Pan-African festival ‘enriching for Seychellois’

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Pan-African festival ‘enriching for Seychellois’

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Pan-African festival ‘enriching for Seychellois’ - 17.08.2009

A group of 37 people from Seychelles who took part in the second Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algeria last month have met to review what they described as an enriching experience.

The meeting, at the International Conference Centre on Friday, was also attended by Minister for Community Development, Youth Sports and Culture Vincent Meriton and principal secretary for Youth, Sports and Culture Denis Rose.

Addressing the group, which included musicians, painters and choreographers among others, Mr Meriton said the festival – held after a gap of 40 years – was one of the biggest cultural activities on the continent.

Minister Meriton addressing guests and artists at Friday’s gathering

“The festival is a platform to expose our local artists and encourage people from the continent to buy our products and use our services,” he said.

He said Seychelles is proud of the success the delegation achieved, adding that our artistic works were greatly appreciated.

The festival will also help to bring revenue for those who took part in it and for Seychelles as a whole, Mr Meriton added.

Galen Bresson, chairman of the Seychelles Association of Music Exportation and Promotion, said the festival presented a platform for Seychelles to showcase itself alongside other African countries and the African diaspora from the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

“In musical activities, Seychelles had both traditional and modern groups taking part, and the traditional music and dance that were presented received better reviews than those of other countries present,” he said.

Mr Bresson added that Elijah and his group confirmed Seychelles’ status by dominating the evening news alongside great African artists such as Mory Kante, Manu Dibango and Kassav.

And moving away from music, he noticed that the use of coconut as a medium and the weaving techniques shown amazed those who saw the products on display.

Leon Radegonde and Christine Chetty were among the local artists whose high-quality works were displayed, with African issues such as famine, disease and war among their themes.

Seychelles was the only country that was invited to feature on several television programmes. It was also asked to screen a video on the country prepared by the Seychelles Tourism Board.

The Pan-African Cultural Festival was celebrated from July 5-20 under the theme: The African Renaissance.

Also part of the Seychellois delegation in Algiers were the director general for culture Raymonde Onezime and director of Arts Development and Cultural Industries of the National Arts Council Lydia Charlie.


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