African-Asian Connections Festival

Date and Time: 
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 14:00 - 19:00

Trinity Centre, Bristol, BS2

Please join us for a celebration of community, dance, music, and food to explore the history of African and Asian solidarity and connection.

This year marks the 60th and 70th anniversaries of Indian, Malaysian, and Ghanaian independence from colonial rule. Histories of Asia and Africa are not often told together. But in the 1950s and 1960s, Asians and Africans promoted a new, optimistic vision of the 'Third World' as tensions escalated during the Cold War.

This free public event highlights the vibrant networks of Asian and African activists, intellectuals, and artists who met and travelled across the two continents in the era of decolonisation. The event will feature a launch a historical exhibition and digital visualisation - in partnership with the Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio - that maps their journeys, with a short talk by historians working on the Afro-Asian Networks project.

This will be followed by a roundtable discussion with members of Bristol’s Black and Asian activist and creative communities (including Sado Jirde, Edson Burton, Jendayi Serwah, Sabita Ravi, and Enggi Holt) on the ways in which a historical understanding of African and Asian solidarity and connection might serve them today.

We will also be featuring an exciting program of cultural activities, including a fusion Indian/African dance performance by Aanchal and Rubba, live music, and storytelling of African and Asian folktales for children by Louis McKenzie (Artisan Theatre). We will also be featuring Indonesian and Indian food stalls (and hopefully some West African food) run by Bristol-based chefs!

The tentative schedule is:

2-2:30: Tea, exhibition viewing, and West African snacks (supplied by Agape House & Café)

2:30-4:00: Short history talk followed by roundtable in Fyfe Hall

3:15-4:00: Storytelling in Graffiti Hall for children

4:00-4:15: Tea break

4:15-5:15 Dance performance and music (Fyfe Hall)

4:45-6:45: Food stalls in Graffiti Hall (Bombay Brrrrunch and Enggi's Kitchen)

This event is organised by the Afro-Asian Networks Project, a research network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with the University of Bristol's Department of History and Brigstow Institute, as well as the Black Southwest Network. For more details about the Afro-Asian Networks Project, please visit: