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British Library: West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

November 16, 2015 @ 8:00 AM - 5:59 PM

|Recurring Event (See all)
Daily until February 16, 2016
| Free

An exhibition of literature and music – from the great African empires of the Middle Ages to the cultural dynamism of West Africa today;

Fascinating stories from the region’s 17 nations show how West Africans have harnessed the power of words to build societies, drive political movements, sustain religious belief and fight injustice.

Beautiful manuscripts, historic film and sound recordings, books, photographs, and woven and printed textiles offer a unique insight into a profound and engaging literary culture with centuries-old written heritage existing alongside ancient oral traditions.

Hear the myth of the founding of ancient Mali in recorded performance. See the influence of religion through colourful fabric and the saddlebag Qur’an. Celebrate writers and artists including Africa’s first Nobel prize winner, Wole Soyinka, and internationally acclaimed musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti.

Gain insights into West Africa’s fascinating heritage with  a unique collection items and newly-commissioned articles, and experience the region’s history, politics and literature.



November 16, 2015
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British Library
96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom