The Hague has a new top event: The Hague African Festival. This year, the festival will take place on Sunday July 1, 2011 in the Zuiderpark. The festival, which boasts a world-class musical component, is a natural meeting place for different cultures.
The Hague African Festival is being run by the African migrant organisation Stichting Sankofa, previously responsible for the now discontinued African Festival Delft. The aim of Sankofa (the meaning of the word is roughly captured by the phrase ‘to understand the present, you need to know the past’) is to build bridges between Africans and Dutch people. In the words of chairman George Duncan, The Hague has been chosen as the festival location ‘due to its international appeal as the city of justice and peace, and the evident commitment of the municipality. It is a challenge to build up a new event here.’
The festival location, Roggeveld in the Zuiderpark, also lends itself to expansion in the future, and the cosmopolitan city of The Hague is a major hub for the African communities of the Netherlands. The main sponsors of the festival are Oxfam – Novib, The Hague municipality (citizenship department) and Fonds 1818. The production of the festival has been entrusted to Julius Douwes, previously responsible for the production of a major jazz event.
The Hague African Festival offers a colorful and inviting window on the Africa of today, with a focus on the richness of the African cultural heritage and contemporary developments within African cultures. Particular energy has been devoted to putting together a representative programme of African music that reflects both tradition and contemporary dance music.
In designing the festival, the organisers have chosen to immerse the visitor in ‘the African way of life’. The Hague African Festival will provide a natural and welcoming meeting place for all residents of The Hague: an international top event for an international city, helping it to put itself even more firmly on the cultural world map. The festival will host a lively and varied African Market. In dozens of stands, a wide diversity of products will be for sale, and of course the African cuisine will appeal to everybody’s taste and appetite!
In the African Village debates and presentations will take place during the day. In the Transformation Tube documentaries will be shown.
There will also be an interactive programme for children including workshops in the Kids’ Corner. The day will be a festive all-in experience for the whole family, with a varied programme from 12.00 hrs. in the afternoon until 23.00 hrs. at night.