The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, together with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the PANAFEST Foundation have launched the 2021 Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) with a focus on health and wealth.
PANAFEST 2021 is designed to establish a build up starting in August 2020 which is expected to provide platforms of dialogue and expression in all forms of artistic expression which speak to the raging interrogation of the state of African life in the global context.
It is expected that activities at the festival will demonstrate beyond doubt that the African Family needs to re-assess, secure and own its own history but also set itself up to be vigilant.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the programme, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture Barbera Oteng Gyasi said: “We must as a continent take whatever we have and everything we can offer to make for a united Africa, hence, I find the theme for the PANAFEST 2021 ‘Securing the African Family: Our Health, Our Wealth’ appropriate and timely. As we confront the COVID 19 Pandemic which is ravaging the entire world.”
She added that: “In the Year of Return 2019, we celebrated the cumulative resilience of all the victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, together with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the PANAFEST Foundation continues to be committed to creating the awareness that our homeland is still a place to return. The next decade, 2020 – 2030 will see the rolling out of the ‘Beyond the Return’ Programme to further strengthen the bounding with our Kith and Kin in the diaspora.”
The 2021 edition of PANAFEST will seek to respond to important such as building up participation by different communities of Ghanaian creatives and by the Ghanaian public in general.
This will be done through a pre-festival build up programme and a special outreach to event managers and CSOs operating in the cultural arena. In addition to this, while strengthening existing rites and events, the festival will have a particular focus on the story of enslavement in Northern Ghana which according to the organizers is yet to be properly acknowledged and told.
The Chairperson of the International Board of Trustees of PANAFEST Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland said: “We all have to adjust to a steep learning curve but we at the PANAFEST Foundation are geared up to see the constraints imposed by the CORVID 19 pandemic as an opportunity to better deploy technology in innovative ways to break the barriers and rather intensify and diversify the experience of the festival.
We ask you all to anticipate an imminent call for participation and we look forward to an enthusiastic response.” Commemorations will begin late July to August, 2021.