The final few weeks of the year are jam-packed with reasons to be merry. Here are just a few Africa- and Diaspora-related events in London (UK), Nairobi (Kenya), New York (US), Paris (France and St. John's (Antigua). If you know of any January events that you'd like to share, please contact me by the 23rd of December. Enjoy the last days of 2011!
Dreams of a Life screenings & director Q&As
Cinemas across the UK
In 2006 a woman's skeleton was found in a flat above Wood Green Shopping Centre, London. The woman, identified as Joyce Carol Vincent, had been dead for three years. The film, Dreams of a Life is a quest to discover who Joyce Vincent was, and how she came to be so forgotten.
Find out screening details including which ones will be followed by a director Q&A, here.
Divan Du Monde, Paris, France
Midnight – 6:00am
Every Friday, all night, free. With DJ Serpent Noir, DJ Tron and DJ Mo-Laudi. More info about Secousse here.
FRIDAY 2 DECEMBER
The Shrine presents Afrikan Boy & Ty
Rich Mix, London, UK
Created and curated by legendary DJ's Rita Ray & Max Reinhardt, The Shrine is a wild and wily night out, a wakeup call filled with music, spoken word, dance and visuals… inspired by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the late firebrand Genius of Afrobeat and his Afrika Shrine club in Lagos.
This month, London based Grime MC Afrikan Boy and UK Hip Hop legend Ty will be jointly headlining.In 2007 Nigerian born Afrikan Boy released the track ‘One day I went to Lidl’, which became a worldwide internet smash getting over 7 million hits on YouTube. In June he released a mixtape titled ‘What Took You So Long’ on his website as a free download, which is a prelude to his forthcoming official EP.TY is one of UK Black music’s true innovators and popularisers. He’s been making music and pushing boundaries for the last 12 years. DJ Support will be from Max Reinhardt (BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction) who will be playing his Afrocentric Rebel selection of beats, ryddims, licks and mash ups from all over Africa and far beyond.
SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER
Afridiziak Gifts and Occasions Christmas Shopping Boutique
CLF Art Café, London, UK
12:00 – 7:00pm
Back for another year, the Afridiziak Gifts and Occasions Christmas Shopping Boutique brings together top quality exhibitors showcasing the finest selection of culturally inspired merchandise.
Expect: children’s toys; books for all ages; hair and beauty products many of which will have been naturally/organically produced; jewellery and accessories; art, greeting cards; clothing for men, children and women; and seasonal food and drink.
A third of proceeds taken on the day will go to the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT).
'Mobilising Young African Women in the UK': An afternoon of interactive workshops and panel discussions
The Africa Centre, London, UK
?Are you fed up with the negative images of Africa especially of women and want to promote a positive view in the diaspora community? Do you want to contribute towards the development of African women and girls but don’t know how?This afternoon of workshops and panel discussions will explore ideas on how young African Women in the Diaspora can mobilise to take action on gender equality and rights of African girls. It sets out to provide a platform for discussion on policies, issues, challenges and strategies for engagement and action. We will look at the positive and negative images in the media surrounding Africa. We will hear from young inspirational African women and look at what can be done to contribute towards the development of girls and women in Africa and provide the skills and information to be part of creating this collective voice for action.
Griselda Kumordzie Togobo – Founder of AWOVI Consulting Ltd.
Suzanne Harris – Founder of ‘Changing the face of Africa’
Sada Mire – Somali Archaeologist/Founder and Executive Director of Horn Heritage
Minna Salami – Founder of MsAfropolitan.com
Members from FORWARD’s young women’s group and more.
For more details about the event, including how to register to attend, visit FORWARD.
Ghetto Lounge Xmas Special Bashment
Passing Clouds, London, UK
The final Ghetto Lounge party of the year featuring London Afrobeat Collective (L.A.C.), Seeds of Creation and more. More details on Facebook.
S.A.X. in the City
The Drift Bar, London
The first S.A.X. in the city night in London – a pre xmas party and birthday celebration for the one * only Dj Edu (BBC Radio, 1Xtra). Music Policy: Afrobeats, Hip Hop, R&B, Bashment, Zouk, Genge, Soul, Reggae, New Jack Swing, Soca, Garage.
Snacks and bitings available all night and no entry fee! More details.
TUESDAY 6 DECEMBER
Transdisciplinary Seminar on Afrofuturism: Wanuri Kahiu
Parsons, New York, US
The Transdisciplinary Seminar on Afrofuturism explores how representations of science, technology, and social engineering intersect with visual cultural expressions of the African Diaspora. Science fiction is the organizing theme that unites the guest presentations and works under consideration. Visiting artists and cultural theorists lecture on the role of futuristic speculations in African diasporic art, literature, film, and music. The ability of science fiction to function as both a fractured mirror of historical experience and a projection of the collective desires of a displaced people is discussed throughout the semester.
Wanuri Kahiu is a Kenyan film director. She has received several awards and nominations for the films that she directed, including the awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009. More details about the seminar here.
THURSDAY 8 DECEMBER
An Exclusive Musical Collaboration Gig
18 Collins Tower, Dalston Square, London, UK
An exclusive one-off performance featuring a special collaboration between singer Amira Kheir, double bassist Shin Ichiro Abe, guitarist Camilo Menjura and Kora virtuoso Jally Kebba Susso. Four musicians with four contrasting instruments and diverse musical backgrounds come together for a night of exploration of musical boundaries… or the lack thereof!
Japanese double bassist Shin Ichiro Abe is a long-established member of London’s thriving jazz scene, while Colombian guitarist Camilo Menjura is a sensitive young maestro whose repertoire ranges from mythical Andean folk to contemporary jazz. Singer Amira Kheir is at the forefront of a new wave of revolutionary Sudanese music, while Jally Kebba Susso’s rendition of griot music is a celebration of one of Africa’s most beautiful traditions.
FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER
[email protected]: Best of British Finale 2011
The Tabernacle, London, UK
The [email protected]: Best of British Awards will be presented by journalist and broadcaster Henry Bonsu and will feature live performances by dynamic contemporary African, acoustic Jazz Folk soul singer, Bumi Thomas as well as super group, Asheber & The Afrikan Revolution. DJ Nimz will be on deck with electric eclectic floorfillers as will DJ Freestyle. More details here.
TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER
Poejazzi Presents: The King's Will + Tanya Auclair + James Massiah
The City Arts and Music Project (C.A.M.P.), London, UK
Musa Okwonga (the Fool, on vocals) and Giles Hayter (the Vassal, on beats) present The King's Will, their brilliant new electronica outfit. Join the Fool and the Vassal as they struggle to save their ageing King and his realm from ruin. The King's Will are supported by Tanya Auclair, a firm favourite of BBC Radio 1's Gilles Peterson, Okayplayer and BBC6 Music's Tom Robinson and James Massiah, the spoken word star championed by SB:TV, SpineTV, and the Tate Modern.
For a fully-animated sneak preview (and more details), visit www.thekingswill.com.
Poejazzi is one of the most exciting spoken word and music nights in London. Its mission is to programme new and emerging talent, and to promote poetry to new audiences. It has received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, been named TimeOut Critic’s Choice, curated sellout shows at the Southbank and successful shows at Proud Galleries and Roundhouse Theatre. They have featured many acts who have gone on become mainstays in London and UK spoken word scene, including Scroobius Pip, Polar bear, Natty, Heidi Vogel, Kate Tempest, Beardyman, Ed Sheeran, and Jono Mccleery, to name a few. Poejazzi is run by Musa Okwonga, Inua Ellams and Joshua Idehen.
FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER
Uhuru Clothing in Kenya
December – January, various events
#FCBBCA: Is the Arab Spring a women's revolution?
Frontline Club BBC Arabic Series held at Royal College of Surgeons, London, UK
The uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa were a time when the 'revolutionary Arab woman' grabbed the attention of the western media.As women took to the streets, shouted slogans and braved being teargassed, the media was in particular fascinated by the educated, articulate bloggers and activists who were feted as leaders of the revolution.The fight for women's rights didn't begin with the Arab Spring and has gone on without the attention of the world's media. We will be bringing together some of the women who took part in the Arab Spring and those who have been working to promote women's rights to discuss if the revolutions have been good for women.
With upcoming Nobel Peace Prize winner, Tawakkul Karman: Yemini journalist, activist, mother of three and founder of Women Journalists Without Chains; Sussan Tahmasebi from Iran, women's rights and civil society activist and; Mervat Mhani, Libyan mother of two and member of The Free Generation Movement whose vision for Libya's future involves 1. Restistance, 2. Stabilization and, 3. Development.
More details here.
SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER
Asilia and Afri-love's Tropical Christmas
The Drift Bar, London, UK
12:00 – 8:00pm
A celebration of creativity and good company, Asilia and Afri-love invite you to a Tropical Christmas: a laidback afternoon to unload some of the holiday stress; get some last minute Christmas shopping done, away from the bustle and; support quality African and African Diaspora design.
You can expect fashion accessories by Adele Dejak, clothing by Chichia London, hand screen-printed t-shirts by Creativity and Noise, contemporary home furnishings by La Petite Congolaise, and art calendars by Asilia. Renowned for their inventive cocktails, The Drift Bar has designed a cocktail especially for the day – The Afropolitan!
Don't forget to bring some business cards for the "collaboration board" – share your passion and make exciting connections for 2012!
Stay tuned to Afri-love and the Facebook event page for more information over the next couple of weeks.
SUNDAY 18 DECEMBER
Blankets & Wine featuring Liquideep
The First Lady First Anniversary Christmas Fayre
The Rag Factory, London, UK
11:00am – 6:00pm
The First Lady is is back with their First Anniversary Christmas Fayre bringing you fantastic products from some high calibre UK independent brands.
You can also expect live music from dope independent artists and workshops from very experienced professionals within creative business and image and confidence. More details here.
Two of London's finest house crew's get together for a big joint Xmas party flying in special guest Rich Medina for an exclusive UK set. Support comes from Inner Rhythm residents Phil Asher and Stuart Patterson. For more details and to buy tickets, go here.
THURSDAY 22 DECEMBER
Antigua's First Ever: AfroFunky Pop-Up Boutique
The Little Starfish, St. John's, Antigua
5:00 – 8:00pm
From eclectic color-popping dresses to bold prints and shapes, African designs have been storming catwalks in recent years, catching the eye of fashionistas across the world. But for many Caribbean fashionistas, especially those with no access to shops dedicated to African brands, it can often be hard to get your hands on designer garments from the continent. The concept of the first ever Afro-Funky Pop-Up Boutique is to offer an exclusive alternative to local shoppers. Now you too can be part of this Afro-Funky fashion revolution!
Shop from the latest collections from some of Africa’s most innovative Fashion Designers in the heart of St. Johns, Antigua. We will be offering stylish, limited edition tops, and dresses in a range of sizes, accessories and much more at this exclusive one night only pre-Christmas shopping event. Featuring designs from Chichia London, MAKSI Clothing, Yorubatik, Adele Dejak, Sev*n Fold, T.E.A. Tunics and more. Find out more details on Facebook.
Don't forget to get in touch by the 23rd of December to share events for the January listings.
Afrikan Boy illustration is the cover of his mixtape; Pumzi image via Wired.com; Amira Kheir photo from her MySpace page; Rich Medina image via Uwishunu; AfroFunky Pop-Up Boutique image – Sev*n Fold design