1966 marked the first ever World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures held in Dakar, Senegal; this celebratory event brought together people of different nationalities and generations with a common goal: to shed light on the struggle and persistence of black people in the face of colonization. In 1977, the second festival was held in Nigeria. And now, on December 10th, 2010- three decades later- the third World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures returns to Dakar, and lets just say, it seems the third time's a charm.
This year's lineup includes concerts, dance performances, documentary and feature film screenings, theatre, lectures on various art forms (from architecture and design to reggae) to name a few, that will run through New Year's night, with free admission to it all. As we learned on the Black World Festival website, the event this year focuses on Africa in it's new context: Africa as free, proud, creative, and optimistic. Brazil will be the guest of honor, bringing along with it a slew of artists that are culturally diverse and emblematic of the dialogue between different people and cultures, created by this year's event. Check out our slide show of videos below for a look at our favorite artists featured at this year's event.