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« Who is what are we, admirable question! »
Aimé Césaire

Without constituting a manifesto, we wanted this first issue to be an affirmation. First of all, of the desire to carry on what made the four years of the Lettre des musique et des arts africains successful: its engagement, its accessibility, its competence, its topicality. An affirmation of a conviction, too: namely that a monthly journal on African cultural expressions is viable and necessary, and is not about recreating a ghetto, but rather, is a site of plurality, of exchange, of reflection, a non-hermetic attempt to go deeper, favouring debate and, above all, giving voice to the actors of the cultures concerned.
As we see these debates as being inscribed in a History, we have adopted a book format, which will encourage people to keep it on their bookshelves.
As we aim to go deeper into the topics explored, each issue will be presented in the form of a thematic dossier. Without claiming to be exhaustive, it will be conceived of as a series of in-roads into testimonies and ideas.
We will of course continue to be a forum of cultural news, and we still aim to make sure that you miss nothing you would like to see or know.
We could, as in the closing credits of Manuel Poirier’s very fine film Western, run up a series of flags to define ourselves: our team is, and aims to be, hybrid, both in its origins and choices. Africa is what unites us, irrespective of our own origins, or of those we have encountered, which have attracted us along the way.
If we have decide to make criticism central this time, it is to reflect our desire to show that we do not dissociate our view of the Other from our view of ourselves – and that we hope never to become trapped in a rigid identity that we feel obliged to defend from the ‘baddies’.
We have contented ourselves with what we are, and, on this occasion, have not opened our columns up to our African and other correspondents, authors and creators. This is only provisional. The rupestral paintings and bogolan motifs chosen to illustrate the journal are not simply meant to be decorative: we too hope to combine this rooting and this freedom from the norm which we feel should guide all writing.
The gaze and roots: that is what the Ghanaian Adrinka symbol signifying feminine attention, tenderness, and patience, which we have chosen as our logo, seems to express.

///Article N° : 5281

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