AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Issa Rae: Internet Celebrity

The outside of the Sheraton Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica was bustling with activity. A thick Autumn mist obscured the sea and the sky was grey, but the mood was warm. People milled outside the hotel lobby on their cell phones, tweeting and texting their excitement, sharing it with their invisible digital friends. Myself and

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Football, Art, and its Many Intersections: An Interview with Franklin Sirmans

Shortly after the opening of Fútbol: The Beautiful Game at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) I had the opportunity to speak with the exhibition’s curator, Franklin Sirmans. It was actually three days after the...

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...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

An interview with Ghanaian artist Sarkodie in the lead-up to his new album

Few rappers on the continent have been as prolific as Sarkodie this year. The Ghanaian emcee has released a steady stream of songs and videos, all in the lead-up to his album which will be titled Sarkology....

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Trevor Schoonmaker

Schoonmaker: When did you start to see work by African artists that you did respond to? Was that in New York? Mutu: In New York, ironically, you know, in the early ’90s. Richard Onyango, one of Kenya’s...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A critical look into Mozambique’s past: Licínio Azevedo’s “Virgin Margarida”

In Frelimo’s (Mozambique’s party in power since independence) official story of its liberation struggle and its socialist project after independence, many aspects get silenced. One among these are the re-education centers to “purify” the “compromised” that had...

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...

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Another Side of the Story: A Discussion with the Managing Editor of “Daily News Egypt”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Rana Allam, Managing Editor of the Daily News Egypt towards the end of January this year, just days before the two-year anniversary of the start of the Egyptian uprising that...

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

David Goldblatt is interviewed (by African Lookbook)

Aaron Kohn’s African Lookbook interview with David Goldblatt covers a wide swath of subject matter—from childhood experiences, how he began working as a photographer after his father’s death, and why he was never cut out to be...

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

African Lookbook: Fashion and Oral Interviews Go Together

I first met Aaron Kohn, one of the co-founders of African Lookbook, a site that combines a one-stop online fashion store with oral interviews, earlier this summer at a New York University sponsored conference on Distance and Desires:...

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

‘Landing on A Hundred': An Interview with Cody ChesnuTT

The Yoruba have a word–tutu–for cool. Robert Farris Thompson describes it in his book Flash of the Spirit: “As we become noble, fully realizing the spark of creative goodness God endowed us with, we find the confidence...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The ‘Promised Land’ in Mozambique

Promised Land is the title of the German photographer Gregor Zielke’s feature about the relocation of 700 families in Mozambique’s Tete province to make space for the Brazilian company Vale’s construction of the Southern Hemisphere’s second largest...

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...

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Interview: Abdellah Karroum and the Benin Biennale

We tracked down Abdellah Karroum in Paris, and asked him some questions about the Biennale Regard Benin 2012, of which he is the artistic director (more on that in yesterday’s post). Born in 1970 in Morocco, he is...

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Nollywood: Nigeria’s Mirror

This past summer on a rainy June afternoon, I spent a few hours interviewing Nigerian poet and critic, Odia Ofeimun. I met him while co-producing a radio documentary about Nollywood (streaming in full here). Odia has been...

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The musical journey of Bongeziwe Mabandla

Forty-two kilometres from Umthatha, the former capital of Transkei in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is kuTsolo. It’s a small town with a name which means pointed, referring to the shape of the hills characterising the rural...

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Makode Linde–the ‘Swedish Cake’ artist–explains himself

“It’s a self-portrait. It’s not meant to represent anything, except me.” Makode Linde seems more bemused than irritated when we discuss the huge, worldwide storm that his cake has stirred. “People are talking about this in Africa,...

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Parisian Africa: The artistic intersections of the Métropole

Guest Post by Lara N. Dotson-Renta Paris has always been renowned for its culture and support of the arts. Yet, as France has grown into an ever more pluralistic society, the traditional image of what constitutes art...

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Hélène Amouzou

Hélène Amouzou was born in Togo but has been living and working in Brussels for a while now. Some years ago, she took up photography. The results are self-portraits taken “mostly in her attic”.