Black Arts Festival Lauded Achievement but a Snafu Has Made Artists Miserable

Black Arts Festival Lauded Achievement but a Snafu Has Made Artists Miserable

More than 100 visual artists who participated in the 2010 World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, want their art returned.

Published May 31, 2011

More than 100 visual artists who participated in last year's World Festival of Black Arts, which took place in December 2010 in Dakar, Senegal, reflect on their time there with joy and tears. They loved the gathering. Now they want their artwork returned.

 

The problem is that LP Art, an art transportation company based in Paris has not delivered the art lent to its creators because of a dispute over the bill. Artist Sokari Douglas-Camp told the Financial Times newspaper that a loss of art of this magnitude was the equivalent “to the contents of the Venice Biennale being hijacked.”

 

The works, which were uninsured, are still held by LP Art, which has told the Financial Times that nothing could be returned until the organizers, sponsored by Senegal’s government, paid its $1.2 million dollar bill. The festival’s administrator says the payment will be made by mid-June.

 

More than 6,000 musical, visual and other artists from Africa and the Diaspora played or presented their work.

 

In 1996, Leopold Senghor, the late, and first, president of Senegal, initiated the first World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, the capital of the West African country. Senghor, a noted poet, created the festival to show the diversity of Black art in the post-colonial period.

 

(Photo: Ding Haitao/Xinhua /Landov)

 

 

Written by Frank McCoy

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