PANAFEST is founded on the premise that the arts, particularly theatre, are powerful tools of communication and healing and that people need to create new expressions and commemorations and platforms for dialogue to provide the inspiration for mobilizing energies for moving on to greater heights. To this end, the 2021 edition will honour heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals. In addition to the festival vision Re-Uniting the African Family it has the specific theme: “SECURING THE AFRICAN FAMILY: OUR SOUL, OUR HEALTH, OUR WEALTH”. This forms part of activities commemorating the “Beyond The Return” celebrations.
2021 PANAFEST Event News
2019 PANAFEST / EMANCIPATION PROGRAMME
The PANAFEST Festival was inspired by and takes its source from a paper written in 1980 entitled “Proposal for a Historical Drama Festival in Cape Coast” by Dr. Mrs. Efua Sutherland, who was a distinguished Ghanaian Dramatist and Pan-Africanist. In 1991 the idea gained root and took shape in an expanded form as the Pan-African Historical Theater Festival (PANAFEST). In October of that year, PANAFEST was officially launched and in December of the same year, the national phase of the festival was held in Cape Coast, Ghana after a series of activities which included a national playwriting competition, organized seminars and workshops on Pan-Africanism across the country.
HIGHLIGHTS of 2019 events
1) SLAVE ROUTE PILGRIMAGE AND ATONEMENT CEREMONIES
Leading up to the festival a 3-4day pilgrimage along the slave route mapped under the UNESCO slave route project will be offered as an option.
2) WREATH LAYING & TRIBUTE TO THE ANCESTORS – 24th July 2019
A major event for PANAFEST and Emancipation Day will consist of a Wreath laying programme and Tribute to the Pan African Pioneers in Accra beginning at the W.E.B. DuBois Centre for Pan African Culture and continuing to the George Padmore Library and ending up at the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
3) RETURN JOURNEY AND AKWAABA CEREMONY -26th July 2019
The Programme will begin in the early morning with a gathering at the entrance of the Cape Coast Castle (Dungeon). 25 pre-selected Returnees will form a circle to invoke the spirit of the ancestors before proceeding to and through the “Door of No Return” to board canoes to begin the journey to Elmina
4) THE PANAFEST VILLAGE/BAZAAR/EXPO : 26th July – 2nd August 2019
The PANAFEST Village /Bazaar and Expo will be a permanent site for exhibition and sale of goods, refreshment services and performances.
5) THE WORLD OF THE AFRICAN CHILD
This is conceived as a day camp for children attending the festival. It will be subject to a procurement process to select a partner who will offer children a fascinating experience throughout the festival. It is expected that children will enter into their own world where they will have the opportunity to learn arts, skills and information grounded in the African experience and the joy of playing.
6) COLLOQUIUM, LECTURES, ASSEMBLIES and DIALOGUES
Colloquium: 29th – 31st July 2019
Theme: Beyond 400 Years: Reaching Across Continents into the Future
Working with the University of Cape Coast, Centre for African and International Studies a 4-day colloquium will be held to allow enough time for a debate on the theme. Publication of selected papers of this and earlier should be hardwired into the planning of the colloquium. At least two internationally renowned speakers should be invited to the colloquium.
LECTURES- Keynote Speakers and Selected Panelists will be requested to give lectures at other sites in Ghana such as Accra and Kumasi
6a) INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE- 28th July
Faith Leaders from around the world convening an ecumenical gathering to dialogue on the role of religion in enslavement, colonialism and redemption and emancipation.
7) Youth Assembly 2nd August 2019
The International Hip Hop Pan African Diaspora Family Reunion a Pro Pan African development initiative convening an International Hip Hop/Rap Summit in collaboration with PANAFEST & MUSIGA.
8) OPENING CEREMONY GRAND DURBAR OF CHIEFS AND QUEEN MOTHERS AND PEOPLES OF AFRICA -27th July 2019
9) PERFORMANCES – Every evening
9a)- Film Shows – Daily
9b)- Artists Workshops – Daily
10) REVERENTIAL NIGHT – 31st July 2019
11) EMANCIPATION DAY – 1st August 2019