ANGOP – Angola prepares to host the 2nd edition of the Luanda Biennial – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace in Africa. What is the importance you attach to the fact that the country will host the event, in October this year?

In an interview to ANGOP, the diplomat launched the 2nd Luanda Biennial, which already has two confirmed African presidents, as guests: Félix Tshisekedi, from DRC, and Denis Sassou Nguesso, from Congo.

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ANGOP – Angola prepares to host the 2nd edition of the Luanda Biennial – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace in Africa. What is the importance you attach to the fact that the country will host the event in October this year?

Sita José (SJ) – As you know, the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, visited the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 2018, which culminated in his commitment to Angola to host the 1st Luanda Biennial – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace in Africa. Later, on December 18, Angola and Unesco signed an agreement to organize 2 editions of the Luanda Biennial, namely the 2019 edition, which was a great success, and the 2021 edition, which we are currently preparing.

Therefore, hosting the 2nd edition is part of Angola’s commitment to contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace on the African continent, which should also mean Angola’s willingness to help achieve the goals outlined by African leaders.

As we know, the objective of the Bienal is to strengthen the Pan-African Movement for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. Our basis is the commitment to partnership that must be assumed by multiple actors, such as governments, civil society, artists, sportsmen, private sector agents, scientific communities, as well as non-governmental organizations, among others. Thus, sequentially, every 2 years, there is this strategic commitment between the African Union, Unesco and the Government of Angola, in order to consolidate the broad movement that will increasingly manage to bring together the adhesion of these multiple actors and partners .

In this way, receiving this second edition of the Peace Biennial represents for Angola, a strong commitment in the search for a lasting peace for Africa, which serves as a support for the economic and social development and the well-being of the African populations.

ANGOP – We are 4 months away from the 2nd edition of the Luanda Biennial, can you tell us about the event’s agenda? What is your assessment of the preparations for this event so far?

SJ – Right now we are entering the most decisive phase. On Monday, 14th, we will have a meeting between the National Multisectorial Commission in charge of preparing the Luanda Biennial, UNESCO and the African Union, to clearly determine the elements that should comprise the final program of this year’s Biennial.

What I can say is that we have practically defined the set of sub-themes. As we know, the main theme of this year’s Biennale is particularly in line with the theme adopted for 2021 by the African Union, which is, “Arts, Culture and Heritage – Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.

So, based on this, the indicative program, fixed so far, will be moved on the basis of 4 fundamental axes. There will be the axis of the Intergenerational Dialogue between Leaders and Youth, for this we count on having high-level statesmen here.

There will also be a Thematic Forum on Good Practices, as well as the launch of the so-called Alliance of Partners for the Culture of Peace in Africa, all of this fed with the demonstration of the values of the arts and cultural manifestations, within the scope of the last axis of the Bienal, which will be the Festival of Cultures.

The intergenerational dialogue between leaders and young people will be carried out with the presence of at least 150 young people from all countries of the African continent and other diasporas. In this dialogue, young people will be represented by a boy and a girl. The other young people will be able to have the guarantee of their participation in the virtual format, through digital platforms and social networks.

As for the thematic forum and good practices, it is worth saying that it is a panel that will bring together holders or promoters of solutions and good practices and partners interested in promoting peace and sustainable development in Africa. The paradigm adopted by the African Union, UNESCO and Angola for this 2nd edition of the Luanda Biennial, unlike the first, is the valuation of practical, measurable actions, so that the Biennial can be assumed to have produced benefits and not just theoretical or merely academic discussions. Our aim is to have a real impact on the population, in terms of achieving the objectives set for the Bienal.

We want these projects gathered at the local level, at the national level, at the sub-regional level, they can constitute an agenda of emblematic, transversal projects that allow their measurement in the field of their implementation with a positive impact on the life of communities, in construction lasting peace, which only makes sense to speak of a forum aimed at valuing good practices.

Posted in Bienal 2021, Entrevista