Wednesday, February 20, 2008

UNESCO and Afrika! Afrika!

Afrika! Afrika! is a new alternative to Cirque du Soleil -- circus-style theater with an African theme by Africans. More than 100 artists, eccentrics, dancers, singers and musicians coming from all over Africa, and from the African Diaspora, give a performance of more than two hours. Afrika! Afrika! is now touring Europe to rave reviews. The troupe has also traveled through Africa for two years from Mali and Morocco, from Egypt to South Africa.

One euro of each ticket sold for performances of Afrika! Afrika! – the so-called “Africa euro“ – is donated to the ”Art in Africa” Foundation of the German Commission for UNESCO to support African cultures. This foundation is the first of its kind worldwide. It was set up jointly by the German Commission for UNESCO and the Afrikanische Zirkus GmbH & Co. KG on the occasion of the world premiere of AFRIKA! AFRIKA! in Frankfurt am Main on 14 December 2005.

In August last year, UNESCO in Paris declared that the Afrika! Afrika! project would take place under its auspices, honoring an undertaking which will ensure that part of the proceeds return to Africa. The "Africa euro“ is donated for the purpose of promoting culture in Africa. When selecting the projects deemed eligible for support, the UNESCO Foundation is cooperating with the Goethe Institute. Due to their expertise and the presence of their institutions in Africa, UNESCO and the Goethe Institute are guarantors of an informed selection and promotion of the projects to be funded, projects that will exclusively serve African interests and not aim at implementing European ideas with regard to Africa.

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