southern africa

  • 'Frontline States' was the name of a Southern African festival that was held in Glasgow in 1990. It was a direct outcome of Journeyman's publication of Agostino Neto’s Sacred Hope and the publisher's support for the African National Congress during the years it was exiled in London.

    In 1989, a project was conceived to celebrate the culture of the countries surrounding South Africa. They had long suffered military and economic aggression from the apartheid regime, but received little press coverage and political support in the UK.

    Contemporary art, popular music, poetry, theatre, photography and film provided a way to understand the human cost of the Frontline States' defensive war against apartheid South Africa.

    Glasgow was the 'City of Culture' in 1990, and Mayfest offered to host the festival. Significant financial support was provided by Glasgow District Council and Strathclyde Regional Council.

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  • The Festival took place throughout Glasgow during May 1990, transferred to Manchester and Salford for their Anti-Racism Festival, and was opened by Winnie Mandela in Dublin. The London arts funding agencies procrastinated so long that there was no time left to programme the festival in London, even though the Commonwealth Institute had offered its facilities at no cost.

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  • Bands and performers for 'Music from the Frontline' were selected with the help of Womad and included in its festival at Reading. Many appeared elsewhere in the UK and Europe.

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  • 'Art from the Frontline' was exhibited at the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove, and toured to the City Art Gallery, Salford, and the City Arts Centre, Dublin. See Art from the Frontline.

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  • 'Poems from the Frontline' included poets from all the Frontline States.

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