The Africa Week festival will take place in Kampus Hybernská from 12th September until 18th September

The Africa Week festival will take place in Kampus Hybernská from 12th September until 18th September. The programme, suitable for both the public and academia, aims to present Africa the way it is – through discussions, lectures and stalls with food and handmade products. The event is co-organized by the Department of Political Science, University of Hradec Králové.

Africa Week follows up the successful Africa Day which took place for the first time ever last year. Vojtěch Šarše, event organiser and administrator of the Centre for African Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University (CAFR FA CU), describes the aim of the event: “The festival aims to introduce the diversity of African countries but also stress that these states are an integral part of the global community, since we feel that the continent is often regarded as a (non)part of the world that we’d better not talk about. Or more specifically: it is mentioned only when we discuss tribal wars, child soldiers, Ebola, famine or the lack of education.”

Kampus Hybernská will host Africa Day on 12th September. The festival follows last year’s event – the introductory part consists of a popularizing programme including charitable tattoos, lectures about tropical diseases and projects of the Czech University of Life Sciences, which cooperates with CAFR FA CU.

A panel discussion with prof. Olga Lomová from the Department of Sinology FA CU and dr. Vilém Řehák, a research fellow of CAFR FA CU, will also take place about the (non)material presence of China in African countries.

There will be stalls with food and handmade products at the festival during the day. Other parts of the programme will be adjusted throughout August according to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second part of the festival is the Africa Week itself and it will take place in Kampus Hybernská. CAFR is coordinating two block lectures and two translation workshops throughout five days. The first lecture is an introduction to African studies and it will be lead by various lecturers from allied universities. Various topics will be covered in the lecture, from history through politics to social studies and culture.

The second seminar focuses on African theatre and it will be followed by a discussion with actors of African origin who work in Czech theatres. Both translation workshops (anglophone and francophone) concentrate on theoretical texts of postcolonial studies.

A panel discussion will take place in Kampus on Wednesday 16th September, focusing on the representation of Africa, African countries and cultures in countries which were not direct participants of colonialism (especially Czech Republic and Slovakia).

We hope to attract the attention of students, but also of our academic colleagues and the public in the effort of re-establishing African studies which have a long history at FA CU. We have also decided to slightly alter the aim of African studies – which used to concentrate on the literature, history and languages of Africa – and enrich them with as much interdisciplinarity as possible. That is why we’re cooperating with the Czech University of Life Sciences, the Department of Political Science at University of Hradec Králové, and other non-philological departments,” said Šarše.

The other organizers of the festival are prof. Markéta Křížová, dr. Vít Zdrálek, Anna Libánská, Rebeka van Overloop, Anna Maňourová and Vojtěch Šmolík.