A Weekend in Africa – Without Leaving Moscow

Anyone wishing to visit Africa without the hassle of a thousand-mile trek will have the opportunity to do so this weekend at the second Festival of African Culture, which is being held at Fili Park on Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th. Organized by Africa House and the ambassadors of four different African countries, including Djibouti and Madagascar, the festival aims to promote African culture and customs. It offers a huge range of activities, events and experiences from all across this vast and fascinating continent — and the best part is that it's free.

Representatives from the embassies of over 40 different African nations will exhibit their countries' most important customs and traditions. Visitors will be treated to acts such as Inganzo Ngari, a group of traditional Rwandan dancers, Congolese musicians Sunmusic, whose Afrobeat style showcases the rhythm of new Africa, and Kofi Agorsor, a Ghanaian artist and jazz musician who has enjoyed success all over Africa and the rest of the world. As well as other musicians, dancers and artists, visitors will also be able to participate in master classes of African culture, such as learning how to play the djembe and the balafon, the rules behind the popular game Awale, and many different types of dance, such as Kizomba and Afro-Cuban. There will also be food-tasting sessions, an exhibition of African art, and the presentation of an exclusive fashion collection by five well-known designers. The festival will also play host to the Russian premier of the film "Hear Me Now," South Africa's first ever film about dance.

Organizers say that over 20,000 people turned up to last year's festival — and they are hoping for even more attendees this year. "For us, this festival is about promoting African culture and changing the stereotypes Russians have of Africa," said Anastasia Deriglazova, a member of the festival's organizing committee, in a telephone interview. "The festival offers something new for Muscovites, and we want them to learn more and more about Africa. We just hope we can meet the same success as last year!"

The festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is free. More information can be found at afrofest.ru.

Contact the author at artsreporter@imedia.ru

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