Photography by Moustafa Cheaiteli
Posts tagged ‘culture’
I’m so excited to share Letters from Africa, a brilliant concept for anyone who loves African literature and digital media. Letters from Africa is about life as it is really lived in Africa’s thriving metropolises, piercing the often hysterical headlines from western commentators.
Right now, I’m reading Lagos in 10 links, by Tolu Ogunlesi who offers ten different ways in to the megacity that is Lagos. It’s so good!
Multimedia extra content will include photo diaries, Q&A videos, guest posts on tech industry and must-read literature, and a round-up of the best music from around the continent.
This week is South Africa’s Menswear Fashion Week #SAMW, a collaboration between city of Cape Town and Cape Town Fashion Council, showcasing 24 of Africa’s leading designers for the country’s first ever Fashion Week dedicated exclusively to menswear.
The goal of #SAMW is to be the leading platform for innovation, trends, production whilst building credibility for the platform that will enable designers to grow their businesses.
SAMW is clearly modelled heavily on the world’s leading platform, London Collections: Men, #SAMW will aim to eventually see leading SA designers showcase in London, both as a drive to build exports and bring awareness of these brands in South Africa.
A pieces of advise I gave you after my latest road trip through Uganda last year was to eat a Rolex! I quote:
* Eat a Rolex. A Rolex is an filled burrito looking snack, usually filled with egg. Obviously tastier than the timepiece.
Awesome to see lifestyle photographer Namuganyi Photographer capture a local food stall in Kampala town getting his Rolex on.
In the run up to Notting Hill Carnival this bank holiday weekend, I’m getting fully prepared to indulge in the fun, food and fashion surrounding Europe’s largest street party. http://www.thenottinghillcarnival.com/
“It was a layering of multiple interests. Obviously my love for Nigeria where I was born, my love for my life here, my love for my husband.. and just try to figure out a way the two kinda exist in a harmonious way.”
“I think of my work as capturing the very ordinary. Just normal.. everyday stuff. I think there is something beautiful and powerful in the things that happen daily. Intimate situations.. sensual situations.. these [situations] people don’t get to see. I think there is a beauty in that I’m very attracted to.. that I try to get out.”
It’s Saturday and a generous 24 degrees in Nottingham, and as my mind goes back to thoughts of last years Toro Y Moi theme-tuned-summer; I have that feeling that we all live for, that anticipation of sun-filled frolics, rooftop BBQ’s and cider, lots and lots of cider.
Here is the newly released official UK trailer for the upcoming film Half of a Yellow Sun, based on the award-winning best seller by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Release date, April 11th 2014
This week ate char sui bun for the first time, a fluffy white bun encased in honey barbecued pork, at one of London’s popular Dim Sum restaurant Ping Pong. The edible adventure was part of an evening out with friends, and fellow bloggers who came together to most importantly exchange secret Santa gifts, and catch up on the past year, paying homage to our professional and personal developments this year.
Since starting this blog, I’m frequently asked to contribute to academic research, giving my thoughts on the development of the African diaspora in the West. It’s not new to me, and I quite enjoy it. I’m often asked questions about my work that I hadn’t even asked myself.
I had an interesting conversation recently with Barbara Hauer, an MA student of Communication for Development at Malmoe University, Sweden. Barbara’s degree project on New Media focuses on blogs, in the context of (mis) representations of Africa and Africans in Western media (and minds).
We briefly touched upon belonging and the term Afropean, which primarily relates to Africans living in Europe, in addition to Europeans living in Africa. We moved on to discuss nostalgia, and whether it’s the physical detachment from our home nation that drives people like me to proactively promote our culture overseas, maybe more forcefully than I would if I were living in Uganda where I was born.
As I wasn’t raised in Uganda, I will never really know the answer to that question; but, I do believe that my efforts to promote and support the development of Africa are in vain if they will only ever be from what is, admittedly, an outside perspective.
“For practical reasons, unpublished work and work in other languages is not eligible”
The Caine Prize – “Submissions must be in English” Golden Boabab Prize
Yesterday, I watched and blogged about Kenyan author, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, who made made a valid point on BBC HARDtalk that although the prizes to African literary writers is increasing, there is something wrong about the fact that the majority of prizes for African literature only considers books written in English.
