Hear About FESTAC ’77, the World Black and African Festival, From Its Official Photographer

The Independent Curators International is hosting a conversation between curator and scholar Oluremi Onabanjo and Marilyn Nance, who captured the most extensive archive of the influential festival.

FESTAC ’77 (Photo by Helinä Rautavaara, via Wikimedia Commons)

On January 27, the nonprofit organization Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York and Denniston Hill will host a conversation with Marilyn Nance, a celebrated photographer and a visual artist known for chronicling cultural milestones in the history of the United States and across the African diaspora.

In 1977, Nance served as the official photographer for the North American Zone of FESTAC ’77 Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, a Panafrican international festival held in Lagos, Nigeria. The festival took place from January 15 to February 12, 1977 and was centered around the theme “Revival, resurgence, propagation, and protection of black and African cultural values and civilization.” Over the course of the month-long festival, Nance amassed 1500 images, representing the most complete photographic archives of this major event.

In a conversation titled “The Conditions of the Archive: FESTAC 77,” curator and scholar Oluremi Onabanjo will engage in conversation with Nance about her photographic archive of the festival. The program is presented in collaboration with Denniston Hill an interdisciplinary residency and arts organization located in the Southern Catskills.

Nance was twice a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography for her body of work on African American spiritual culture in America. She has photographed “the Black Indians of New Orleans, an African village in South Carolina, churches in Brooklyn, and the first Black church in America,” according to ICI. Her work can be discovered in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library of Congress.

When: Monday, January 27, 6:30-8pm
Where: ICI (401 Broadway, Suite 1620, Manhattan)

More info at Independent Curators International

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