The artistic, social, cultural and commercial face of Africa in London is under threat of closure, so groups came together to stage a demonstration. London, United Kingdom. 2nd June 2011
It’s a building in Covent Garden called the Africa Centre which is run by a charity of the same name. It has a 40 year history of being a vibrant site for maintaining and projecting the culture of Africa, Africans and the Diaspora, through arts events, exhibitions and concerts.
In March 2011, news leaked that the trustees had secretly decided to sell off the centre to property developers, without consultation and without any firm plans (or money) for a replacement centre. There is huge opposition to this from some trustees, members of the Africa Centre, supporters and Africans around the country. The building is not theirs to sell. The Africa Centre was given, in perpetuity, by the Catholic Church in the 1960s to the people of Africa and its diaspora. It will mean the loss of an important cultural and political asset for London. It also marks a blow to efforts to celebrate diversity and our international heritage, at a time when barriers and prejudices need to be challenged.