I agree that this is a problem and responded:
” I believe there African writers should not be limited to any language, be it their native tongue, English or any other; but by restricting writers to express themselves in their local narrative closes doors to credible talent, limiting opportunities to receive wider recognition and entry and influence into the global market. By allowing these restrictions we are at risk of contributing to the expansion of the English language (and culture) at the detriment of our own.”
My muse and culture confidant (@oladele_olafuyi) and I pondered this over pancakes yesterday. His view was that despite being sadly aware thousands of African languages are under threat, how can we realistically expect and/or help judges awarding prizes to African writers to standardise the selection process if stories are submitted in Africa’s numerous local languages? Are the resources available, and if not how can we generate such resource?
I did my best to guess my way around a solution, but I struggled…
“The fact that a gap is being filled and AFWL has a positive effect on the African designers in creating a platform that will give the right promotion to every aspect of the African fashion industry, on the global scene. That will enable designers, fabric makers, models, dealers, everyone that’s involved in African fashion to have a reason to be happy with what they are doing because they are getting the right recognition. I get motivated by the fact that I have to succeed in whatever I do.”
Ronke Ademiluyi for Black Hair and Beauty Magazine.
Today is the first day of AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON #AFWL. This year’s event is set to see 100 designers on the runway and over 100 exhibitors spread across the Brewery’s large indoor space, set to be on of Europe’s largest African and African-inspired fashion events. The growth, not only in sales but in recognition of African design, designers and the African inspired aesthetic has gone from strength to strength.
For too long the road to market for designers and leaders in contemporary African, has been narrow and unsupported by mainstream retailers, distributors. However, thanks to the likes of AFWL, and innovative designers, editors, bloggers and influencers; African fashion and design is creating it’s own mainstream, setting it’s own standards, opening it’s own doors and is no longer being influenced, but is now the influence.
Actors from Burkina Faso and Mali perform a scene from the play Et Si Je Les Tuais Tous Madame? in Avignon during the 67th International Theatre festival. Burkina Faso’s Aristide Tarnagda wrote and directed the play.
Loving Aluna Francis from AlunaGeorge rocking a full Diesel Black Gold from DBG SS13, whilst on stage performing current single “White Noise” at last weekends Glastonbury Festival.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow to see AlunaGeorge in Nottingham Rock City in October. I’ll be there, obvs ;-)
“Compared to colorful designs where catchy colors help the design to stand out, in black-and-white designs the ability to stand out depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation.”
Throughout July I will be running a Black and White photo diary . I like to live by the philosophy that less is more; and the beautiful thing about black and white images is that often my taking away colour, you often give more to the reader. There is something so in depth about desaturating an image. You can check out all the images from my Black+White diary this month by following the hashtag #blackwhitediary on Instagram, Twitter and by clicking in the menu butt
on at the top of the page.
I thought I would start of by sharing some of my recent inspirations…
Unfortunately, the photographer is unknown. The photo seems to be taken at exact the right moment from exactly the right angle with a perfect lighting. Black and white can be powerful as well.
Last Monday, Bonnie Greer moved me.
She took me to a place outside myself and I renewed my vows…and my love for culture
How can you love what you do not value?
How can you value, what you will not fight for?
A culture and lifestyle blog
Is fuelled by feelings of the heart
The desire for self-expression
The richest form of expression, in or out of a recession
Last Monday, Bonnie Greer moved me
And I renewed my respect for culture.
Last Monday, Bonnie Greer, the author, playwright and cultural commentator held a talk at London’s Tate Modern addressing the links between health and creativity. Particularly the ways in which the arts can challenge health inequalities can bring about change in society.
Prior to the event I didn’t know a great deal about Bonnie Greer, I was aware of her presence as a storyteller, but unaware of her efforts in championing the preservation of culture and the culture industry in the UK. Her personal account on how culture (particularly Shakespeare) saved her life moved me, partly because she was so open and unpretentious when talking about her past; and also because blogging to, has saved me in many ways.
