Madagascar’s new cultural pilgrimage site
With a former DJ as head of state, Madagascar starts to inhabit new cultural space.
Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina kicked off his career as a disc jockey and later gained recognition for organizing and promoting musical events. Combining his nightlife experience and the influential ties his father had made as a prominent military official, Rajoelina established the annual music event Live, which further enhanced his reputation among Madagascar’s up-and-coming youth elite.
Now, Rajoelina has manifested his passion for music in a modern amphitheatre. Situated in the capital Antananarivo, the Coliseum of Madagascar was launched last week and is due to host both local and international artists in front of an audience of up to 50.000 people, officials stated.
Some observers call the series of newly established cultural pilgrimage sites (including a recently opened rugby site) an attempt by President Rajoelina to boost his popularity ahead of Madagascar’s 2013 elections. It remains to be seen, though, whether underground artists and the poor majority of Madagascar’s people will profit from the latest development.