical expression to channel creative production into.
2. It could be used as a tool to unite the different and various sectors of the arts community into a singular event causing all to coordinate and work together for common success. One way to give recognition to Cultural Pioneers is to name awards after them, e.g. Gil Scott Heron, Letta Mbulu, Nina Simone, Big Black, Olatungi, Oscar Brown Jr., Larry Neal and a Tribute to Amiri Baraka.
3. A means of Rallying the entire community in support and recognition of Legacy Agenda of the African Union (AU) and the Renaissance theme it projects and promotes in its policies, programs and projects.
4. The Fashion Show component promoting Natural Black Designs can be a means of mobilizing young Black woman around the identity politics of fashion and culture, and by extension, economic development by engaging associated industries.
5.To demonstrate the importance, relevance and meaning of building a Pan African Film Industry in which films are mutually distributed throughout the continent and diaspora, which would attract a support base in our own communities and develop an economic stimulus in each, and venues for Black/African independent film makers. This event can be a pre-promotion and signal to the community to prepare for such.
6. The Colloquiem would be a forum to discuss and present proposals for building such institutions such as Sankofa Press (A Pan African News Service), Sankofa Stock Exchange, Sankofa Bank, Sankofa Fashion Expo, Sankofa housing developments, Sankofa Amusement Parks, Sakofa Healing Spas N Weight loss Retreats, Trade and Commerce Missions, Sankofa Communications Networks, Sankofa Drum Festival, Sankofa Health Delivery Systems, Sankofa Virtual University Systems, Sankofa Rites of Passage, Sankofa Cultural Tourism, Sankofa Spiritual Systems, Sankofa Agriculture and Food Security, Sankofa Governance Systems and Modalities, Sankofa Sports, Sankofa Holidays, Ceremonies and Rituals, Sankofa Family Development and Lifestyles, Sankofa Film and Performing Arts Industry.
7. To Advance and Promote the Cultural Revolution advanced by Garvey, Nkrumah, Malcolm and others seeking to throw off the yoke of colonialism and enslavement perpetuated over the last 5 centuries. The Colloquiem will seek to also define the key elements of Cultural Revolution and African Renaissance, and how they shall be pursued in our endeavor to move our collective struggle for Global African Liberation, and to Restore Ma'at among our people, as our ancient ancestors instructed.
1. Identify cities in North America and Carib which are large population centers and would attract the largest audiences. Potentials would be New York/New Jersey, Chicago, Atlanta/Charlotte, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, Barbados, Trinidad. Early networking should be done with smaller local communities in each area.
2. Venues in each city should be identified for their potential as a showcase and initial work done to collect necessary information for making final decisions.
3. A professional Promotion team should be assembled for Coordination and Management, but each locale should have their own local organizing team. A calendar will be made specifying the best time for each locale.
4. Local organizing teams should consist of:
C. Tech teams
D. Organizers for each artist category: R&B, Reggae, Dance, Vocals, Comedy, Poetry, Martial arts, Health Modalities, Fashion, Fine Art.
H. Community/Business/Civic Organizations.
Copyright by Simbamaat Consultants 2009