Hidden Histories – “Celebrating through Masquerade”

//Hidden Histories – “Celebrating through Masquerade”
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Hidden Histories – “Celebrating through Masquerade”

April 28, 2023 @ 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Gambia celebrated its 53rd year as a republic on 24 April and for this occasion we seek to celebrate our independence from total colonial rule by showcasing our cultural diversity as a country in masquerades. Masquerade in Africa symbolises unity, as all ethnic and religious groups celebrate together through Masquerade. This resonates across West Africa and its Diaspora as a form of cultural resistance. In other parts of the world this is called Jonkonnu (Junkanoo) As with many traditions, masquerades are undergoing transformation which sometimes leads to devalue their cultural significance. However, in The Gambia, efforts are made to keep the cultural, social and historical relevance of masquerades like the Kankurang, Zimba, Kumpo, Hunting Devil and others alive. A significant contribution to this is the listing of the Kankurang masquerade of The Gambia as one of the 43 cultural expressions and practices by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity”. Such recognition is demonstrated in The Gambia by the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) that established, with the support of Janjanbureh community, the Kankurang Museum and Festival.

MBOKA Festival for Arts, Culture and Sports collaborates with SOAS to Celebrate our Hidden Histories through Masquerades with a special presentation on a new forthcoming book about the 200 year history on the Gambian diaspora in Britian, and live performance, film and discussion on the presence, symbolism, meaning, use and history of masquerade in The Gambia and beyond.

The event will be chaired by Professor Lucy Duran, SOAS (School of Arts/Music).


To register for in person attendance, please complete this online form or email: cas@soas.ac.uk

To register for Virtual attendance, complete the webinar registration form.


SOAS Library Decolonisation Group


Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT), Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Brunei Gallery, SOAS
London, London WC1H 0XG United Kingdom
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