FESTAC 77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos Nigeria, was the largest cultural event ever held on the African continent.
Attended by more than 17,000 people from over 50 countries, FESTAC 77 was for African American participants (whose members represented a continuum from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement and beyond), a symbolic reversal of the transatlantic slave trade.The FESTAC 77 collection contains negatives, contact sheets, vintage silver gelatin prints, postcards, digital prints, ephemera, correspondence, textiles, CD's, DVD's flash drives and hard drives related to Marilyn Nance's role as the official photographer for the North American Zone of FESTAC 77 in Lagos, Nigeria.
In Summer 2020, Marilyn Nance connected with Zakiya Collier, archival consultant and memory worker, to discuss her goal of better facilitating the process of fielding research and licensing requests in her archival collections. Subsequently, Zakiya was hired to assess the condition and organization of the FESTAC 77 collection. The outcome of the assessment was a report, an item-level inventory of correspondence materials, and a preliminary finding aid for the collection. Zakiya then drafted a project proposal to process and create an official finding aid for the entire collection.
Funding is being sought to cover the labor required to physically rearrange, label, and enhance the archive. The goal is to make the archival collection more discoverable and accessible to researchers and the general public alike and to provide a roadmap for project replication for others looking to build and maintain their own archives.