Salone News

London: Sierra Leone Arts and Culture Festival October 26

18 September 2019 at 05:35 | 1774 views

The annual Sierra Leone Arts & Culture festival (#SLACfest) is a renowned showcase, exhibition and cultural exchange, which attracted the attention of over 200 people last year (see photos).

Now in its third edition, #SLACfest 2019 will be bigger and better than ever before due to its growing popularity as an event painting positivity and inspiring second and third generation Sierra Leoneans that they can pursue careers in the arts, which has, for the longest time, been frowned upon.

This year’s event will feature keynote speakers from the community who are striving at changing the perception and narrative of this small country once described as the Athens of West Africa, and more of everything that has made #SLACfest the event that everyone has come to love. Alongside our usual array of photo and illustration exhibitions, you can expect some pictures to come to life with our exclusive Augmented Reality, telling you the story behind the pictures.

The day will consist of a snack taster session, talks and presentations, film screenings, a health and wellbeing workshop, and of course our flagship exhibition. This year, our exhibition is not limited to just photography and illustration, but also a Literary Wall showcasing proverbs, parables, poems and other literature by Sierra Leoneans all around the world, both in English and our lingua franca, Krio.

Can’t speak/read Krio? Fear not, the event includes a 20mins Introduction to Krio and a further optional 35mins breakout session if you require further learning.

Sierra Leone influenced food can also be purchased on the day from our specially selected food vendors.

The later part of the day will see us go ‘in conversation’ with fellow young Sierra Leoneans about their experiences growing up in the diaspora. The show will then be closed with live entertainment from a selection of writers, poets, and musicians, headlined by Asabi Hawah and HBOSS.

There will also be chances to win goodies in our raffle with proceeds going to our partnered grassroots charity.

Our Story

In response to the tragic mudslide that occurred in Freetown on August 14th 2017, a group of young BritishSierra Leoneans came together and curated the ‘Sierra Leone Arts & Culture mini-fest’ raising over £500 for the grassroots charity organization, Mama-Pikin Foundation.

After the mini-fest, members in the group reflected on how it’s taken tragedy to bring us together, and thought… what if we could be something more, something meaningful, something greater than the sum of all parts, and thus came the birth of the Young Sierra Leonean. Since then, we’ve gone on to curate an even bigger event the following year which again helped raise funds for grass-root charity Project Pikin, a theme which we aim to continue with this year’s program.

Previous speakers and performers have included: Mariama Oni, CEO of Smiling Through Light; Ade Daramy, a celebrated historian; Alimatu Dimonekene, an award-winning Women and Girls Rights Campaigner, Siana Bangura, a published writer and playwright, and Alim Kamara, a celebrated poet and educator.

The festival has also provided a platform for young creative talents to share a stage alongside these celebrated Sierra Leonean pioneers, and has featured photography from Adama Jalloh, Fatmata Kamara, Ejatu Shaw, Ronnie Tucker and Abu B. Yillah, with digital illustrations from Ngadi Smart, and Mariatu Saccoh, all of whom are young Sierra Leoneans based in different parts of the world.

For more info on #SLACfest, visit www.YoungSL.com

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