Several Ethiopian Artists Featured at UK Festival Directed by Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay. (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 17th, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — Poet, Author and Motivational Speaker Lemn Sissay who is the guest director for this year’s Brighton Festival — the biggest annual multi-arts festival in England — has announced the 2020 program that’s set to take place from May 2nd to 24th.

In addition to the British-Ethiopian poet as curator the festival program features several acclaimed Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American artists, musicians, and writers including Maaza Mengiste and Aida Edemariam as well as founder of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke and pianist & composer Samuel Yirga. The lineup also includes British–Eritrean writer and journalist Hannah Azieb Pool.

“With Lemn as this year’s guest director, the festival will feature more than 120 events taking place in 27 venues and locations across the region,” notes the Sussex Express newspaper. “At the heart of it all will be a focus on artists experimenting and creating new work. The Festival will feature 17 premieres, exclusives, commissions and co-productions, alongside many Festival debuts from international artists.”

The paper adds: “Lemn’s personal passions flow throughout the 2020 programme, connected by a love of words and language across theatre, song, spoken word, art and poetry. Contemporary writers and poets are given a particular spotlight with several spoken word and book events.”

The program also includes an art exhibition titled ‘The Young Americans’ highlighting a new generation of Indigenous American artists in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey. The show is produced in collaboration with the Phoenix, Arizona-based Gallery Rainmaker and “reveals what it means to grow up in the contemporary United States.”

Lemn Sissay says the Festival is all encompassing. “There’s going to be something for you in this Festival,” he said. “Broaden your horizons, be open and maybe try something different. Welcome to the Imagine Nation, welcome to the whole world in one celebration here at Brighton Festival 2020.”


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