AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

New York City

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Director Takeshi Fukunaga on his new feature film about Liberian rubber workers, partly set in New York City

Last month a friend posted a link to the Kickstarter page for Out of My Hand, a feature film shot primarily in Liberia. The plot follows a rubber tapper named Cisco who, after taking part in a heated labor dispute that goes nowhere, attempts to move to New York city where he becomes a cab driver.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Film: Vivian Maier’s 100,000 photographs

Vivian Maier, the nanny turned street photographer, who has found fame posthumously, now a subject of the documentary ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ (trailer below), was a recluse in the exaggerated form.  With a recluse like the film director,...

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Remembering Sathima Bea Benjamin

“Hi Rashid, is it true?”, “Yes Matt she is on the other side.” With what feels like a physical blow to the body I try to make sense of it all. Barely a month earlier I was...

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The U.S. premiere of Alain Gomis’ new film “Tey (Aujourd’hui)”

Alain Gomis’ latest film, Tey (Aujourd’hui) is a gentle and understated exploration of life, death, memory, and the passing of time. The film tells of Satché’s (played by Saul Williams) last day on earth, for it has...

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Watching the Africans Cup of Nations at an Ivorian restaurant in Harlem

Acting on a tip from an Ivorian diplomat on the best location to watch Les Éléphants play in NYC, we headed up to Harlem to catch the Côte d’Ivoire–Tunisia match early Saturday morning. New Ivoire is a 17-year-old,...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Watching the African Cup of Nations at Madiba in Brooklyn

In the Fall, I (along with two other New School students Rob Navarro and Owen Dodd) created a blog Global Soccer, Global NYC, to document watching world football in bars and restaurants all over New York City. We...

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Party Business

With the help of Bunce Booking and Africa is a Country, Dutty Artz presents the 2nd iteration of the Change The Mood series: Africans Are Real.

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Interview: Baloji

New York is an amazing city, especially from a hip-hop perspective. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can see that hip-hop is part of the culture, not just something that you watch on...

Monday, April 9th, 2012

‘Restless City’ at the 19th New York African Film Festival

Towards the final scenes of Restless City, Jessye Norman’s solo soprano voice scales the great buildings and the conveyor belts of vehicles, between all of which a small red scooter navigates, carrying the slim bodies of Djibril...

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Sathima Bea Benjamin’s Windsong

In Toronto-based Dan Yon's documentary of Sathima “Bea” Benjamin, the Cape Town-born jazz singer, the narration moves back and forth between New York City, where Benjamin was a long-term resident, and Cape Town, where she began singing...

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

‘Developing the First World’

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

“Grandma’s going, so I am going too”

Short video piece on Jelani Gibson, a 16-year-old protester who traveled with his grandmother from Pontiac, Michigan to New York to join the protests Wall Street. He also has a 4.0 GPA.  He had never slept on the...

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Predicting ‘The Moment of Revolution’

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Merkato

Merkato is a documentary (view the trailer here) about the largest open-air market in Ethiopia. The filmmakers are trying to raise funds to finish the project through kickstarter.

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

“Once”

A former The New School student, Pablo Mediavilla Costa, shot this meditative short documentary film around  Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan the evening of September 11, 2011.

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

‘Days of Fire’

“Too much politics and the clang of commerce” is staining 9/11 commemorations here in New York City today. So it also makes sense that we look somewhere else for music that articulates how some of us feel....

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

More to Staten Island than ‘Mob Wives’

Photographer Glenna Gordon, no stranger to AIAC, is working on a new project in Staten Island, home to the largest population of Liberians outside of Liberia. I asked her if I could publish some of the work...

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Chief Boima plays Lincoln Center

He’s not just a blogger. This Sunday, August 7, at Lincoln Center DJ Chief Boima, who has been traveling in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone this summer,  will warm up the crowd–along with Ahficionados–between sets by Iyadede, Spoek...

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Maids in Manhattan

No not the bad Hollywood movie version with its fake set ups, but real life: The life of a hotel maid is not an easy one, with naked men flaunting their wares, verbal...

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Masks at the Met

There’s been a resurgence interest in the inscrutable African mask in several museums lately, including this horrible one at the Barbie Museum. Its as if the more evidence there is that the African of the European imagination does...

Friday, May 27th, 2011

When You Refuse, You Say ‘No!’

Gregory Mann Guest Blogger I had to buy The New York Post this week. It’s something I never do because, as the letters page reminded me, it’s something of a Zionist rag. But Tuesday the cover caught...

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Music Break

Video of The Robert Glasper Experience’s covering Little Dragon’s “Twice,” earlier this month. H/T: Dylan Valley.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Baloji Live in NYC

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The Immigrant Life

For the final assignment of a class I teach on Media and Africa at The New School I asked students to make short video profiles of African immigrant experiences in New York City. Most, if not all,...

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The Fire Next Time

Some Brooklyn business. You know I live here. Read it here.–Sean Jacobs

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

When Fela Kuti came to New York City

The Fela revival–lawsuits and all–in New York City rolls on. This time it’s a new documentary about a mid-1980s visit Kuti–then in his prime–made to New York City.  “Fela–NYC: Fresh from Africa”  is a 97-minute film directed...

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Guru, 1963-2010

The brilliant rapper Guru, who also recorded as Gang Starr (with his music partner, the equally talented DJ Premier) and known for his series of “Jazzmatazz’’ albums released between 1993 to 2007, died this early week of...

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Darfur to Brooklyn

On Sunday “The New York Times” published a photo essay on the daily lives of the approximately 300 immigrants from the Darfur region of Sudan who live in Kensington, Brooklyn. The images are by Dave Sanders, “a...

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Gil Scott Heron is back

The original mc, Gill Scott Heron, has a new album (you can stream it in its entirety already here) coming out next week. These two songs–his cover of  Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil” (above) and his...

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

MUSIC / NAS & DAMIAN MARLEY, “DISTANT RELATIVES”

I am looking forward to the release of Nas and Damian Marley’s new project “Distant Relatives,” which deliberately highlights the African roots of hip hop and reggae. (They sample, among others, Fela Kuti; on the MySpace Page...

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