ART + CULTURE

BANDUNG CITY REVIVES ASIA AFRICA FESTIVAL AFTER TWO-YEAR HIATUS AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Celebrating Cultural Heritage and Diplomatic Bonds After COVID-19 Hiatus.

24.07.2023
BY JEMMA UTOMO
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Bandung City, Indonesia, is set to host the much-awaited Asia Africa Festival on July 29, 2023, marking its return after a two-year break caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Acting Bandung Mayor Ema Sumarna announced the exciting news, revealing that the annual event would take place on Asia Afrika Street, where the historical building that once housed the Asia-Africa Conference in 1955 is located.

With much enthusiasm, the Bandung administration aims to showcase the city's potential during this one-day festival, with the hopes of attracting participation from four or five countries. The event's significance lies in its historical connection to the Asia-Africa Conference, held on April 18-24, 1955, in the very same location.

In preparation for the festival, the city government has collaborated closely with local law enforcement to ensure smooth traffic management during the event, scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. A traffic diversion plan has been agreed upon to prevent congestion and ensure the festival's success.

Ratnarahayu Pitriyati, the Head of the Bandung City Culture and Tourism Office's Cultural and Art Products Division, revealed that four countries have already confirmed their participation, while invitations are still being extended to other nations with the assistance of the Foreign Ministry. The organizers are dedicated to making this year's Asia Africa Festival a memorable and successful occasion, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic's disruption.

A highlight of the festival will be a vibrant parade on Jalan Asia Afrika, a bustling street in downtown Bandung, featuring 250 participants from 13 communities. During the parade, these individuals will proudly showcase the traditional attire of various Asia-African countries, adding color and cultural richness to the event.

Additionally, six districts/cities have expressed their keen interest in taking part in the festival, aiming to rekindle the collective memory of the historic Asia Africa Conference, which resulted in the formulation of the Ten Principles of Bandung, also known as Dasasila Bandung.

In 2022, the 1955 Bandung Conference was commemorated through an international conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) members' People's Consultative Assemblies. On that occasion, delegates paid tribute to the Asia Africa Conference by walking together along Jalan Asia Afrika, retracing the historical significance of this iconic location, from Savoy Homann Hotel to the Merdeka Building, which hosted the international conference.

As the date of the Asia Africa Festival draws nearer, the excitement builds, and the people of Bandung eagerly anticipate the revival of this cherished event, rekindling ties with neighboring nations and celebrating their shared cultural heritage.

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