AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Musician Umlilo pushes gender boundaries in South Africa

Artists in South Africa continue to push the boundaries of gender norms in popular media. In contemporary dance, members of the group V.I.N.T.A.G.E. Cru (who we’ve interviewed) are boldly leading the way (see their latest video) and in music, the young Cape Town-based singer Umlilo is poised to redefine common gender perceptions. Through his makeup,

Monday, January 27th, 2014

How to say Lupita Nyong’o

At the moment, everyone seems to be obsessed with the stunning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o. And for good reason. Her heart-wrenching performance in the film 12 Years a Slave has won her critical acclaim, while her humility...

Friday, January 17th, 2014

#Breaking: New York Times discovers African artists use the Internets

The New York Times’ printing press is still radiating from January 8th, 2014 when the newspaper’s East Africa correspondent Nicholas Kulish published a story (with accompanying video) about how the presence of Africans on the Internet represents...

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Top Music Videos of 2013

Ah, 2013 was good for the beautiful creature that is the music video. From big budget studio productions to creatively bootstrapped independent visuals, the year provided a bumper harvest. And with the magic of youtube channel subscriptions,...

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Vintage Cru: Challenging the Status Quo in South Africa with Dance

In the South African entertainment hierarchy, dancers are not usually considered to be at the top of the pile. DJs, singers and soapie stars often command greater audiences. Yet there’s a dance group out there that’s changing...

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Before They Resurrect the Noble Savage

As history and our collective experience reveals, so much of a photograph’s meaning is not captured within its frame. What is not confined to the frame is the social environment within which the image was created. This...

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 60

Wherever the sun is in the sky, it’s the right time for new music. Here’s this week’s collection. French producer Débruit’s entrancing beats act as a surprisingly strong compliment to Sudanese singer Alsarah’s mesmerizing vocals. Gorgeous otherworldly...

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Reimagining Ghana’s Cinemaspace

A thread that runs through all creative mediums from fashion to architecture to cinema is that cultural icons of the bygone days can be fertile inspiration for the contemporary creative imagination. It was in this spirit that...

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The first rule of Halloween: Blackface and “Africa”- themed parties are out

Halloween, with its increasingly global appeal, is upon us again and that means it’s time for children and adults alike to dress in flamboyant costumes and overindulge on their vices. A number of attempts have been made...

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 57

It’s the weekend, so let’s dig into the internet’s digital crates for some new music. In a video that strings together GIF-like movements and intriguing textural contrasts over innovative beats, UK rapper/producer Mickey Lightfoot makes his compelling...

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips and the “True Story” of Somali Piracy

Abduwali Abdukhad Muse sits anxiously in a federal prison in Indiana, while his Hollywood-constructed doppelganger prepares to leap onto a silver screen near you this weekend. Muse, a young man from Somalia, was sentenced in 2011 to...

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A Conversation with Photographer Juan Orrantia about Guinea-Bissau and his Search for Amilcar Cabral

Technically speaking, photography is the process of capturing light. Compose the frame. Release the shutter. And let the light pour into the camera’s memory, whether a roll of film or a digital sensor. When the captured light...

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 53

If you don’t know now you know. Weekend soon come. We got music from South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Kenya, Ireland and Belgium in this week’s music break. So let’s get started: South African house producer...

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 51

It’s Afropunk Fest weekend in Brooklyn and a few of us at AIAC will be partaking in the madness. Resident DJ Chief Boima will be hosting the After Dark Africa Latina party tonight at Brooklyn Taphouse from...

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A fresh dose of the Chimurenga Chronic

For those of us seeking to get our fix of media with substance, it’s time once again to take a hit of the Chronic. Chimurenga, the recalcitrant pan-African multimedia institution based in Cape Town, has just released...

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 49

The website has been a bit quiet lately, but don’t worry, it’s about to get lively again with this week’s music break. Finland’s rising lyricist Noah Kin breaks down his faith in the cinematic “You never asked”....

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 47

Another week, another solid playlist of eclectic African sounds. Yo Chale, feeling fresh after a trip to the barbing saloon, C-Real and M dot prove they each embody the word “OPEIMU” (extraordinary individual) as they stroll and cruise...

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 45

We took the week off last week so we’re coming back at you extra strong today. For those of you trying to stay warm this winter and those of you keeping it cool this summer we’ve got...

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°17: Thina Zibi

The “My favorite photographs” series is back with South African photographer/art director Thina Zibi. Born in Cape Town and now residing in Johannesburg, Thina Zibi is at the vanguard of visual artists documenting creative youth culture in...

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°43

It’s been far too long since we had a music break. So without too many words, we’re going to jump right in with what’s been on our radar for the last couple weeks. In a fascinating illustration...

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Africana Endless Summer Series in Washington, DC

It’s starting to get sticky in Washington DC and that means it’s time for music to migrate from the nightclub to the street. To bring people together in the name of celebrating African music and dance from...

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°40

South African kwaito group Mafikizolo underscored their comeback this week with the release of the video for “Khona” off their new album, Reunited. The video which also features vocals from Uhuru and Mapiano, takes the group back...

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The New Chimurenga

From its inception as a one-off experiment in Cape Town more than 10 years ago, Chimurenga Magazine, founded by Jean Noel Ntone Edjabe, has evolved into arguably the most creative, incisive political arts and literary publication produced...

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Takeifa: Rocking Dakar

Some music videos take you by surprise. One such video is the brand new offering by the Senegalese band Takeifa, called “Supporter”. Takeifa is band of siblings from the Keita family headed by brother Jac. According to soundcloud...

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Popstars, Politicians and Personhood: A Conversation with Masello Motana

South African actress/singer/writer Masello Motana has had a career in the entertainment business that many would envy. She has played a leading role in a number of South African television shows as well as in a mainstream...

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°12: Kelebogile Ntladi

The latest image-maker in the “Favorite Photographs” series is South African photographer Kelebogile Ntladi. Based in Johannesburg, Kelebogile uses her images to interrogate gender norms and unapologetically contribute to the establishment of new space for dynamic identities...

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°31

Once again, demonstrating Azonto’s global reach, the Azonto London Allstars conquer a myriad of urban landscapes with their indefatigable dance moves to the beat of a mix by DJ Sawa. Above. Next, with hair fit for the...

Friday, December 28th, 2012

10 Contested Images of 2012

Remember that little video campaign called #Kony2012? Yeah, we wish we could forget too. Few videos have reached the magnitude of pestilence that the non-profit Invisible Children’s video achieved this year. By transforming a complex regional crisis...

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Redefining “Blackness”: An interview with Toyin Odutola

The richly layered portraits of Nigerian-American artist Toyin Odutola have been on the Africa is a Country radar for quite some time. Painstakingly created with marker and ballpoint pen, Toyin’s drawings have been making waves in the...

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Lesotho gets the Kristof Treatment

Earlier this month, on his latest escapade to the African continent, the illustrious New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof paid a visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The occasion was his annual “Win a Trip with Nicholas...

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