African culture on an unprecedented scale

A taste of Senegalese culture is coming to Denmark as part of the Africa-Denmark Rally, a brand new cultural initiative that is looking to encourage co-operation between Denmark and the  fast-growth economies of Africa.

The purpose of the initiative, as described by Aziz Fall, the adviser at the Danish Cultural Institute and manager of the project, is to “lay the foundation for a more dynamic collaboration with Africa through the channel of culture where business, academic, cultural and social exchange can be enhanced for a collective benefit”.

Africa is a huge continent and the institute has decided that the only practical way to run the Africa-Denmark rally is one country at a time. In 2013, Senegal is the chosen country, to be followed by Uganda or South Africa in 2014.

Senegal was picked for a number of reasons: the busy capital of Dakar, where many organisations have their headquarters; its history of democratic political change and personal freedom; and the fact that Senegal is a melting pot of many differing cultures.

The City Council has pumped a generous 200,000 kroner into the project, and between September and December, there will be a variety of exhibitions, workshops, concerts, talks and films to showcase the many facets of Senegalese culture.

Top Picks
Senegalese Music Festival
The music festival at Islands Brygge is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the rally.
Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Cph S; starts Sep 25, ends Sep 29; tickets 40kr

Mustaf Mbaye
The politically conscious rapper Msutaf Mbaye raps in French and west-African Wollof with a focus on ghetto life in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Mbaye has taken part in a number of international festivals and taken part in documentaries about the urban scene in Senegal. Mbaye will be joined on stage by Danish DJ Troels Kampmann Kjær.
Sep 25, 20:00

Bernard Diatta Band
Senegalese-born ‘son of the sun’ singer Bernard Diatta moved to Denmark in 2010 and has brought Senegalese rhythms and melodies that promise to soothe your soul and stimulate your body. Diatta’s band includes two Danes and an American.
Sep 27, 20:30

Didier Awadi
The veteran Senegalese rapper will be extending his summer ‘Ma Revolution’ tour to rock the house at Islands Brygge. Awadi was there at the very beginning of the hip-hop culture in Dakar, and the Hip-Hop Galsen movement that gave a political voice to young artists in the 1980s and 90s
Sep 29, 20:00

Senegalese film festival
Cinemateket is showing four films in October. One of them is the classic Touki Bouki, a 1973 classic film directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty, and this is a rare opportunity to catch it on the big screen. The story of a young Senegalese cowherd’s dream of escaping to Paris is just as relevant today as young Africans still drown trying to swim across the Straits of Gibraltar.
Cinemateket, Gothersgade 55, Cph K; starts Oct 1, ends Oct 19

Kine Aw exhibition
Verdenskulturcentret will be exhibiting the inspiring works of Senegalese artist Kine Aw whose works focus on the relationship of depth and form in people’s visual expressions. With art both figurative and abstract, she bases her creations on ‘ordered disorganization’ with a particular emphasis on the African woman. Workshops and talks will be held around the exhibition.
VerdensKulturCentret, Nørre Alle 7, Cph N; starts Nov 12, ends Nov 29;

Senegal Denmark Culture Rally
Various locations, starts Sep 24, ends Nov 29;