Conference – Preserving Afro-Brazilian architecture in West-Africa and Brazil

2a7846b1 f13d 45d0 81b3 67e7a39cb9dbBetween February 19 and 20, 2024, Delphine Manetta, Deputy Director of IFRA-Nigeria, and Femi Olanrewaju, coordinator of the IFRA-Nigeria's project on the preservation of Ibadan's religious architectural heritage, took part in Scientific Days on Afro-Brazilian Architectural Heritage in West Africa (Benin, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria) and Brazil at the John Smith International Cultural Meeting Center in Ouidah, Benin. The theme of the event was 'Restoring lost links: preserving Afro-Brazilian architectural heritage as a cultural bridge between Benin, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil'.


Several panels addressed various themes, ranging from the history of Afro-Brazilian buildings and their integration into society, to their particular architecture and decoration, for example. These two days thus questioned why Afro-Brazilian heritage is not defined as an heritage by west-African populations, compared to the sense given by the institutions. They also rose the issue of safeguarding Afro-Brazilian architectural heritage, particularly in Benin, through the presentation of the inventory of Afro-Brazilian buildings in 8 Beninese towns (Abomey, Abomey Calavi, Bohicon, Cotonou, Grand-popo, Athiémè, Agoué and Ouidah), as part of a project led by Professor Didier Houenoude in partnership with the French Embassy and the Institut 'Afrique Décide’.

At the end of this two-day session, participants agreed on the importance to continue the inventory already underway in  West-African countries and Brazil, to encourage researches about Afro-Bresilian heritage in West-Africa and to urge the authorities to preserve and restore the Afro-Bresilian architectural heritage.

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