Casa Africa (Africa House if you hadn’t worked it out) lies a couple of roads away from our English academy, in Calle Alfonso XIII. It’s a place I like to drop by, to enjoy the regular free displays of African art, film, and photos. Today, for example, I took in Graffrica’s urban African art – drawn to Moroccan artist Rabie’s take on the iconic map of Africa.
By royal appointment
The building in which CA itself is housed is just as much an emblem. Opened by the Spanish King Juan Carlos and wife Sofia back in June 2007, its motto is África y España, cada vez más cerca (Africa and Spain, getting closer every day). If the image overload of the galleries is too much of an assault on your senses, the courtyard offers a perfect place to breathe in peace and quiet.
Casa Africa: filling the void
My favourite event on Gran Canaria used to be WOMAD, the free festival set up by Peter Gabriel to plug the sounds of Africa and beyond. However, the pairing of the ruling PP with the credit crunch sounded a death knell for this event. So, the chance to taste Africa without leaving Europe is one I can’t afford to miss. Hence my regular visits to Casa Africa.
Finger on the pulse
Every week, Casa Africa send out a newsletter to subscribers like me. As well as details of future events, they suggest African-related reads in terms of books, listens in terms of CDs, and links in terms of websites. Mother (Africa) knows best.
Room for improvement
Yet, I could love Casa Africa even more. Being English, the way to my heart is through my stomach so an on-site cafe showing off the delights of African cuisine would be a cafe I’d welcome. As would a return to the night-time concerts with the greats of African music.