Message from Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the Occasion of World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/15185.html
24 January 2024文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/15185.html
On this World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture, we celebrate a rich, diverse and sometimes tragic heritage, a heritage that is the crucible for African identities, in Africa and around the world.文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/15185.html
We celebrate this heritage with the words of Beninese philosopher Paulin J. Hountondji in mind. In 2016, he wrote: “Our identity is yet to come. It is not behind us, but ahead of us, in the way we project ourselves, individually and collectively, into the future”.
让我们通过铭记贝宁哲学家保兰·J·洪通基（Paulin J . Hountondji）的话来礼赞这份遗产。他曾在 2016 年这样写道：“我们的身份属于未来。它不在我们身后，而是在我们面前，取决于我们个人和集体如何投身于未来的行动之中。”
Following in his footsteps, and on this World Day, we say today that African and Afrodescendant cultures are not only treasures of the past but are also treasures that need to be kept alive, at the heart of societies, by making them the foundation of local development, and by enabling them to renew themselves.
This is what guides our action at UNESCO, to promote both the cultures of the African continent and the full diversity of cultural expressions of the African diasporas and Afrodescendants.
First and foremost, we are taking resolute action to promote the tangible heritage of the African continent. For instance, following the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in September 2023, over 100 African sites are now on the World Heritage List. It was also with great joy, and after years of effort, that it has been possible to remove the site of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, Uganda, from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
But African and Afrodescendant culture is also about the intangible heritage. A record 12 new elements from Africa, practices and know-how, were thus added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2023.
UNESCO also works to support African artists and cultural professionals in all cultural fields. Last October, we launched an innovative report on the fashion industry in Africa, taking stock of its strengths, weaknesses and potential; and we are about to launch a similar initiative for Africa’s book industry.
We also support the vitality of African cinema: as part of our partnership with Netflix, for example, the Organization has accompanied young directors to support the continent’s cinematographic creation.
Finally, to combat trafficking in cultural property, a scourge that particularly affects the jewels of Africa’s culture, UNESCO has trained over 220 law enforcement officials, cultural professionals and magistrates from across the continent in the last year alone.
But African arts and culture are also about the creative richness of the African diasporas and Afrodescendants, present from India to the United States of America, via Brazil and Europe.
Today, we need to give equal recognition to the cultures of the continent and those of people of African descent. This approach, which takes into account the main dimensions of Africanness on a global scale, is at the heart of the new volume of the General History of Africa, dedicated to African diasporas, which we launched at the Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination in São Paulo last December and which will be published in February 2024.
UNESCO supports another essential remembrance project: the history of the transatlantic slave trade and its still visible and problematic consequences in contemporary societies.
In response to this, UNESCO can count in particular on its “Routes of Enslaved Peoples” programme, whose 30th anniversary we are celebrating this year, and which works in particular to collect and highlight the contributions of enslaved people and those of their descendants. In 2024, we will be rolling out our new network of places of history and remembrance linked to slavery and the slave trade, which aims to connect the communities that have inherited this history so as to better highlight their testimony.
In short, it is all these African cultures, which flourish in Africa as they do on all other continents, that we are celebrating today. For, as the Haitian-Canadian writer Dany Laferrière puts it, “We do not necessarily come from the country in which we were born. There are seeds that the wind likes to sow elsewhere”.