The Africa Centre opens its doors to the public in 1964, becoming a vibrant ‘home-away-from-home’ and cultural hub for the African diaspora in London.
The Africa Centre becomes a vital instrument for the multiple voices of liberation during the struggles for independence on the continent.
The Africa Centre hosts numerous art exhibitions, including ‘Zimbabwe Contemporary Stone Sculpture’ held at the Barbican and opened by HRH THE Prince of Wales.
The resolution of South Africa’s independence struggle, and other ongoing changes in Africa and the UK, influence the Africa Centre to rethink its mission: “To be a flagship for Africa in Europe promoting the aspirations of Africa and its Diaspora; in particular to promote cultural, economic and socio-political initiatives in Britain and the rest of Europe that assist in the development of Africa.”
Global economic factors help to further establish the Africa Centre. It presents an acclaimed series of cultural events, while becoming an important hub for African innovation, arts and commerce. The Africa Centre continues to host monthly events, including panel discussions, African film screenings and cultural partnership events.
The Africa Centre celebrated its official Golden Jubilee in 2014.
In 2013, the Centre moved from the flagship site in Covent Garden to a new location in Southwark; a borough that is home to a diverse cultural community. Southwark has proven a great fit for the Centre in terms of its objectives for nurturing cultural exchange and educational programming. Nesting in a culturally vibrant community with Tate Modern, The Young and Old Vic and The Southbank Centre as neighbours, the Africa Centre continues to strive forward with firm appreciation of its rich heritage and the ambition to become London’s hub for African arts, culture, enterprise and development.
What thoughts and sensibilities underpin a pan-African design vision? Join Africa Centre Director, Kenneth Tharp and architect Jonathan Hagos, Director of FREEHAUS as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing a landmark building in Southwark.