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African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power

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p08nml50Senegal

 

Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and the eldest and the youngest continent, where six in every ten people are under 25. With hundreds of different ethnicities, and some 2,000 languages, Africa is the most culturally diverse place on Earth.

In this series, journalist Afua Hirsch shows us the new Africa, on its own terms. Moving through spectacular locations and dynamic art and music scenes, she explores how three very different African countries are becoming 21st century cultural powerhouses.

In Ethiopia, Afua traces a story of defiant independence, of kings and communists - a country which has survived catastrophes but bounced back with a culture inspired by ancient faith and devotion. At the centre of this story is the complex and ultimately tragic reign of Haile Selassie. With renowned artist Eshetu Tiruneh, she explores the 1974 famine that led to the Emperor’s downfall. Afua talks to photographer Aida Muluneh about her return from exile to the dynamic new Ethiopia of the 21st Century.

Bringing together historical insights, cultural heroes and extraordinary art, music and dance, with African Renaissance Afua Hirsch offers us a radically new vision of Africa and its culture.

African Renaissance is accompanied by Handmade in Africa, a 3x30’ observational documentaries also produced by ClearStory for BBC Arts, which reveals the detailed creation process behind some of these countries’ most cherished crafts: a Dorze bamboo house woven in Ethiopia, a traditional kora musical instrument carved in Senegal, and a Maasai wedding necklace brought together in Kenya.



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