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Inauguration of the 19th Scientific Workshop on Afro-American Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Encuentro de Oralidad "Festival Afropalabra" (8th Afroword Orality Meeting)

7 January 2015/ UNESCO Havana

The 19th Scientific Workshop on Afro-American Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Encuentro de Oralidad "Festival Afropalabra" (8th Afroword Orality Meeting) were inaugurated on the morning of 5 January at the venue of the House of Africa of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana located in the Historical Centre of Havana.

The words of welcome were delivered by the director of that cultural institution, Alberto Granado, who referred to the 29th anniversary of the founding of the Museum House and the valuable collections exhibited in its different rooms. He also acknowledged the support UNESCO has always given through its Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as through the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO (CNCU).

The next speaker was Fernando Brugman, Officer in charge of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Havana, Cuba, who stressed the importance of the workshop, which for 19 years has provided an important space for reflection on the African legacy in Latin American and Caribbean culture.

The UNESCO Havana Officer also referred to the beginning of the International Decade for People of African Descent this January, an initiative proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, which will last until December 2024, to preserve and disseminate the African legacy throughout the world.

During the final minutes of the opening ceremony, there was a special performance by oral narrator Mirta Portilla, president of the Afroword Festival.

The opening day of the workshop was attended by various African diplomatic representatives accredited in Cuba, the Officer of the UNESCO Havana Culture Programme, Olga Rufins, scholars and experts on Afro-American cultures, both from Cuba and abroad, as well as officials from different Cuban cultural entities.

The 19th Scientific Workshop on Afro-American Social and Cultural Anthropology will run until January 8 with thematic commissions dedicated to Culture, identity and otherness; Aspects of popular religiousness and brotherhoods of African origin; Visual anthropology; and Processes of resistance and marronage.

In addition, the Workshop will hold collateral activities such as the opening of photographic exhibitions, concerts and cultural galas.

Speech by Fernando Brugman, Official in charge of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (SPANISH)

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