Thursday, April 16, 2015

Afrique Unie - An Afro-Caribbean Cultural Exposition

Afrique Unie (United Africa) event is the first event bringing together the cultural and economic players in Africa, the Caribbean and the overseas departments and territories of France and in Europe for the sake of development, promotion and solidarity. It was created by Da Patch Ateliers, a French non-profit association founded by young Parisians of African origin. One of its overarching missions is to promote Africa and its cultural diversity to a European audience.

Collage from Afrique Unie press release

Since 2006, Da Patch Ateliers has worked to provide academic support to children from immigrant families while helping them discover the richness of culture through the creation of musical works or plays. In this context, the organization decided to create the first Afrique Unie event in 2009 – the first in Paris to focus on Afro-Caribbean crafts. From all over France, vendors came to exhibit their creations in a festive atmosphere charged with music. Internationally renowned artists such as Papa Wemba participated that year.

In 2012, speakers came from all over Europe and 150 exhibitors displayed their wares. More than 5,000 visitors attended the event, which was held in the salle Olympe de Gouge, in one afternoon.

The 2015 edition of Afrique Unie will be the third organized by Da Patch Ateliers. The group has set its sights higher for this year’s salon, offering the public the opportunity to meet no less than 270 exhibitors and to experience a wide variety of activities in connection with the Afro-Caribbean world. To remain true to its intent to create a warm, convivial atmosphere, it will host twenty groups representing folklore and traditional music of the continent and islands. Television producer and host for Trace and BeBlack, television personality Ayden BBlack will host the event.

Ayden BBlack
Image courtesy of Afrique Unie

There will be a dedicated space where children can discover African and Caribbean games and storytelling as well as dance and listen to traditional music.

Music groups from around the world, such as John Doe, Zouk, K-dy, and Fenomenes d’Afrik will perform throughout the weekend.

Chef Malonga, participant in the 2014 Top Chef competition, will provide cooking demonstrations.

And several African and Caribbean fashion designers will present their works, including:

Sonia DAMALA – Bénin (Winner of the International Festival of African Fashion [FIMA] in 2013)
Chouchou LAZARE – Gabon
Angélique DIEDHIOU – Senegal
Alvine DMANOU – Cameroon
Mariah BOCOUM – Mali
Fauvette Nacto – Guadeloupe/France

Part of the proceeds of the event will be donated l'ANIDA, an organization that supports African children who suffer from albinism.

Partnering organizations include Nollywood TV, Africa N°1 radio, the RATP Foundation, and Pullman Hotels and Resorts.

The event is being held at:

Paris Event Center
20, avenue de la Porte de la Villette
75019 Paris
Metro: Porte de la Villette (Line 7)
Tram: Porte de la Villette (Line T3B)

Saturday, April 25: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, April 26: 10 AM – 8 PM

Entry is FREE!


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