European Union Office in Kosovo 
European Union Special Representative in Kosovo

Africa-Europe Creatives Connect

27/06/2019 - 10:53
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As part of a series of cultural initiatives, the EU Delegation to the AU recently organised "Africa-Europe Creatives Connect", a one-day workshop that brought together top creatives and culture shapers from the two continents, in Addis Ababa. With the aim of knowledge sharing and networking, six speakers shared their unique insights in TED-style interventions.


Representing European creativity was Javier Jaén (Spain), who showed how graphic design can bust all language barriers and other limitations, Nynke Koster (Netherlands), who impressed with the power of her sculptures to communicate, and Andre Anderson (UK), who revealed how a combination of design, courage and energy can empower a whole London neighbourhood.


Standing for African creativity was the Senegalese fashion designer Safietou Seck – who has dressed Michelle Obama – , the artist, interior and furniture designer Myriam Maxo, and Zeresenay Mehari, an Ethiopian filmmaker with worldwide reputation. His film “Difret” captivated not only Angelina Jolie, but also the audience at the Sundance Film Festival and 25 other film festivals including the Berlinale. Three years ago, Zeresenay founded a new TV station in Ethiopia (Kana TV) supported by the Nike Girls Foundation. Today, over 300 creative talents are working there, almost all self-trained by him. “Education is the key to Africa’s creative potential, and storytelling is its advantage, but we lack the modern tools for it” said Mehari.


These presentations were followed by Q&A discussions moderated by Bemnet Yimesgen (Creative Director at Girl Effect Ethiopia), Hans-Peter Albrecht of the Art Directors Club of Europe, and Maguette Mbow of “L’Afrique C’est Chic”.


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