Nouakchott (Mauritania) launches Arterial Network African Creative Cities Programme (AACC)
On July 1st, in the framework of the 10th edition of the Assalamalekoum Festival, the launch of the pilot programme ‘Nouakchott, African Creative City’ took place in the strategic offices of Nouakchott Urban Community (CUN) / CityHall. This launch and its following activities was an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of collaboration and effective dialogue between cultural operators, practitioners as well as local government in advocating for the role of culture in social cohesion, integrated development and openness to the world.
Besides Limam Kane aka Monza, founding director of Assalamalekoum Festival as well as hip hop artist and initiator of Nouakchott’s application to the AACC programme, the president of the steering committee of the pan-African organisation Arterial Network, and founding director of the Festival sur le Niger and its Foundation, Mamou Daffe was present as well as several representatives from the Mayor’s office. After short presentations, a period of Q&A focused on the pluridisciplinary project which objective is to promote the creative and innovative sides of the city, while encouraging the expression of artistic practices and cultural curiosity, through the rehabilitation of urban walls via street arts, the valorisation of architectural and culinary heritage as well as the creation of cultural spaces for artistic performances across disciplines.
Two main events followed up from the launch: 1/ an outdoor exhibition on the roundabout of the Olympic Stadium on July 5th in the evening; and 2/ on July 10th, a seminar focusing on the identification of cultural identities of Nouakchott to be promoted through the programme. The outdoor exhibition welcomed the performance of a visual artist (see set featured image of first President Moktar Ould Daddah and his quote “The Mauritania of tomorrow will be what its present youth will make out of it”) as well as a culinary festival, which displayed for popular enjoyment and degustation, the distinctive recipes of couscous from the four respective communities composing the Mauritanian society (Fulanis; Maures; Soninkes; Wolofs).
Jenny was invited to moderate the seminar which was kindly hosted at the Alliance Francaise in the presence of a dozen of key cultural and social operators from the civil society, including event promoters, fashion designers, journalists, environmentalists, writers, poets, music artists and urban activists. This workshop dedicated to the identification of the cultural traces and identities of Nouakchott revealed strong potentialities in terms of collaborative and joint engagement among cultural actors towards common projects such as an interdisciplinary festival, a youth cultural space, urban cultural circuits around architectural heritage sites as well as culinary traditions and natural landscapes.
For more information on the recent launches, see:
- Mahe, Victoria (Seychelles): https://blogs.city.ac.uk/cci/2017/06/18/victoria-creative-city-arterial-african-creative-cities-programme-in-seychelles/
- Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo): https://blogs.city.ac.uk/cci/2017/06/05/another-successful-launch-of-african-creative-cities-programme-of-arterial-network-jenny-in-pointe-noire-republic-of-congo/
- Harare (Zimbabwe): https://blogs.city.ac.uk/cci/2017/05/08/jenny-advises-on-the-pilot-programme-of-arterial-networks-african-creative-cities-in-harare-zimbabwe/