Africa and Diaspora events this October

As September draws to a close, I'm getting geared up for a bunch of exciting events in October. I'm one of those people who plans her social calendar waaaay in advance and diligently researches to find Afri-love-inspiring events. Not always easy but definitely worth it! I thought that I'd spare you some of the time and effort and compile all the Africa and Diaspora related events that I find each month. I also hope to tap into the power of crowd-sourcing to create an even richer listing for all of us. I invite you to share the great discoveries that you make in your "yard" (see the bottom of this post for details). Enjoy!


Black History Month (UK) events in Islington
Islington Council is organising a variety of free and low cost film screenings, exhibitions, talks, readings, poetry and performances inspiring and connecting communities to historical legacies and Black experience today
Download Islington Black History Month 2011- Arts and Culture events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Business and Enterprise events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Schools activities 


Afrika Eye Film Festival
Afrika Eye Film Festival showcases films that tell stories told by African and diaspora voices. Bringing together local African and Afro-Caribbean communities with international figures in film, music, and dance, Afrika Eye aims to offer an insight into African culture both on and beyond the screen.

I am thenublack exhibition
London, Wednesday 5 – Saturday 29 October
Celebrating the talents of a generation of youth born to parents of the African Diaspora, this exhibition presents artists who have been inspired by the positive influence of their forbearers. Through a variety of disciplines from illustration to photography this collection of work conveys the rich heritage of contemporary Black culture.
Download flyer


Black History Live 2011
London, 10am – 6pm
(Also on Sunday 2 October, 10am – 5pm)
A cultural extravaganza at Wembey Stadium celebrating the start of Black History Month. A fun-packed day for all the family


Run the Sahara 2012 Launch
London, 3 – 5:50pm
Featuring a screening of the award-winning documentary El Problema, readings by acclaimed playwright and poet Inua Ellams and preview of The Runner.Sandblast’s 4th annual campaign of Run the Sahara will help raise funds for its exciting new music empowerment initiative –Studio Live – in the Saharawi refugee camps in SW Algeria aiming to enable artists to develop professionally and reach international audiences through music and express their culture and struggle more widely.


Black Sound Series: The Afterparty
Manchester, 9pm 'til late
A free evening of live music, with performances from Tsana, Sparkz, Young Identity, Media Drop and DJ sets from Phaze One and Irfan Rainy until the small hours.


Insight with Robert King: The Angola 3 and their fight for justice
London, 7pm
Robert King at the Frontline Club, in conversation with founder and director of Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith to recount his personal story of injustice and how his life’s focus now is to campaign against abuses in the criminal justice system and for the freedom of Black Panthers, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox who are now serving their 40th year in solitary confinement.


Freestyle Fictionary
Manchester, 8:30pm
Freestyle Fictionary is an event based on freestyle word games, it is accessible to all, whether Hip Hop heads or not, it is witty, light-hearted, and includes audience participation.


I Am Osunlade Manchester October 2011

I am Osunlade
Manchester, 11:30pm
A 6 hour marathon set by my favourite DJ! House music all night long … 


The Black British Filmmaker's Guide to Success
London, 6pm – 8pm
Seasoned film commentator, Nadia Denton, discusses her book, The Black British Filmmaker's Guide to Success: Finance, Market and Distribute Your Film


Black LGBT Shorts Programme
London, 7 – 8:30pm
A moving programme of six short films from around the world exploring the experience of being Black and gay, from Australia, South Africa to an estate in South London.


Nawal El Saadawi

Insight with Nawal El Saadawi
London, 7pm
The internationally renowned Egyptian writer, novelist and activist Nawal El Saadawi will be celebraing her 80th birthday at the Frontline Club, discussing her life's work and the launch of a foundation that will embody the themes, ethos and characteristics that have shaped it.


Manchester Literature Festival: Jean 'Binta' Breeze
Manchester, 7:30pm
Internationally renowned Jamaican ‘dub’ poet, director and playwright Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze’s words are personal and political and her electric stage presence and rhythmic wordplay has mesmerized audiences around the world. 

Whether speaking about Third World poverty, reggae music, inner-city life, the Caribbean or family, she weaves together themes that challenge and celebrate human experience in all its many forms. She will be joined by members of Speakeasy People and Contact’s Key Partner Company, Young Identity. 

SOAS World Music Stage at the Bloomsbury Festival
London, 12 – 7:30pm (and Sunday, 12 – 5:00pm)

A free concert series brought to you by my alma mater, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) – the UK’s premier academic institution dedicated to the research and development of non-Western cultures, traditions and languages. Acts include:

  • Amira Kheir – Sudanese-Italian singer/songwriter Amira Kheir is creating a sound that is inspired by traditional Sudanese singing and instrumentation, blended with elements of Jazz, Soul, African as well as Middle Eastern music. 
  • Laye Sow – one of the most exciting musicians to come out of Senegal. Of Dogan and Fula heritage, the music takes you on a journey from his village on the edge of the Sahara to the happening night clubs of Dakar. 
  • Harare Music – Zimbabwe's rich African musical heritage is still alive and kicking, albeit in exile. Frontman and marimba virtuoso Kudaushe Matimba was a member of the legendary Bhundu Boys back in the 80s; now based in London he is keeping up the faith, celebrating the musical alliances he has since made in the UK through the prism of Zimbabwe’s urban Chimurenga and Jit Jive music.
  • Diabel Cissokho – Senegalese musician Diabel Cissokho is part of the great line of Cissokho griots. His “resonant voice and rocking kora style” (Songlines), have been welcomed everywhere from WOMAD and Glastonbury to London’s Barbican.



Viva Riva! Screening
London, 7pm
For charismatic criminal, Riva, as sudden burst of stolen wealth ignites an exhilarating, hedonistic and perilous journey through one of the most intriguing cities in Africa – Kinshasha.


What's good in your city this October? Leave a comment to share. 

Event listings – If you'd like me to list your event in November and beyond, please drop me an email by the 21st of October via address: afrilovemail [at] gmail [dot] com. 

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Osunlade photo via Resident Advisor; Nawal El Saadawi photo via bikyamasr

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