ADS2021: Day Three


Ancient African Art Exhibition: Journeying into the past, to understand the present…

History is a study of the past, yet it influences the present and shapes the future.

This exhibition of ancient artefacts retraces aspects of Africa’s past through artworks from some of the continent’s regions. It explores history and provides a window into past cultural practices, some of which still influence modern day life. Beyond the selection’s aesthetic value as sculptures, the exhibition looks at the context and significance of each piece, what it represented in the past and what it tells us now. This exhibition also demonstrates the important role that art has always played in Africa, both past and present. For example, art has been used for ritual purposes, as a form of expression, to preserve history, to capture traditions, to symbolize class, wealth or power, and as relics of worship, among others.

The selection is aligned to the theme of the 2021 Africa Dialogue Series (ADS), “Cultural identity and ownership: reshaping mindsets,” which is drawn from the African Union theme of the year “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”

In line with the ADS objectives, this exhibition celebrates the continent’s identity, culture, history and achievements. The remarkable selection also reflects the continent’s rich cultural heritage, in which its strong traditions are steeped.


Conversation with artists: The Creative Industry

Conversation with artists: The Creative Industry

This conversation brings together a panel of academics and artists to discuss the creative industry and how Africa can benefit from her rich cultural heritage.

Guided by the Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) theme for 2021, “Cultural identity and ownership: reshaping mindsets,” the conversation explores the value of Africa’s art and culture within the context of the ADS’s three sub-themes:1. Sustainable peace for development: factoring in history, 2. Harnessing Culture and Heritage for economic transformation, and 3. Human Capital: culture and heritage unleashing the potential.

The panel covers a range of topics, from Africa’s identity to the value systems and how these influence modern day societies. They also discuss the pertinent question of how Africa’s unique and diverse cultures can be harnessed for the continent’s benefit, whether it is to enhance peace, build bridges, heal past wounds, boost economies or promote development. This rich discussion proposes practical solutions to modern day challenges, drawing from Africa’s rich cultural heritage and using art as an effective medium.

Video [French]:

Video [Arabic]:


Gift of the Nile - History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 3]

Gift of the Nile - History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 3]

Zeinab Badawi’s quest to uncover the history of Africa takes her to Egypt where she explores the most famous civilisation on the continent that of the ancient Egyptians. Zeinab takes you beyond the usual coverage of the pharaohs, mummies and pyramids and examines the controversial question of who the ancient Egyptians actually were. What was their ethnicity? What made such a great civilisation possible and how did the ancient Egyptians order their society? And she is also allowed to capture on film the mummy and treasures of the famous boy king Tutankhamun.


Related Documents


ADS2021 Public Policy Forum