World Festival of Black Arts

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World Festival of Black Arts
World Festival of Black Arts (FESMAN)
Genre Pan-African
Dates December
Location(s) Dakar, Senegal, Lagos, Nigeria
Years active 1966, 1977, 2009/2010
Founded by Leopold Senghor

The World Festival of Black Arts (French: Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres), also known as FESMAN, is a month-long culture and arts festival that takes place in Africa. The festival features poetry, sculpture, painting, music, cinema, theatre, fashion, architecture, design and dance from artists and performers from around the African Diaspora.[1]


The First World Festival of Black Arts or World Festival of Negro Arts was held in Dakar, Senegal, 1–24 April 1966, initiated by former President Leopold Senghor, under the auspices of UNESCO,[2] with the participation of 45 African, European, Caribbean, and North and South African countries, and featuring black literature, music, theater, visual arts, film and dance.[3]

In 1977, from 15 January to 12 February, the Second World Festival of Black Arts or Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture — known as FESTAC '77 — took place in Lagos, Nigeria, under the patronage of President Olusegun Obasanjo.[4] Attended by more than 17,000 participants from over 50 countries, it was the largest cultural event ever held on the African continent.[4]

The festivals were planned as Pan-African celebrations, and ranged in content from performance — particularly dance and theatre — to debate.[5]

2010 Festival[edit]

The 2010 World Festival of Black Arts took place 10–31 December 2010. and was initiated by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade with the theme of African Renaissance. In President Wade's 2009 address at the UN, he said: "I call all Africans, all the sons and daughters of the Diaspora, all my fellow citizens, all the partners that are ready to walk by our side, all States, all international organizations, foundations, firms, etc. for a shining success for this Festival, and for the rise of a new Africa."


  1. ^ "World Festival of Black Arts launched at UN Headquarters", People's Daily, 15 January 2009.
  2. ^ UNESDOC.
  3. ^ "First World Festival of Negro Arts. U.S. Committee Records", New York Public Library.
  4. ^ a b "FESTAC '77 — 2nd World Black & African Festival of Arts".
  5. ^ Martin Banham, Errol Hill, George Woodyard (eds), The Cambridge Guide to African & Caribbean Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1994; "FESTAC", p. 3.

External links[edit]