FESTAC IN RETROSPECT-Heritage Lottery Project
On the 18 and 19th of October, 2017 CHF team delivered a two-day school workshop for Summerville primary school, Salford. The year 6 class took part in a screen printing of Queen Idia ( Festac ’77 Mask) on their T-shirt and African mask making sculpture using clay.
FESTAC ’77 In Retrospect at Radio Africana, Manchester, UK.
On the 7th of October, the first episode tagged “FESTAC ’77 In Retrospect Talk show” aired. The radio talks were aimed at individuals who were either unable or were unwilling to come to workshops and other community events and mainly directed to people in the UK. However, we had many people calling outside the UK and contributing their stories and experiences to the show.
Internet-radio accessibility meant the ‘call-ins’ and chatroom features enabled CHF to invite a global audience to join in the dialogue. The interactive environment between the CHF volunteers, CHF radio hosts, callers, and people sending text messages helped to achieve a creative dynamics in the shows. The live broadcast provided and opened evidence to public scrutiny in real-time, unlike a private interview. Also, the opportunity to speak out using the radio gave the voice of participants particularly people who are shy.
CHF FESTAC ’77 In Retrospect AMBASSADORS
PA ROLAND OGIAME OF BENIN – MASTER WOOD CARVER
DR. BRUCE ONABRAKPEYA – MFR LAGOS NG. SCULPTOR/PAINTER
MARILYN CUFFY – CULTURAL ACTIVIST
PETER KALU – SPEAKING ON FESTAC ’77
CHF volunteers at FESTAC ’77 In Retrospect photography training.
CHF volunteers at World Museum Liverpool
FESTAC’ 77 In RETROSPECT PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING BY SILK PHOTOGRAPHY
FESTAC’ 77 In RETROSPECT VIDEOGRAPHY TRAINING BY BUSHA PRODUCTIONS
CHF at “THE COMMUNITY LEARNING FESTIVAL” – Manchester Metropolitan University
CHF delivering African mask-making workshop at Manchester Metropolitan University 26th July 3017.
A good number of the public attended the Manchester Metropolitan University community Learning Festival held on 25/07/2017.
The workshop was divided into two sessions: In the morning session, we presented African Drumming to create awareness for the workshop at the request of the university and to capture people’s interest to inquire and discuss the project with us. We used the opportunity to educate the public on African mask use, FESTAC ’77 and the significance of the Queen Idia Mask.
In the afternoon session, we began with a short film about the project to show attendees and volunteers the rich African culture during the Festac’77 festival. The documentary included stories gathered from our visit to the British Museum and Horniman Museum followed by an interactive session where we (CHF staff and volunteers) responded to questions on the Queen Idia mask and its significant link between the African and European heritage. Members of people said they would want to know more about FESTAC’77 as the project progresses.
Hands-on practice in African wood carving training followed the film show. CHF staff and volunteers engaged the public in a one-hour wood carving training workshop. First, we talked through the safe use of carving tools, how to properly clamp wood to a flat surface for efficient carving. Drawing inspiration from a replica of the Queen Idia Mask sculpted by the Project Manager, Mr. Joseph Ayavoro, participants were trained to produce their replicas using different carving gauges.
Attendees who participated in the wood carving techniques told us that they found the training an enjoyable experience, learned and discovered various types of wood used for carving, different tools and techniques for wood carving and found the workshop very creative, informative and engaging.
VISIT BY STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS TO THE BRITISH MUSEUM LONDON
A team of ten (10) volunteers accompanied CHF staff to visit the British Museum and the Horniman Museum London.
The team interviewed museum curators James Hamill and Elsbeth Joyce Court at the British Museum who showed us the original Queen Idia mask. Both curators also gave us a guided tour of the muesum, educated us about the Queen Idia mask as well as other ancient and contemporary mask and artifacts in their collection.
