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Australia's black culture for Nigeria

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15 May 1974


Australia is to send up to 100 Aboriginals to Lagos next year to take part in the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, the Prime Minister announced today.

The Festival will be held in and around Lagos in .November/December, 1975.

Australian participation was invited after a meeting of the planning committee in Lagos earlier this year.

A committee drawn from the Department of Aboriginal and Foreign Affairs, the Australian Council for the Arts and the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee chose four Aboriginals to attend a planning meeting in Lagos. The four will leave Australia on 17 May. They are Aboriginal Liaison officers, Vincent Copley, Gordon Briscoe and Charles Dixon together with Wandjuk Marika of Yirrkala.

The Festival aims at bringing together Black culture and the cultures of other nations which affect it throughout the world. Over 20,000 people from all parts of Africa, North and South America, the Carribean, Europe, India, Papua New Guinea

and Australasia are expected to take part in the month-long visit.

Australia will be represented by Aboriginal art ranging from music and dancing to painting, sculpture, drama, writing and film making. Traditional crafts such as weaving, carving, basket making and body painting will also be demonstrated at the Festival.

The Nigerian Government will build a theatre and cultural complex costing $US36 million, together with a festival village designed to house 100,000 participants and visitors.

Visitors to the Festival will attend exhibitions of all aspects of Black culture throughout the world. Seminars will also be held on the preservation and development of Black civilisation.