We’re just one week away from a special festival looking at what can be learnt and celebrated from Africa and the African diaspora. I’m looking forward to this second edition of the Africa Utopia festival for 3 main reasons:
1. The Great Line-up
My top 5 picks include:
- A Brief Look at Dance in Africa – a lecture/demonstration looking at the variety of dances across the continent, using performance, percussion and film.
- Africa Calling – work by new and established designers from Africa and the diaspora spanning furniture, fashion, graphic arts and more.
- Africa on the Catwalk – a selection of fashion and accessory designers who originate from or are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Africa (including Asilia client, Adele Dejak!)
- Afropolis: New African Aesthetic – From the catwalk shows of Yves St Laurent to the windows of Topshop and Zara, style-wise, Africa is everywhere. What are the deeper aesthetic and socio-cultural dynamics at work behind this phenomenon and what impact does it have on African regional and cultural identities?
- Simply Soweto Encha – a five-piece a cappella group from Soweto township that sings gospel, soul, jazz, doo-wop, r’n’b and celebrates South African oral and dance traditions. I have a super weak spot for a cappella!
There are so many other great events throughout the weekend that I hope to check out. View the full programme here.
2. Asilia's Social Media Workshop
Following my workshop at the Women of the World Festival, earlier this year, I’ve been invited back to run a special session at Africa Utopia. Come spend an hour with me to explore how to use the web and social media as tools to:
- Celebrate and share your experience, perspective and vision with the world
- Connect with kindred spirits
- Monetise your activities
- Contribute more of your passion to your community and the world
More info here.
3. Asilia’s Stall at the Africa Utopia Marketplace
We’ll be launching the first of our brand new holiday line and we’ll also have a limited number of our Tropical Paleo, Miriam Makeba and Frida Kahlo art prints on sale. It’s also an opportunity to place your order for custom portraits. They’re great as gifts and it’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping! Creativity and Noise will be joining us too with a selection of hand screenprinted tees from our collaboration.
Follow me (@lulukitololo) and Asilia (@weareasilia) – on Instagram for a document of the long weekend. If you're in London – come say hello!
Continue reading “3 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Africa Utopia 2014”
Africa Fashion Week London kicks off this Friday and I thought it would be fitting to dedicate this week to showcasing some exciting UK-based designers and other fashion-related things.
First up is designer Bestow Elan, who also took part in the "Africa on the Catwalk" show at Africa Utopia. I love how she experiments with shape and structure. There were so many beautiful pieces at the show of which these are just a few.
Purchase Bestow Elan designs online.
In London this Friday and Saturday? Grab your free tickets to the Africa Fashion Week shows here.
Don't miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter.
"Africa is all too often written off as an intractable "problem" for the world to solve. I hope this festival will reveal just some of what Africa has to offer the rest of the world: the energy of our youth and their desire to engage with the world; the transformative potential of culture and, perhaps most potently, the power of community to bind people together."
– Africa Utopia Co-curator, Baaba Maal
Indeed the festival's main question was, in what ways can the continent lead the way in thinking about culture, community, sustainability and ethical wealth creation? In short, what can the rest of the world learn from Africa?
Continue reading “Dispatches from Africa Utopia: It’s Complicated”
I had a fantastic weekend thanks to all the intellectual stimulation and creative inspiration from Africa Utopia at the Southbank Centre in London, part of the Festival of the World.
I'll be posting more about that, later on this week. Today I wanted to share the beautiful work of fashion house Eki Orleans, fusing vibrant prints with delicate silk. Designed by Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, Eki Orleans was part of the 'Africa on the Catwalk' event which was put together by Ola Shobowale, Creative Director of Infinite Beauty Factory, and ARISE Magazine Fashion Director, Sabrina Henry.
The month-long series of events is not yet over, check out what's on in these final few days.
It's not all about the Olympics this Summer in the UK. There are a multitude of arts, culture and entertainment events going on throughout the country over the next few months, including some exciting Africa- and Diaspora-related ones that you may want to check out.
I'll be updating this post weekly as I discover suitable additions to the list. If you know of any I haven't yet included, please do drop me a line.
2 JUNE – 16 SEPTEMBER
Continue reading “Africa- and Diaspora-related events in the UK this Summer”
I am thoroughly appreciating my age but, here's one of those moments where I wouldn't mind being 26 and under …
London's Southbank Centre is looking for independent-minded young people, aged 18 – 26 years old, based in the UK or Africa who are interested in the arts, Africa and social change, to form a youth delegation during Africa Utopia in July 2012.
Continue reading “Wanted: Youth Delegation for Africa Utopia at London’s Southbank Centre”