CULTURE

Mini-fest for African women

The rich and diverse cultures of the African continent, as well as modern cultural expressions, are the subject of a mini-festival running in Athens from tomorrow to Sunday. «Mama Africa» includes film screenings at the Mikrocosmos theater on Syngrou Avenue, artistic events at the Action Art International venue (212 Alkiviadou) in Piraeus, and music and a fashion display at Club 22 (22 Vouliagmenis). The many societies and institutions which helped organize the festival aim to highlight the lesser-known aspects of modern African cultures, focusing on the contribution of individual women – as well as women’s groups – to the development of their countries’ cultures. The film series consists of five short films which will be shown consecutively tomorrow and Sunday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at half-past midnight. Admission costs 5 euros and the ticket can be used for reduced admission to Club 22. The films being screened – in their original language with English subtitles – are: «A Close-Up on Bintou» by Burkina Faso’s Fanta Nacro, which focuses on one woman’s struggle to rise above her appointed role as housewife and become a successful business woman; «Hang Time» by Nigeria’s Ngozi Onwhura, which tells the story of a basketball player whose desire to wear the right shoes to impress an American scout ends in tragedy; «Raya» by South Africa’s Zulfah Otto-Sallies, in which a mother realizes that the sacrifice for change must be borne by the next generation; «Uno’s World» by Namibia’s Bridget Pickering, where childbirth makes a woman face reality; and «Riches,» in which Zimbabwe’s Ingrid Sinclair tracks the flight of a mixed-race journalist from Apartheid South Africa to an unfriendly village in Burkina Faso where the writer must make peace with the locals. An exhibition of everyday artifacts and musical instruments made by associations of Africans in Greece, as well as a bazaar and video screenings, are on the agenda at International Action Art, while at Club 22 on Sunday the program is as follows: Greece’s Ichodrasi band, headed by Nikos Touliatos, will open events with a concert, followed by Dafni Assimakopoulou in an African dance. Cristiane Cabral will come on next with Afro-Brazilian dances before Anna Karamitsou will perform another dance which is meant to have healing properties. Kenya’s Jambo ensemble will also put on a display of percussion music, while upstairs there will be a show of African fashion. Admission for the Club 22 events costs 20 euros, or 15 if holding a ticket from Mikrocosmos. The organizers, which include the UNESCO branches of Piraeus and the islands, say this event is part of what they hope will turn into an ongoing series. There are plans to offer a similar program on Myconos this summer. Information: www.mamaafrica.gr.