01.06.2016 - Africa Department

African week Bazar

In the context of the annual celebration of the Africa Week, UNESCO holds an exhibition aimed at promoting products from the African continent.

As we access the Salle des Pas Perdu of UNESCO, we are welcomed by a mosaic of colours spreading over thirty stands. The artisans selling jewelry, woven baskets and other woven and embroidered accessories, are warm and welcoming. Every African country proudly represents its’ expertise at this exhibition. From the north, we find tunics, carpets, jewelry, kitchen wares and handwoven linen from Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. From the west, we find the boubous in loincloth (Wax loincloth) from Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, as well as waist beads, commonly called "baya" from Senegal. From central Africa, we discover original objects such as shopping carts and wallets made of loincloth by a Cameroonian artist. At the Gabon stand, we find dolls dressed in raffia (textile fiber), loincloths and traditional outfits. The craftsmen from Niger and Mauritania are in turn proud to showcase traditional Tuareg silver jewelry set with semi-precious stones.

Julie Hoffman, a Ugandan artist, stresses the importance of this type of event which aims to portray a positive image of Africa on the European continent. She exhibits products from her native country, handmade handicrafts and natural shea butter extracted from the African shea tree.

Given that the theme chosen for this edition 2016 "African women facing climate challenges," the artists present were allowed to give more visibility to the expertise of African women. What is more, the petitioner, Sarah Kiwanuka (Uganda) reiterated the importance of technology and education for the realization of gender equality, in all sectors:

“This bazaar gives a perfect tribute to the different African cultures, creativity and cultural property.”

 




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