African Pavilion aspires to manifest the spirit and true genius of Africa through a collective learning, creative projects and cultural exchanges. African Pavilion is eminently dedicated to inspiring a truly meaningful transformation in the continent. To do so, a higher participation of Africans in this universal experiment is pivotal and African Pavilion shall serve as a liaison between Auroville and Africa to facilitate the reciprocity.
Ahmed M’Zali nicknamed "Black Krishna", was the first African from Algeria to join Auroville in 1969. In 1966 Tekeste Birhan Gebrekidan, a young Ethiopian diplomat was posted at the Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi and later became the second African to join Auroville. Tekeste took part in the celebration of Auroville’s first year anniversary, and after witnessing profound experiences and visions over the years, finally settled in Auroville in 1999. Ever since, he worked relentlessly to create a bond between Africa and Auroville until his passing on June 26, 2017. He spearheaded the first Auroville International meeting in Ethiopia in 2011. A social worker, he was also the author of two books on his life and work.
Through the dedicated work of young Africans and enthusiastic volunteers, an open common hall, a kitchen, two dry compost toilets and a dormitory have been built so far. Making advantage of the farming techniques practiced in Auroville, our permaculture garden aims at supplying provisions to our kitchen besides offering an instructive activity for the volunteers and guests staying on site. As one of the active Pavilions, our popular event is the African Drum Night where large crowds flock to unleash their spirit to the rhythm of ancestral tunes around the bonfire which is then followed by a delicious African supper.
- 18 Africans are currently residing in Auroville
- 3 Auroville International (AVI) centres have been created in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda
- 2 Auroville International (AVI) meetings were held in South Africa (2006) and Ethiopia (2011)
The Africa House is a complex of buildings that will house activities and presentations related to the cultures of Africa. While the design is contemporary, it uses ancient African architectural practices incorporated with contemporary and sustainable building techniques adopted to the hot tropical climate of South India. It stands as a symbolic representation of African Oneness by honoring all the nations and traditions. A multi-faceted structure, it is equipped with numerous facilities such as conference and exhibition spaces, concert halls, a restaurant, a library, open market, and guest accommodations.
The masterplan was unanimously approved by the Auroville town planners as early as 2006. Thirteen years have passed since and it is now undergoing a revision by the original architect, Biruk Teklehaimanot from Ethiopia, in collaboration with other experts in Auroville in order to hasten its realisation in the near future.
Objectives of African Pavilion
- Present the spirit of Africa to the international audience in Auroville
- Provide a centre for research and studies on Africa
- Conduct cultural events in the fields of music, dance and art through exhibitions, performances, training courses, etc.
- Accommodate African guests and visitors to allow a direct exchange with Auroville
- Arrange for internships and study programmes for Africans in Auroville
- Increase awareness in Africa about the dream and practical accomplishments of Auroville
- Introduce Auroville's sustainable practices in Africa which are applicable to the continent
Hail to the Fallen
(Sri Aurobindo’s poem to Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia)
Hail to the fallen, the fearless! hail to the conquered, the noble!
I out of ancient India great and unhappy and deathless,
I in a loftiest1 nation though subject born, salute thee,
Thou too great and unfortunate! All is not given by Nature
Only to Force and the strong and the violent. Courage and wisdom,
Steadfast will and the calm magnificent dream of thy spirit
Crown thee for ever, O Emperor! Fiercely by Destiny broken,
Hurled from thy throne and defeated, forsaken, a wandering exile,
Far from the hills of thy land and thy fallen and vanquished nation,
Yet has thy glory overtopped and the deathless pride of thy laurel
Conquered the conqueror’s, Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah.
France for her southern borders fearing spared the aggressor.
England the sea queen, England the fortunate, England the victor
Fled like a dog from the whip of the menace yelping for succour,
Loudly to Frank and to Greek and to Turk and to Yugoslav calling
“Help me! I dare not alone: he will shatter my fleet and my empire.”
You did not cower, African people, you did not tremble.
Armed but with rifle and spear you fronted the legions of Caesar.
Statesman wise and beneficent, emperor, patriot, hero,
King of the Sahavas, Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah.
Sri Aurobindo- Volume 2- Collected Poems.
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