Africa Week: Bristol celebrates its roots

Bristol’s African communities are larger than ever. An estimated 12,085 of the total population of Bristol are Black Africans. This is an increase from 2,310 people who identified as Black Africans in 2001.

This week the community came together.

Africa Week is an initiative woven together by UWE, Spike Island and Ujima Radio station. It aims to celebrate and give a platform to the talented and innovative ways that the local black community is rich in its culture.

For Dr. Emmanuel Adukwu, a lecturer at UWE, changing the African narrative within the city is not only a desire but a necessity.

“To be seen, is not to be forgotten”

Bristol prides itself as been one of the most diverse cities in the country. Even the Sunday Times thought so when it voted it the ‘best city to live in the UK’.

But has this always been the case for black people?

“Africa should no longer be associated with poverty but with innovation.”

It is estimated that some 500,000 Africans slaves were transported to Bristol in the 18th century.

Fast forward to modern times and documentary filmmaker Prof. Florence Ayisi believes that Bristol and other UK cities are doing better in being more inclusive.

She said: “The engagement I’ve seen at these types of events go beyond Bristol and the UK. They bring Africa to the world. Africa should no longer be associated with poverty but with innovation”

Professor Florence Ayisi listens to spoken word performance. Image credit: Didi Onwu
Professor Florence Ayisi listens to a spoken word performance. Image credit: Didi Onwu

With afrobeats playing in the background, guests could walk around and view the many artworks in the venue.

The evening included some spoken word performances, dances and live music.

Africa Week is in its second year in Bristol.

The week long initiative will include workshops and activities that will bring together the African community in Bristol.

Taking place at different locations across the city, some events will include discussions on health and social issues.

The cultural events will come to an end on 31 March with a gala evening.

Each sculpture was taken from the slave museum. Image credit: Didi Onwu
Each sculpture was taken from the slave museum. Image credit: Didi Onwu

Related links:

UWE Bristol Africa Week 

 

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