We also had two hands-on sessions with replicas of Queen Ida mask at the archive room where both curators answered our questions about the relevance of the mask to their collections and the cultural significance of Benin artistry with supporting pictures and journals. We look at, recorded, and documented the stories of masks at the museum which we later transcribed. During the visit, volunteers helped with capturing footage and recording the interviews.
CHF team and volunteers with curators James Hamill and Elsbeth Joyce Court touring the British Museum
DR. CHRIS SPRING – Curator, Africa. The British Museum London talking about African masks.
The staff of Creative Hands Foundation and volunteers on a guided tour of the National Museums Liverpool World Museum with Zachary Kingdon a Curator of African Collections Ethnology.
CHF team and volunteers visited the World Museum Liverpool twice. The first was on the 17th of August 2017 with six volunteers, one board member as well as two CHF staff members. We were met by the Principle Curator (Collections), Zachary Kingdon and his team. Zachary led the tour of the African gallery sharing his knowledge and expertise on the mask on display.
CHF and volunteers on a guided tour of the World Museum Liverpool with Zachary Kingdon, Curator of African Collections Ethnology.
The second visit to the World Museum Liverpool was on the 6th of September 2017. The trip was specifically to visit the World Museum storage for a special handling section and expositions which was not possible during the first museum visit because the objects at the museum were class gaged. In addition, the storage facility was in a different location from the museum.
CHF and volunteers at National Museums Liverpool World Museum storage with Zachary Kingdon, Curator of African Collections Ethnology.
AFRICAN MASKS AT THE HORNIMAN’S PUBLIC MUSEUM LONDON
CHF TEAM AND VOLUNTEERS – At Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust with Jackie Ould the Co-Director,
SUMMERVILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL WORKSHOP
AFRICAN MASK MAKING WORKSHOP WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY
RADIO SHOW AT RADIO AFRICANA MANCHESTER
PRESS RELEASE – Festac ’77 project wins National Lottery support
Creative Hands Foundation has received £49,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a ten-month project called Festac ’77 in Retrospect, which aims to explore the month-long FESTAC ’77 – also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture.
The project, which will be delivered in Manchester, is being made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and focuses on exploring the history, significance,
and traditions of the West African mask as part of the 2017 celebration marking the 40th anniversary of Festac ’77.
The project is educational and of great value to the community at large and it will deliver professional–led volunteer training in:
– School workshop facilitation
– Radio broadcasting
– A celebration of Festac 77
From the 15th January 1977 to 12th February 1977, Nigeria hosted a month-long event celebrating FESTAC ’77 also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. At this festival, about 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nations including Britain, celebrated the rich cultural diversity of Africans and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama dance, and religion. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77.
The emblem of the festival was the royal ivory Queen Idia mask last worn by Oba Ovonramen – a Benin King dethroned in 1897 by the Consul-General of the Niger Coast Protectorate, Ralph Moor. The mask, along with other artifacts, has been on display at the British Museum, the Horniman Museum London, and the World Museum Liverpool since this time.
Our heritage focus is to explore the history, significance, and traditions of the West African mask as part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77.
Through recording, documenting and sharing stories about the FESTAC mask and its present-day presence in our UK museums, diverse communities across the Northwest will have the opportunity to look at, discuss and learn about the African mask and its significance in the traditions of African communities as well as its role in African heritage and links to Britain.
The project will also contribute to oral history collections about FESTAC ’77 in the NWFA collection, enabling University students, African and Black communities and school children across the UK to learn about this heritage.
Joseph Ayavoro, CEO of the Creative Hands Foundation, said: “I am overwhelmed for this opportunity we have to explore the history, significance and traditions of the African mask as part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77”.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
For further information, images and interviews, please contact (MR JOSEPH AYAVORO – Creative Hands Foundation 07525354429, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team of volunteers will be researching, recording, documenting, sharing knowledge and memories about the FESTAC ’77, the history of the mask and its presence at the British Museum London.