AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, November 28th, 2013

The Afropolitan Must Go

My first thought when reading Taiye Selasi's 2005 essay ‘Bye-Bye Barbar’ (or ‘What is an Afropolitan?’) was that this is the kind of sludge that would piss off Binyavanga Wainaina. One quick google and lo and behold: “For Wainaina, Afropolitanism has become the marker of crude cultural commodification -- a phenomenon increasingly ‘product driven,’ design focused, and...

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Film Africa (5): ‘The Assassin’s Practice’

Somewhere in the opening shot of The Assassin’s Practice there is a woman crying alone in bed, tangled in a blue room. If the sound of her racking sobs is enough to turn your stomach, you won’t...

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Africa is a Country and London’s Film Africa 2012 Festival

This year Africa is a Country is partnering with Film Africa, London’s only annual African film festival to review some of the films that will be screening 1-11 November. Perhaps this should also be filed partly under...

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Africa Utopia and London’s “Festival of the World with Mastercard”

The London Olympics starts tonight and certain streets of the city are swollen with purple-shirted volunteers, track-suited athletes and tourists. In Hyde Park, the continent of Africa has been reincarnated as ‘Africa Village’ and ‘Africa Land’; the emphasis...

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Gaddafi Archives at the London Photography Festival

The ‘Gaddafi Archives – Libya Before the Arab Spring’, which opened this week at the London Festival of Photography is an embarrassment of riches. This exhibition of images recovered from the remains of Gaddafi’s archives and rephotographed...

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A Room Adrift in London

Here in London we have been having a lot of trouble with pageants. After the riots last August, the state is hoping that summer plans – the Olympics, the Hackney festival – will be distraction from the...

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Where is contemporary African art? Not at Bonhams

Bonhams must have employed some jokers to publicise their latest attempt to cash in on the buoyancy of contemporary African art in the global art market. The London auction house (est. 1793), which merged with rivals Phillips...

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

‘Afropolitan Divas’ in London

The second Numbi of 2012 happened – with undeniable flamboyance – last Saturday, bringing a team of ‘Afropolitan divas’, and with them an influx of poetry and music from East Africa and elsewhere, to East London.

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Yinka Shonibare’s National Treasure

The ever-well-informed African Art in London announced this week that Yinka Shonibare’s contribution to the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square — Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010) — has been bought for the nation after a successful campaign by National...

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Thrones no one wants to sit on

Gonçalo Mabunda’s chilling constructions are now on display at the Jack Bell gallery in London. His thrones (above) and faceless masks (below) are made from weapons used in Mozambique’s civil war. These designs make dark mockery of ergonomics:...

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

African jokes

When I started watching Jump Off TV’s online UK video debates, I wasn’t quite sure what had hit me. I was left confused. I desperately wanted to disagree vocally with what was being said, but after fifteen...

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Get Up, Stand Up

Tunisian born artist Amel Bennys, who works between Tunis and Paris, has just had her first solo show at the Selma Feriani Gallery in London. 'Get Up - Stand Up' includes 'Fin de Partie', a series of...

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

New Nigerian art in London

Tiwani Contemporary is the latest art space in London devoted to contemporary African art. Affiliated with the non-profit Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Lagos, Tiwani promises to connect artists in Nigeria with buyers in London. “The...

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Les Fantômes

A painting sits glowering on the wall of the Jack Bell Gallery in London. Figures daubed in bright colours stare out from the canvases against a dark background broken up by bits of newspaper cuttings. This is...

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Coldplay’s “Paradise”

Coldplay’s new video for the song “Paradise” was released on the band’s website today. The plot revolves around a man dressed in an elephant suit (it later turns out to be Chris Martin inside the suit) who...

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Music Break / Michael Kiwanuka

Another Michael Kiwanuka tune.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

‘Contested Terrains’ at the Tate

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Naija, London

Photographer Liz Johnson Artur, first arrived in Peckham, London, 20 years ago to live. A neighborhood of mostly high rise public housing blocks, Peckham is considered one of the poorest neighborhoods in Britain, is associated with high...

Friday, June 17th, 2011

‘Afropolitans’

If in London next Friday. Press Statement from the Victoria and Albert Museum: On 24 June the V&A presents Friday Late: Afropolitans, a free evening of music, workshops and performance celebrating African photography, fashion, and style. The...

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

‘The Journey’

New track and video, above, for “O Caminho” (The Journey) by London-based rappers Mohammed Yahya (b. in Mozambique) and Fachadaz (b. in Portugal). The song is produced by Faith SFX. The lyrics, part English, part Portuguese (translation...

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

‘Insurrection’

Single released April 11th, which is the 30th anniversary of the Brixton riots that levelled much of the town centre that both Linton and I call home. DJ Haitus.

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

‘Contemporary South African Photography’

A short video profile of the Johannesburg photographer, Sabelo Mlangeni, one of 17 South African photographers in “Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography“, showing from 12 April through 17 July this year at the...

Monday, March 14th, 2011

African women’s visual narratives

If you’re in London, “Reflections on the Self ,” an exhibition of “African women’s visual narratives, as told through self-portraits and portraits of other women,” will be at the Royal Festival Hall till April 4th.  It features the...

Friday, November 26th, 2010

James Barnor’s Ghana

Photographer James Barnor is to decolonizing Ghana (and later to 1960s black Britain) what Oumar Ly is to Senegal or Malick Sidibe and Seydou Keita were to Mali. Barnor took photographs of social life at his studio...

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Short Film: “Limbo”

I spotted this short film, Limbo, on the Afro-Europe Blog and thought it would be good to re-post here. The film, made in 2005, was directed by Lewie Kerr. The story follows the main character Issam, a...

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Photography of Liz Johnson-Artur

I love the work of photographer Liz Johnson-Artur. Her shot of a smoke-blowing Linton Kwesi Johnston, is an all-time favorite). You may recognize her photographs in music magazines. But she is more than. Crucially, through her work...

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Zuma takes London

Jacob Zuma is on a state visit to the UK. Some elements of the British media, not known for tact, bring up his polygamy, rape charges (he was acquitted, I know) and the corruption allegations (it was...

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Afropunk Style Tribe

Style Savage.

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Lagos Town

The hilarious video for “Lagos Town” new single (out in March this year) by frequent MIA collaborator, Afrikan Boy (he’s originally from Lagos, Nigeria, and now resides in London)

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

MUSIC / VULA MALINGA

London-based vocalist, Vula Malinga. Via Represent.co.za

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