The First World Festival of Negro Arts, Dakar 1966

Contexts and legacies

Edited by David Murphy

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ISBN: 9781781383162

Publication: September 1, 2016

Series: Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines 20

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
In April 1966, thousands of artists, musicians, performers and writers from across Africa and its diaspora gathered in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to take part in the First World Festival of Negro Arts (Premier Festival Mondial des arts nègres). The international forum provided by the Dakar Festival showcased a wide array of arts and was attended by such celebrated luminaries as Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Aimé Césaire, André Malraux and Wole Soyinka. Described by Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor, as ‘the elaboration of a new humanism which this time will include all of humanity on the whole of our planet earth’, the festival constituted a highly symbolic moment in the era of decolonization and the push for civil rights for black people in the United States. In essence, the festival sought to perform an emerging Pan-African culture, that is, to give concrete cultural expression to the ties that would bind the newly liberated African ‘homeland’ to black people in the diaspora. This volume is the first sustained attempt to provide not only an overview of the festival itself but also of its multiple legacies, which will help us better to understand the ‘festivalization’ of Africa that has occurred in recent decades with most African countries now hosting a number of festivals as part of a national tourism and cultural development strategy.

David Murphy is Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the University of Stirling and President of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies.

List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Introduction. The Performance of Pan-Africanism: Staging the African Renaissance at the First World Festival of Negro Arts
 David Murphy

1 ‘The Real Heart of the Festival’: The Exhibition of L’Art nègre at the Musée Dynamique
 Cédric Vincent
2 Dance at the 1966 World Festival of Negro Arts: Of ‘Fabulous Dancers’ and Negritude Undermined
 Hélène Neveu Kringelbach
3 Staging Culture: Senghor, Malraux and the Theatre Programme at the First World Festival of Negro Arts
 Brian Quinn
4 Making History: Performances of the Past at the 1966 World Festival of Negro Arts
 Ruth Bush
5 ‘The Next Best Thing to Being There’: Covering the 1966 Dakar Festival and its Legacy in Black Popular Magazines
 Tsitsi Jaji

6 ‘Negritude is Dead’: Performing the African Revolution at the First Pan-African Cultural Festival (Algiers, 1969)
 Samuel D. Anderson
7 Beyond Negritude: Black Cultural Citizenship and the Arab Question in FESTAC ’77
 Andrew Apter
8 Cultural Festivals in Senegal: Archives of Tradition, Mediations of Modernity
 Ferdinand de Jong
9 FESMAN at 50: Pan-Africanism, Visual Modernism and the Archive of the Global Contemporary
 Elizabeth Harney
10 PANAFEST: A Festival Complex Revisited
 Dominique Malaquais and Cédric Vincent

Books and Films about the 1966 Festival

'A terrific book that combines an impressive range of both new and emerging voices with leading international specialists located in transnational settings, and that will be of tremendous relevance to students and scholars in fields as diverse as cultural studies, performance studies, French and Francophone Studies, History and African Studies.'

Dominic Thomas


Format: Hardback

272 Pages

16 B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781781383162

Publication: September 1, 2016

Series: Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines 20

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