Au village des riverains
de Kodia Francis (République du Congo)
Forty years ago, in January 1977, when Marilyn Nance was only twenty-three years old, she left the United States for the first time, and went to Lagos, Nigeria. Relying on the windfalls of the rising petro-state, the city was hosting the second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC). It was a grander version of the first Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (FESMAN) held in Dakar in 1966, and gathered 15,000 participants coming from more than 70 countries, including the North-African delegations absent from the Senegalese event. The aims of the festival were "to revive and promote Black and African values and civilization, to illustrate the contributions that Black and African peoples have made to the universal currents of thoughts and the arts, to foster better international and interracial understanding, and to give Black artists, writers and performers all over the world a feeling of belonging to a common root despite the diversity of their individual cultural identities".