What: West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

When: Fri 16 Oct 2015 - Tue 16 Feb 2016


PACCAR Gallery, The British Library
96 Euston Road
NW1 2DB 

The British Library is currently hosting an exhibit on West Africa that looks into the African empires of the Middle Ages and cultural dynamism 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 FelaKuti.

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

Find out more information here.