Category Archives: Europe

Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi

Russia delivered two nuclear-capable bombers to South Africa on a training mission on October 23, a flight apparently timed to coincide with President Vladimir Putin’s opening of a flagship Russia-Africa Summit conceived to ensure Russian influence.

The two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers landed at Waterkloof air force base in Tshwane on October 23, the South African National Defence Force announced.The Ministry of Defence of Russian Federation has said the mission is designed to nurture military ties with South Africa.

Addressing African heads of state at a two-day summit in the southern Russian city of Sochi, President Putin supported trade with African countries, foreseen to double over the next four to five years. Meanwhile Moscow had written off  $20 billion of  African debts.

The first Russia-Africa summit is part of a Kremlin strategy to win business and restore influence that faded after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which actively supported left-wing governments and movements across the continent during the period of the Cold War.

“Many Russian companies have long and successfully worked with partners from the most different sectors of the African economy and plan to expand their influence in Africa. We of course will provide support at the state level,” President Putin said.

Sindika Dokolo repatriates African heritage

#IncarNations exhibition of African artefacts intends to break the established patterns, presenting African in its aesthetics magnitude, but regard it as a philosophy. The synergy between Congolese art collector Sindika Dokolo (47) and South African artist Kendell Geers (51) produced a concept of appreciation  of continent’s cultural heritage bypassing traditional outlook. (Image above: Sindika Dokolo (right) and Nadia Yala Kisukidi, philosopher, BOZAR, October 4, 2019).

Three months event in Brussels prestigious cultural centre BOZAR has concluded with debates on the future of African art heritage, and its crucial role in nation building process, inspiring communities to evolve, moving away from colonial past, including break-away of imagination. (Image above: Chokwe Mask, Angola, #Incarnations, BOZAR)

Sindika Dokolo is convinced that in globalisation context, assembling African art and repatriating the artefacts to Africa is a significant part of the inter-African discussion on cultural heritage, restoring the unique role of African people in ensemble of nations.

Determined to shift away from “exoticism”  and detachment of the artefacts from the origins, Congolese Dokolo attempts to reconstruct African history  in its original purity of ante-Colonial era,  before Portuguese entered Congo.

Dokolo insists that African artefacts are more than objects, but crucial elements in inter-African debate on cultural heritage, restoring the forgotten chapter of African history, and projecting the unique profile of  African identity.

The Congolese collector underlines, that the very same pieces esteemed by Western art experts as masterpieces, are regarded by many Africans as expressions of “savagery” of ante-Colonial era, preferring to see them to be destroyed and forgotten. From this point of view the establishment of African art museums in Africa will help the complex process of learning to appreciate proper African heritage. But not only, because Dokolo is convinced art is the unique bridge that will empower Africans to  “love” themselves, and heal the scars left by savageries of Colonialism.

https://twitter.com/annavandensky/status/1180169457219653632?s=21

Image below: Sindika Dokolo in search of lost African art, #IncarNations exhibition


Museum Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac free visit

Paris museum Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac will be “free for ten days” to pay tribute to the former head of state at the origin of its creation, said it director, Stéphane Martin.

*The Museum will be free for ten days, (…) the time that people who want to pay tribute to the President can visit,” said Stéphane Martin on Europe 1 after the death of Jacques Chirac . Since, the establishment has been offering a temporary exhibition dedicated to acquisitions made since 1998, when the museum’s public establishment was created, which was opened in 2006.

This exhibition, which began two days before the death of Jacques Chirac,is really his collection, the collection that began in 1998 when he launched the museum Quai Branly,” said Stéphane Martin. This retraces “what we did for 20 years thanks to him in terms of enriching the collections”. “The images of the president are everywhere in the museum, the flags are at half-mast, it’s a very emotional moment for the teams,” said Stéphane Martin, adding that “a guestbook is available to visitors.

 

 

Rare Angola Mask at BOZAR

The rare mask from Angola is at display at BOZAR, Brussels, among the artefacts of the IncarNations exhibition. The “Chihongo” masculine mask, meaning a spirit of wealth, belong to tradition of Chokwe people of Angola, used to honour the male ancestors, believed to have power to bestow prosperity to the worshipers.

