This is Africa

The 2021 Biennale Défilé will be a highlight of the Africa2020 Season being staged by the Institut Français.  

An invitation to (re)discover the African continent's creativity and innovation, Africa2020 revolves around nearly 200 events and projects in the fields of culture, science, business and sport. It will run from December 2020 to July 2021 across France. This pan-African season, led by the Institut Français, features a cross-disciplinary programme co-devised by African professionals and French institutions. The season, built around the big challenges of the 21st century, will underscore the innovative and creative capability of the entire African continent across three broad fields: culture and ideas, research and economy, lifestyle. Africa2020 is thus an “invitation to look at and understand the world from an African perspective", says N’Goné Fall, its General Commissioner.

An invitation to look at and understand the world from an African perspective

How do you showcase a continent covering more than 30m sq km and with over 1.2bn people?

To meet the challenge of a season devoted to Africa, and to gather African societies around common denominators, it was necessary to avoid the traps of nationalism, regionalism, and the promotion of language and ethnic groups. Africa is the depositary of a collective memory; the receptacle of civilisations with shifting boundaries, whose customs have been passed down through the centuries. What binds the continent's populations is an awareness of living in the same territory, of belonging to the same History, of facing the same challenges on African soil: access to education and health; respect for human rights; and the right to free movement, self-determination and economic emancipation. Over time, this African consciousness has created a – sometimes slender – sense of belonging to the same territory, people and destiny. This is why pan-Africanism, the collective ideal of emancipation (political, social, economic and cultural), underpins this season. Africa2020 taps the spirit of pan-Africanism, which is rooted in the principle of unity and the affirmation of a common future based on otherness – which the peoples of southern Africa define by the word Ubuntu: I am what I am through what we all are. Curated around the big challenges of the 21st century, Africa2020 centres on innovation in the arts, sciences, technology, entrepreneurship and the economy. This original season promotes mobility, gives pride of place to women, primarily targets youth, and puts education at the core of its programme.

General Commissioner, Africa2020 Season