The African freethought community announces the first edition of its music and art festival. This event will be held in Lagos later in the year. The theme is: Imagine there is no heaven, which is the title of John Lennon's song. As the theme suggests, this event will feature music, songs, and other artistic works that stress this-worldly ideals and values, the secular and humanistic cosmologies. This event will celebrate African freethought musicians and artists. There will be displays and performances that highlight iconoclastic ideals and sentiments. There will be an art exhibition that speaks to humanism, skepticism, and secularism, and a panel discussion on freethought music and art.
The event will feature secular musical performances from around the world. Some members of the godless gospel band are expected from the US and will perform at the event. There will be participants from music departments and art faculties. There are plans for a talent hunt and some auditions for young and upcoming musicians, singers, and performers. This event will be significant in various respects. First, it will present an opportunity to highlight the existence of African freethought music and musicians, the existence of African freethought art and artists. This event would help correct the mistaken and stereotypic notion of African art as strictly rooted in religion and belief in god. It will draw attention to musical lyrics and artistic expressions that are nonreligious, critical of religion and otherworldliness; songs that emphasize happiness in the here and now, in this life and this world.
Also, the event will provide a forum to celebrate and enjoy African freethought musical lyrics like Fela Kuti's 'Amen Amen Amen...' and Femi Kuti's 'Wonder Wonder Wonder'. Incidentally, these musical forms have not received the attention they deserve. These artistic expressions have not been placed within their ideological contexts. And this freethought festival is an opportunity to fill this musical gap, and supply this artistic missing link.
The event will lead to a discovery of other unknown and uncelebrated freethought musicians and performers from Nigeria and other parts of Africa. This festival will produce, inspire, and help discover new freethought musical talents from Africa.
So, are you a freethought musician or artist? Then, this is an opportunity to showcase your works and talents in a friendly and positive environment. Do you enjoy freethought music and art? Then, join us for this historic cultural festival.
Leo Igwe is a co-organiser of the African Freethought and Music Festival