FESTAC 77: UNESCO, CBAAC To Celebrate 40th Anniversary

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) would mark the 40th anniversary of FESTAC 77 to push for the preservation of images captured across the globe for posterity.

UNESCO’s National Information and Programme Officer in Abuja, Mr Olushola Macaulay said in a statement to mark the World Day for Audio Visual Heritage.

He said that the event would come up in Lagos from Nov. 6 to Nov.11. FESTAC 77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, was held in Lagos
from Jan. 15 to Feb. 12, 1977.

It was a celebration of African culture, music, fine art, literature, drama, dance, and religion. FESTAC 77 placed audiovisuals in the spotlight, and UNESCO, at its 21st

General Conference on Oct. 27, 1980, agreed to safeguard and preserve the images and consequently initiated the World Day for Audio Visual Heritage.

According to Olushola, people still capture moving images across the world but lack the ability to preserve them.

“Everyday, all over the world, people capture moving images to record all facets of life, from science to culture or to education.

“Some of the images depicting different events and situations of life are lost due to inappropriate preservation.

“The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, therefore, provides a platform for preserving and promoting our heritage.

“Not only does it provide a platform for highlighting audiovisual preservation, it also provides an avenue for building dialogue around it.

“As a conserved material, audiovisual archives form a cornerstone for the memory of the world and preserve recordings for future generations.

“UNESCO in collaboration with CBAAC celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Second World African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77), holding in Lagos from Nov. 6 to Nov.11,” he said.

“FESTAC 77, places in the spotlight, the role of audiovisual preservation in ensuring that the memory of FESTAC 77 is kept for future generations to see,” he said. He added that the celebration would feature panel discussion with the theme

“The Historic-cultural Importance of Audio-Visual Preservation, and the presentation of the Archive Digitisation Project.’’

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