The Grand Opera Auction Show is an online charity auction to benefit Christoph Schlingensief's Opera Village Africa. On July 29, 2021, at 7 p.m., 24 works by 23 artists will be put up for auction by auctioneer Kilian von Seldeneck.
During the auction, there will also be the opportunity to donate via telephone line for the purposes of the Operndorf Afrika Foundation. All proceeds will go to expand the cultural program at Operndorf Afrika and secure it for the coming years.
The Opera Village Africa is an international art project based in Burkina Faso/West Africa that has grown since 2009. It is the brainchild of German artist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010). It was Schlingensief's dream to create a space for international encounters - both artistic and cultural - that led to the official founding of the project. Under the motto "Learning from Africa," a platform for intercultural exchange programs and postcolonial discourse has been unfolding ever since. Located about 30 kilometers from Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, the project stands out from many conventional development programs by presenting a new and particularly differentiated image of Africa. The main idea of the Opera Village is an unconditional exchange of cultures. In Schlingensief's words, it is time to enrich the "descending European high culture with the ascending African civilization" and to invest in Africa.
To date, 26 buildings have been constructed on land provided by the Burkinabe government, including an elementary school for some 300 schoolgirls, a maternity and infirmary, a canteen, guest houses, offices, and a recording studio and film screening room. Regular educational and cultural offerings, such as literacy courses and workshops, complement the project's main objective: exchange between African and European artists, which manifests itself in an annual artist-in-residence program that has been running since 2015. In 2019, the cultural offer was expanded to include a children's film festival, which is held every spring for children and young people in the region.
All construction projects, cultural projects as well as their financing are managed by the Berlin-based non-profit Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, which was founded by Schlingensief in 2009 and has been headed by Aino Laberenz since 2010. Since 2011, the project has been under the patronage of former German President Horst Köhler. In December 2012, the Operndorf Afrika Stiftung foundation was established. The educational and health facilities are already funded by the government of Burkina Faso. The administration and projects of Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH are financed by private donations and public funding. A challenge is the maintenance costs as well as the promotion of self-sufficiency through agriculture and renewable energies, which should guarantee the independence of the project in the long term.