Millennium Visits - The Africa Centre Summer Festival 2014, Covent Garden, London

Arts

Synopsis: Join the Millennium TV team as they cover the Africa Centre Summer Festival 2014 at Covent Garden, London. This film is the sequel to the inaugural Africa Centre Summer Festival which was covered by Millennium TV last year.

Some days on our community calender of events are guaranteed to live in the memory. Peter Cartwright (Millennium TV Cameraman) and Antoinette Alexis (Millennium TV Presenter) are still buzzing from their visit to the first ever Africa Centre Summer Festival 2013 at Covent Garden, London. So when the Millennium TV team arrived to document ACSF 2014, the sense of anticipation and expectation in the performers, organisers and members of the public was there for all to see.

Our aim at Millennium TV was once to promote talented musicians and artists from all over the world. Thanks to the rich diet of performances and event which pass through the doors of our media partners such as the Africa Centre, our simple objective is fast becoming something that we just do.

This years festival was curated by Maggie Ralph of the African Fabric Shop. Maggie was ably advised by the Chris Spring, the Curator of the African Collection at the British Museum. The focus of this years festival was for the public to experience the rich tapestry of African textiles in their beauty and diversity. Members of the public were taken on an exciting journey which explained the origins of different fabrics from various regions of Africa.

Again, the audience in the West Piazza were expertly orchestrated by presenter, Henry Bonsu had no care for age,colour, religion or occupation. They were thirsty for drumming, , acrobatics and Folk Music from all over Africa. Their thirst was quenched admist sweltering conditions by the hypnotic drumming of Mamadou Sarr, the mesmeric acrobatics of the Black Eagles and stunning performances by The Venus Bushfires. Whereas last year culminated in an hour long set by headline act, Nneka – all the acts were headline in their own right this year. These performances were interspersed with African fashion shows, well choreagraphed flash mobs in the East Piazza and speeches of gratitude by the Trustees and organisers.

The East Piazza was a fiesta of flash mobs, acrobats against the back drop of Open Market stals selling their rich tapestry of African textiles. Look out for Millennium TV’s presenter, Jacqueline Baker having her African head wrap expertly tied by a member of the extremely popular Kiyana Wraps team!

Even though the focus of ACSF 2014 was on textiles in contrast to the somewhat more euphoric focus on music and art in the Yinka Shonibare- curated ACSF 2013, there was a palpable sense of intimacy and a genuine feeling that the African narrative is indeed rising in the conciousness of those members of the global public who pass through globally recognised spaces such as Covent Garden, Somerset House, the Tate Gallery and the British Museum.

One key tradition that seems to have continued from last year was the way that members of all ethnic communities, not just the Afro-Carribbean community or the London community were very much at one, cheering, dancing and having the time of their lives.

Special mention is due to the Trustees of the Africa Centre, Brand Communications and EMC3 Ltd who produced this important event.

This film represents the fourth collaboration between Millennium TV and the Africa Centre. The Africa Centre is widely regarded in the Millennium TV office as the epicentre for African arts and culture in Europe. It was a real treat to be able to document one of the final events while at the African Centre’s building at 38 Kingly Street. Having had the opportunity to be one of the first organisations to film the largest Africa Centre event post – Kingly Street never has the old adage – “Home is where the heart is” rang truer than it did at ACSF 2014. Please enjoy, savour and share with your friends and family!