Celebrating it’s second year, the London’s Creativity and Wellbeing Week kicks off today in the hope of shining a light on all the different ways that the arts help and improve the health of Londoners.
– There is a growing body of evidence indicating the profound effect engagement in the arts and creativity can have on health and wellbeing. The arts bring us alive, nourish our curiosity, help us learn – they change the places in which we are treated – and make them places we might want to be, they can improve the relationship between clinician and patient, and they give us the courage to face our own frailties and strengths.With debates and discussions, performances and exhibitions, tours and practical sessions, the Week is an opportunity to find out more, make connections, be inspired, and shape the future of arts, creativity and wellbeing. – http://www.creativityandwellbeing.org.uk –
Day 1- Art and wellbeing with Bonnie Greer
To mark the first day of London’s Creativity and Wellbeing Week, I’ll be attending Bonnie Greer’s lecture on arts and wellbeing, taking place at the London’s Tate Modern tonight.–
Bonnie Greer is an author, playwright and cultural commentator. Her lecture aims to look at the links between health and creativity and particularly the ways in which the arts can challenge health inequalities and bring about change in society.
Interested? You can buy your tickets from the Tate Modern website (£12/£8)
http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/talks-and-lectures/arts-and-wellbeing-lecture-bonnie-greer – If you can’t make it tonight, but would like to get involved with London’s Creativity and Wellbeing Week you can see the 2013 programme of events here.
London has a personality and style of its own- from grand to edgy, modern to heritage and urban to shabby chic.
It’s impossible to define the vast, sprawling, living, breathing entity that is London city, but there is an unmistaken essence that can be identified through the radar of places it hosts. from shops, street markets, corner pubs, local restaurants and my recent favourite…
Pop up restaurants have increased in popularity across the city, with their fluidity, exclusivity and intimate settings, coupled with an element of punk rebellion. Typically only available for a few nights, weeks or months, these nifty eateries provide a fantastic platform for visionary chefs and entrepreneurs to gain exposure and build a following alongside aspiring or professional chefs in a free-range fashion.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is a perfect example of a pop up restaurant that share’s London’s diversity, eccentricity, quirkiness and independence of spirit.
The temporary dinning event and catering services merges its Ghanaian roots with a contemporary dining experience, that I would co-sign in saying is home spun, home cooked, always fun, relaxed and always tasty!
Grateful for every second I am given to participate in the greatest show on earth they call ‘Life’.
Yesterday I turned 26, and despite a few initial and primarily superficial reservations about getting older, I know that every year teaches me something valuable; and whether and how I learn those lessons is up to me. Every year brings me closer to expressing my whole and authentic self and there isn’t a better feeling than knowing you’re closer to being who and what you were chosen to be.
We live in a society that idolises the triviality of youth, and subsequently reviles at the honour of ageing and the insight, vibrancy and self-confidence that comes with it. It’s vital to not let a system, culture and a distorted view of reality devalue getting older. It’s a pleasure, and as Oprah once said: To deny your age is to deny your life!
“People get all screwed up and afraid of aging when, in fact, every year should be a celebration. You should be celebrating every year that you are given. I don’t understand women lying about their age and everybody dreading getting older. It means you’re still here! To deny your age is to deny your life. I stand here 59 years old and so happy to claim every single part of the journey of those 59 years.” Oprah Winfrey
Thank you to everyone for your kind messages and well wishes. I’m feeling so blessed and highly favoured ;-)
My most recent trip to Uganda earlier this year left me feeling somewhat perplexed, on the lead up I confidently and loudly proclaimed my excitement about going ‘home’, you know, back to the motherland…going back to my roots so to speak. Yet, despite having the time of my life, I often found myself feeling unfamiliar and displaced in my so-called ‘home’. Towards the end of my stay, despite feeling ravenous to reacquaint myself with British culture, I wasn’t so confidently nor openly proclaiming my excitement to go back to my ‘other home’, England, more specifically, London.
There was a point where I sat down, aware of my thoughts and made an attempt to articulate this feeling of displacement. Why did I feel so excited (and even at times self-righteous) about going back Africa? And HOW could I feel even more excited (and at times embarrassed) to return to a place which isn’t intrinsically my home, but in more ways than one is my ‘home’.