Press release: Bronze Panther award 2023 to Fest Afrika


Fest Afrika chairman Timo Järvenpää (left), project coordinator Marita Ratia and artistic director Menard Mponda. Villa Karo executive director Julia Ojanen and board member Jaana-Mirjam Mustavuori. Photo: Maikki Kantola



Villa Karo 2023 culture award Bronze Panther to Fest Afrika

Villa Karo awards the Bronze Panther cultural award to the festival Fest Afrika from Tampere.

Fest Afrika is a festival that has been doing pioneering work since 2002 by bringing showcasing art from around the African continent. Its aim is to support the African art and get to know the different cultures of Africa. At the same time, it brings people from different backgrounds to learn and have fun together.

Founded in 2001, the bronze panther is Villa Karo's cultural prize, which is awarded annually to a person, organisation or society that has significantly promoted cultural understanding as well as reduced prejudice between different cultures.

"Fest Afrika has been successful in organizing for more than two decades a high-level and audience-interesting event whose program includes music along with dance and other performing arts, workshops and seminars. Its inclusive activity is cultural exchange at its best: Fest Afrika creates events where cultures meet in a community spirit", says Villa Karo executive director Julia Ojanen.

The 2024 Fest Afrika will take place at the beginning of July, and there will also be a program in cooperation with Villa Karo!

Villa Karo was founded by Juha Vakkuri (1946-2019) and it aims to build a bridge between artists, researchers and cultural figures.


More information:
Executive Director of Villa Karo Julia Ojanen julia.ojanen@villakaro.org, tel. 044-34 89 811
Fest Afrika: Chairman of the board Timo Järvenpää: tuulihaukka@live.com




Award granted

2022 Angélique Kidjo, musician, cultural ambassador
2021 Walter ry,
organisation for intercultural activities
2020 Matti-Juhani Karila,
retired reporter
2019 Soile Rinno, non-fiction writer
2018 Noël Saïzonou, musician, composer
2017 Elina Hirvonen, writer, reporter, movie director
2016 Katriina Ranne, Doctor of Philosophy writer and translator of poetry
2015 Ujuni Ahmed, youth counselor; Riitta Kujala & Catherine Othieno, Hyvästi Afrikka -filmmaker
2014 HAFF – Helsinki African Film Festival
2013 Street culture magazine Iso Numero
2012 Li-Lo Söderholm, Norsen secondary school principal
2011 Tiina Lindfors, dancer, choreographer
2010 Miia Jonkka, documentary director
2009 Wilson Kirwa, runner, storyteller
2008 Olli Löytty, non-fiction writer
2007 Marjo Kaartinen, docent of cultural history
2006 Ritva Siikala, theatre director, founder of the Kassandra Cultural Centre
2005 Hasse Walli, composer, musician
2004 Antonia Ringbom, animation film director
2003 Aune Laaksonen, Director of the Kerava Art Museum
2002 Kaisu Isto, Yle's film buyer
2001 Heikki Salojärvi, book publisher and translator