Another successful launch of Arterial Network’s African Creative Cities Programme – Jenny in Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo)
Another launch of the Arterial Network’s African Creative Cities pilot programme took place on June 2nd in Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo), in the framework of the International Festival of Musics and Arts N’sangu N’dji N’dji organised by the Cultural Space Yaro. This launch follows a previous one that took place in May in one of the five African cities part of the pilot programme, Harare (Zimbabwe).
Over 40 delegates gathered at the cultural centre Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard for the launch, including numerous local cultural operators and artists, representatives from press and media organisations as well as key figures from both local and national governmental institutions, including the first Deputy Mayor of Pointe Noire and the Curator of FESPAM (PanAfrican Festival for Music).
Jenny gave a presentation on the programme and its relevance for both civil society and public institutions engaged in the cultural field; as well as reflected on what it implies in terms of governance, networking and capacity-building processes. Pierre Claver Mabiala, founding director of the Yaro Cultural Space and Nsangu Ndji Ndji Festival and initiator of Pointe Noire’s application to AN’s pilot programme reminded the audience of the cosmopolitan identity and cultural diversity of Pointe Noire as well as its visual art scene thriving in key urban places (such as train station, post office, etc.) and that still beg for more valuable attention.
While Pointe Noire has historically been known as an industrial oil city, there are certainly other narratives, images and discourses about the city, its culture and its creativity that would be worthwhile exploring and reinvesting – something that the PanAfrican pilot programme invites the selected cities to do, based on the active engagement of the civil society and its cultural organisations. These themes were further discussed during a meeting led by Jenny on June 5th with different members from Pointe Noire cultural and creative scene. These key resource persons gathered out of interest for the initiative and with the objective of being part of an emerging consultative committee that shall inform, advice, and guide the programme in the context of the needs and priorities of the city.