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Rastafari in Lusoland: King Haile Selassie's visit to Portugal in 1959

Rastafari in Lusoland: King Haile Selassie's visit to Portugal in 1959

Exhibition preview

THIS summer, the Brunei Gallery, SOAS will be showing a documental exhibition commemorating King Haile Selassie’s visit to Portugal in 1959.

This was a key period for the understanding of some of the events that led to the independence of many African countries, and to the delay of the independence of many others, and to the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1962.

On June 23, 1959, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I departed from Addis Ababa on a state tour to six countries – Egypt (June 23 to June 29), the USSR (June 30 to July 13), Czechoslovakia (July 13 to July 17), Belgium (July 17 to July 20), France (July 20 to July 24) and Portugal (July 26 to July 31).

He also made a private visit to Yugoslavia in early September, after a month’s holiday in Germany where he spent at least one week in Baden Baden to rest and cleanse his body after the highly demanding diet of the previous five weeks and went to Bad Nauheim to meet King Ibn-Saud of Arabia.

These were the countries whose people would have the ‘opportunity to meet this statesman’ and whose leaders ‘would have the stimulating effect of personal knowledge’ of the Ethiopian emperor, according to the Ethiopian Herald editorial the day he left.

This exhibition was originally presented in Addis Ababa University (institute of Ethiopian Studies) and in Lisbon (ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute) in June 2009.

Rastafari in Lusoland: King Haile Selassie’s visit to Portugal in 1959 runs from May 1 to July 24, 2010.

Admission: Free.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am to 5pm (closed Sunday and Monday).

Brunei Gallery/SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG.

Tel: 020 7898 4046 (recorded information).