PANAFEST radiates from its originating ethos being that historical theatre provides a powerful medium for thrashing out the unspeakable truths and questions about the impact of the enslavement of African people. The power of the arts and ritual to commence the healing process, build bridges and re-envision the future for Africa and her people globally has led to a festival which, after 30 years, encompasses several platforms for self-expression, sharing, dialogue and action.
The main setting for PANAFEST is the twin towns of Cape Coast and Elmina in Ghana where 2 massive fortresses provide a grim reminder of over 600 years of European plunder of West African resources, the enslavement of the people and colonialism. They are a reference point for the terrifying reality of massive alienation within the African family on the one hand, and the soul-soaring recall of the monumental resilience of the ancestors which must inspirit the reunification of the Global African Family.
PANAFEST 2023 follows the 2021 edition held with due caution in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic which addressed its particular impact on Africa and her descendants around the world. That edition of the festival raised issues around Securing the African Family: Our Soul, Our Health, Our Wealth. It was important to celebrate the courage, resilience and innovation demonstrated by our front liners, scientists, health workers, inventors, artist(e)s, community activists and careers. Additionally, activities were directed towards safeguarding our spiritual strength, health and wealth, all of which have been breached by the wave of the pandemic.
In 2023, PANAFEST bounces back with the theme “Re-Claiming the African Family: Confronting the Past to face the Challenges of the 21st century.
Participants in PANAFEST 2023 are invited to fearlessly point out the challenges to re-uniting the African Family and very importantly illuminate new paths towards transformations in our time through the stimulating power of drama, visual arts, dance, music and critical thought. The 2023 edition of the festival is structured in a hybrid format to bring the African Family together across the world at this complex moment of economic hardship Flagship Activities Are: Wreath Laying Ceremony (Live Streamed); Traditional Akwaaba Ceremonies (Live Streamed); Grand Durbar of Leaders and People (Live Streamed) Bazaar/ Expo; Colloquium. A separate call for papers and panels will be available; Global African International Concerts Reverential night/ Pre-Emancipation Vigil; Emancipation Day Celebration; Naming and Burial Ceremonies; Exhibitions – Art, Innovations, Cultural Heritage; Performances both intimate and mass (Theatre, Dance, Storytelling, Poetry, Martial Arts, Music, film); Practitioners’ Workshops; African Children’s World (Children’s day camp and virtual fun learning experience) Youth and Women’s Days Writing competitions; Sport Gala; Tours to significant sites.
When : 23 July – 02 August 2023
Where : Cape Coast and Accra, Ghana
For further information, please consult the official website : http://www.panafestghana.org/