A new multi-disciplinary arts group aims to showcase African talent living in Northern Ireland and aid community cohesion.

The Africa Arts Collective aims to be a platform for artists, from dancers to musicians, to showcase themselves. Cuthbert Tura Arutura of Africa House NI said the idea came from African artists living in Northern Ireland who felt they were individually unable to make an impact and secure a wide range of work.

He described the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as exasperating their reach.

Mr. Arutura said artists want to share their culture with people in Northern Ireland.

“We have seen that African and Irish people have a lot of shared experiences and art is a way to express that. This type of initiative addresses the isolation of some arriving in Northern Ireland and is also another way that people can network. It is all about empowerment.”

On October 5, African and Northern Ireland artists will gather to mark the forming of the group at the Markets Community Centre in Belfast. Rahim Saphy, an acrobat, dancer, and comedian from Tanzania, is the first chairperson of the group.

“The Africa Arts Collective will bring joy, vibrancy, color, and inspiration to the local arts scene,” he said.