The Premier Festival mondial des arts nègres



Ni Loingsigh A (2015) The Premier Festival mondial des arts nègres. Irish Journal of French Studies, 15, pp. 77-95.

This article builds on existing analysis of the 1966 Dakar-based international Premier Festival des arts nègres (FESMAN). It takes as its starting point the assumption that the festival's organizers failed to demonstrate a practical, economic role for culture in their re-imagining of transnational black culture. The article demonstrates that, while philosophical questions of cultural identity were central to the festival, this unprecedented event was also understood as an opportunity for 'selling' culture. Three texts are shown to highlight the festival's hoped-for economic benefits: a piece on Senegal as tourist site published in FESMAN's official programme, press coverage of the period leading up to the festival's opening in Senegal's weekly francophone newspaper,L'Unité africaine, and, finally, André Malraux's account of visiting FESMAN as French Minister for Culture. Underpinning readings of each of these texts is an emphasis on the significance of touristic activity at the festival and its role in articulating and consolidating a particular view of 'modern' transnational black identity.

André Malraux; Premier Festival des Arts Nègres; Festivals Travel; Tourism

Irish Journal of French Studies: Volume 15

Publication date01/12/2015
Publication date online01/12/2015
PublisherIrish Journal of French Studies

People (1)


Dr Aedin Ni Loingsigh

Dr Aedin Ni Loingsigh

Lectureship in French and Francophone, French