The type of masks are traditionally associated with the ancient rituals of the Mukanda school, devoted to young boys passing to manhood.

The mask went missing from Dundo Regional Museum, Angola, during the civil war (1975-2002). The story of the quest to find the mask, presumed stolen, began two years ago, and has been concluded successfully – the artefact has been found, and will be returned to the Angolan authorities.

Before it is sent back to Angola, it is at display at the Centre for Fine Arts as part of the IncarNations exhibition.

The exhibition includes a space devoted to the narrative of ongoing recovery project of the Dundo Museum, where the rare mask is integrated and open to public until the 6th of October.

G7 focus on Africa

Let me also say that the EU has concrete proposals for Africa. We are keeping our longstanding commitment to the Global Fund against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and we will contribute 550 million euros to the replenishment of the Fund. This means that our overall involvement will exceed 1 billion euros” said the president of the European Council Donald Tusk (pictured) ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz.

“I am also happy to announce that the EU will join the “Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa”, which is an important step in the fight for women’s empowerment. The EU’s contribution of over 85 million euros will help develop 100.000 businesses run by women. Last but not least, the EU will contribute an initial 1 million euros to the “International Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” that Nadia Murad and Doctor Denis Mukwege, winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, will present to G7 leaders tomorrow.”

South Africa will collaborate with other developing countries that have been invited to participate in the summit in order to advance Africa‘s developmental agenda, the Presidency said before President Cyril Ramaphosa left for Biarritz, France to attend the summit scheduled for August 24-26, following South Africa’s invitation to attend as a key partner.

Biarritz25/08/2019 AMENDED:

France: tribute to Africans soldiers

Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the Second World War heroes of the landing in Provence on August 15, 1944, a majority of African soldiers who wrote this “crucial page” of the history of France, imprinted it with “freedom and dignity“. African participation amounted up to a half  of the French contingent, indigenous soldiers from what are now some two dozen independent countries.

France has a part of Africa in it and on the soil of this Provence, this part was that of bloodshed”, Macron said during his visit to Saint-Raphaël (Var). Alongside President Guinean Alpha Condé and his counterpart from Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, French head of state laid a wreath in honor of died of this battle.

Emmanuel Macron has called on the mayors of France to “bring to life” the memory of African soldiers who fell in battle during the Second World War by giving their names to streets and squares, because the African fighters have not had the “glory and esteem that their bravery deserved”.

We will never forget anything or anyone;” he said. “This is a crucial page in our history,” he added. “You have restored our country’s freedom and dignity.”

Two months after the landing of Normandy, 250,000 men of the French army, supported by more than 120,000 soldiers of the Allied forces, land on the shores of Provence.

A military choir sang “The Song of the Africans,” while some veterans chanted with them. Fighter jets flew over the necropolis, trailing blue, white and red smoke to represent the French flag.

The former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy appeared among the invited by Emmanuel Macron to the ceremony 75th anniversary of the landing of Provence in Saint-Raphael, in the Var.

Pope Francis calls to assist migrants

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the VI anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa on July 8, a small Italian island 90 miles off the coast of Tunisia.

Pontifex called for an end to the rhetoric which views migrants as ‘other,’ saying they are human beings and among those Christ has commanded his disciples to love and assist.

“They are persons; these are not mere social or migrant issues!Pope continued “This is not just about migrants,’ in the twofold sense that migrants are first of all human persons, and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.”

These least ones are abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert; these least ones are tortured, abused and violated in detention camps; these least ones face the waves of an unforgiving sea; these least ones are left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary,Pope stated.

“In the spirit of the Beatitudes we are called to comfort them in their affliction and offer them mercy,” he urged, “to sate their hunger and thirst for justice; to let them experience God’s caring fatherliness; to show them the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

At present the numbers of Christians in Africa are at rise, by 2025, one-sixth – 230 million of the world’s Catholics are expected to be Africans. Half of the African population lives in poverty without access to basic human needs, such as nutrition, clean water, shelter and more.

While Africa is globally the poorest continent, it is also home to the highest birth rate: by 2050, a quarter of the world will be African, with the continent’s population likely to rise from 1.2-billion today to 2.5-billion in 2050.

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