The Goree Diaspora Festival was set up four years ago to strengthen the link between Africa and her Diaspora. This year’s festival took place from November 13 to 16, under the theme, “Notebook of a return to sources in the Diaspora.” It aimed to open the door of return for Africa's children. Here are some highlights from the festival:
During the festival, the life and work of Aime Cesaire were celebrated. Cesaire's Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal (Notebook of a Return to my Native Land), is one of the integral writings of the negritude movement. The poet passed away on April 17, 2008. The festival’s theme is an homage to Cesaire’s involvement in the creation an African renaissance and his faith in the importance of dialog between cultures.
At the opening ceremony of the 4th edition of the Goree Diaspora Festival, visitors from Ethiopia, Senegal, Benin, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Venezuela and the United States gathered at the “Droits de l’homme” esplanade on Gorï¿½e island. The Senegalese Armed Forces, the Dona Brass Band from Benin, the Goree Africa Djembe, the Goree choral group and Afreecapoiera, a capoeira group based on the island, performed.
Bevies of Signares clad in rich fabrics of orange tints, purple paisleys, gold and olive tapestries and conical hats. Signares were a group of Metis women who became invaluable in running local businesses in the 19th Century. Signare is a corruption of the Portuguese word Segnora.
Goree Island is tucked into a harbor just off the coast of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. The island is peppered with palm trees and French colonial-style houses hued salmon, mustard, with aquamarine wooden shutters. Goree was a major transit point in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.