Freedom of Expression by Cultural Practitioners is getting more and more stifled in Cameroon. In November 2013, more than 1000 musicians gathered in an elective Assembly within their Association called Cameroon Music Association (in French SOCAM) and voted overwhelmingly for their President, composer and musician Ndedi Eyango. Only two weeks in office as the newly elected President, Ndedi was dismissed by the Minister of Art and Culture (supervisory authority of SOCAM) on the grounds that Ndedi Eyango has double nationality (American/Cameroonian). It is alleged that the Minister had her preferred candidate who lost the elections. In spite of consultations by musicians to get Ndedi Eyango back as President, the Minister has dug her heels in and there is presently a legal battle between Ndedi Eyango and the Minister.
reflection on our/my experiences in the conflict-prone Bakassi peninsula in
Being a discussion
presented at an Exploratory Roundtable organised by the International Institute
for Asian studies, Leiden,the Stitching Savan/Beeld voor Beeld, Amsterdam and
the Tropenmuseum with the collaboration of the Prince Claus Fund and UNESCO
Nederland. 13th -14th
June 2013, Amsterdam, Netherlands General Root Causes of conflict
Conflict can be interpersonal arising from
individual character and manifested through intolerance, ego, inability to
forgive, forget, and reconcile and the lack of fellow-feeling. Interpersonal enmity generally feeds on the binary vision of me vs. him/her or self vs. the other.
In one of our monthly Christian Family Movement (C.F.M) meetings in Molyko, Buea, we discussed the decline or absence of traditional education in our homes today. From birth, marriage, death, language, music, dress code to culinary art, the ethos that identify us with our local content, context and colour seem to be fast deteriorating or simply allowed to be completely subsumed under the corrosive effects of Westernisation. For example traditional marriage or ‘contri marry’ that is supposed to lay the ancestral foundation of marital bliss continues to be downplayed in favour of high profile church weddings.
"Our political bonding that took us from Buea to Yaounde actually began in Foumban. Yet, very few Cameroonians can identify the historic hall in Foumban that hosted the constitutional talks in July 1961. This is only one example of the neglect of our immoveable cultural patrimony and the absence of political will to give a voice to our cultural zones of silence."
The National Organising Committee for the celebration of fifty years of the Independence of the then French Cameroon and the Independence/Reunification of the former Southern Cameroon and French Cameroon in what is now the Republic of Cameroon has a lot in their plate. First, to be effective the Committee needs to work with regional representatives consisting of state and non-state actors in each of the ten regions. Second, apart from the political and social manifestations that are bound to highlight the twin Golden Jubilee anniversaries, the urgent task of lending voices to most of the intangible landmarks of our cultural heritage needs to be addressed. Fortunately, the outcome of the first meeting held by the Committee on Monday 22 February in Yaounde in which issues of cultural patrimony were flagged gives room for guarded optimism.
It could have been possible to title this panel session “Culture and Democracy” or “Culture and Human Rights” seeing the organic link between our desire as human beings but more so people of the Arts to expand our spaces of freedom of expression beyond the limitations imposed on us by our value systems or ecosystems.
The Nigerian trade and cultural week organised by the Nigerian High Commission in Cameroon from 16-22 March 2009, had for theme “Exploring new frontiers of cooperation through trade and culture”. Coming against a backdrop of a chilled relationship due to the protracted conflict over theBakassi peninsula that was laid to rest on 14th August 2008,the trade and cultural week aimed at promoting meaningful cooperation through trade and culture, sharing experiences in the management of human and natural resources, and promoting tourism between Cameroon and Nigeria.
Art and Culture is already becoming a basis for economic empowerment and human development. For a long time, economic models paid less attention to the organic link between poverty reduction and cultural development. Yet that link has become so vital that agencies and cultural professionals have been awakened to the reality that cultural investment is not only beneficial to the agencies themselves but serve as an income-generating spiral of wealth creation and self-employment among the vulnerable sectors of society (women and youths) and in the case of this paper, prisoners.
A major fallout from a seminar that AFRICAphonie organised on ‘Arts, indigenous culture, and human development; the case of Cameroon’’ in January 2003 was the need to get the Cameroonian media involved in the promotion of visual Arts and design in Cameroon. This is a new traditional and trendy discipline called Cultural Journalism. I observed that the media’s focus remained political and economic with the creation of media Associations in these two domains to the exclusion of relevant cultural issues or creative industries that can both enhance a creative economy and showcase the rich cultural patrimony in Cameroon.
Introduction Tomorrow 8th March 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of the international Women’s Day. Established in 1977 by the United Nations, this important day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress made to advance women’s rights and to assess the challenges that remain. This year’s theme is “Ending Violence against Women: Action for Real Results" with the Cameroonised adaptation being “Violence against women, Break the silence, take action”. The theme reflects the forms of marginalization, discrimination, persecution, victimization and exclusion, women in Africa have experienced since the Beijing Conference of 1995 became a media-hyped benchmark.