The Afropeans are Coming

We asked the participants at a symposium in Austria on European Africans to reflect on what an Afropean is. We edited it into a short video.

Image Credit: Johnny Pitts, 2013.

Over the next three days, a  group of artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural commentators will meet at Afropea Now!, a a symposium of film screenings, concerts, a workshop and an exhibition taking place at the cultural institution Stadtwerkstatt in Linz, Austria. I am the curator. Last week Africa is a Country asked me to get some of the participants to reflect on what an Afropean is. Here’s the result (edited by Dylan Valley):

The symposium creates an intellectual and emancipatory space for African-European transcultural realities in a society where the public consensus among the Austrian majority is shaped by a strong eurocentristic world view, which is also reflected in the mass media, where Africa often still is treated as a country and the whole continent and its population degraded to an unsolvable problem with reports about starvation, catastrophes and incurable diseases. People of African descent living in Austria (no matter if they are born here or recently migrated) have to fight many stereotypes and daily confronted with prejudice and rank racism.

So, Afropea Now! aims to form a counterpart to these preconceived ideas and prejudices, to promote a change in perceptions and to show an other, modern image of “Africa” and its Diaspora. It further encourages global African-European co-operations and networks in art and culture. With contributions from across Europe and Africa (Austria, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Ghana, Senegal and the DR Congo, among others), Afropea Now! will concentrate on the social, cultural and artistic interaction of African and European cultures in a global world regardless of national boundaries.

Some highlights include: photographer Johny Pitts (he founded the site on “On Afropean Culture;” curator and producer Nadia Denton on “Why the best of the Nigerian Filmindustry is Yet to Come!‘” Teddy Goitom on Afripedia, a new 5-part series of shorts about a new generation of African creatives challenging all preconceptions and stereotypes; Austrian Abdallah Salisou on “The Black Victim Complex And The White Savior Complex;” and the journalist Hannah Pool revisits her biography.

A number of films will also be screened. Like ‘Oya,’ directed by Nosa Igbinedion:

‘Robots of Brixton and ‘Jonah’ by Kibwe Tavares.  Also, ‘Drexiciya’ directed by Simon Rittmeier:

The full program is available here.

Further Reading

Between two evils

After losing its parliamentary majority for the first time, the African National Congress is scrambling to form a coalition government. The options are bleak.

Heeding the call

At the 31st New York African Film Festival, young filmmakers set the stage with adventurous and varied experiments in African cinema.