TGIF! with the London African African Music Festival 2013 (September 13th – 22nd)

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The eclectic and critically acclaimed London African Music Festival returns for an 11th instalment, running from September 13th – 22nd, across 11 venues. 

From Congolese soul to Senegalese rap; from Somali poet to Cuban band; afrobeat, jazz, blues and more. Seriously, it's going to be a hectic 10 days!

Continue reading “TGIF! with the London African African Music Festival 2013 (September 13th – 22nd)”

Home Around the World: Momo’s, London, UK

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The Momo's experience in London, UK, involves North African cuisine, an eclectic African and diaspora music programme (that pulls in major stars and up-and-coming artists alike), beautiful decor and a relaxed boho-luxe ambiance. The restaurant/café/outdoor terrace/basement bar/disco was opened in the late 1990s by Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz.

Continue reading “Home Around the World: Momo’s, London, UK”

Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design

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You have just a few more days to rush over to the Design Museum for Interpretations of Africa: Football Art and Design.

10 African artists from PUMA.Creative's Creative Africa Network were commissioned to design their national football team's kit. Countries represented include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Togo.

Read more about the exercise and the artists' inspiration over on Design Week. I was particularly amused by the apparent fact that initial designs were toned down due to FIFA regulations that "decorative elements are not allowed to dominate playing equipment."

Exhibition ends 30th November.

Images: Senegal shirt (left) and Namibia shirt, via Design Week (see more here).

From obsession to collaboration & an upcoming exclusive Adèle Dejak event in London

Ouled Nail woman from Algeria

It started with my obsession …
I'm obssessed with adornment (as you may have gathered). Not only with the beautiful combinations of shapes, colour and materials that designers dream up but, the whole idea of wearing them – a practice that is centuries-old and truly global. Before modern technology, people gained value from creating necklaces and earrings and headdresses and cuffs and rings. Before status was marked by degrees and job titles and Twitter followings, it was signified by the elaborateness of one's gear.

Today, accessories can make or break your outfit – as fashion writers will tell you – but has their significance been reduced to the merely superficial? I still believe that there is much to learn about a person from their choice of adornment (or lack thereof).

Continue reading “From obsession to collaboration & an upcoming exclusive Adèle Dejak event in London”

Part I of the Independence Day round-up: July

During this blog's first year, I endeavored to celebrate the independence days of African countries through creating a dedicated post (you can browse them via this link). I'm not doing that this year but, as several of those celebrations take place in July and August, I thought I'd do a round-up of highlights. I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned for part 2 – August celebrations – next week.

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Ghana – 1st July

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Something for the pundits and technology geeks, something for the music-lovers and something for the fashionistas:
5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African App Powerhouse
Interview with lyrical genius M3NSA
Interview with Fashion Designer Naana B

Continue reading “Part I of the Independence Day round-up: July”

Week in review and putting in the work

Back in business indeed! It's been a great week. I've been working 12 hour days and I can still say that because, I changed my attitude. Ultimately, I love what I do and, from that perspective, all the time I put into it is enjoyment rather than chore. Sure I don't think 12 hour days are sustainable (nor desirable) in the long-run but, sometimes you have to put in that extra effort/time/energy/sweat/sacrifice to get to where you want. That's what thousands of people across our continent (and further afield) are demonstrating by actively demanding change.

It's not even March and we've seen results such as many never expected. Two dictatorial regimes toppled in Tunisia and Egypt and, Libyans and Algerians standing up to their governments too. You can't help but wonder where this revolutionary momentum will blow to next. Some Sub-Saharan governments, in what cannot be considered anything but an admission of tyranny, are rushing to censor information* about the aforementioned protests up North. What in their minds must seem like prevention, will surely further fuel the fire within the hearts of dissatisfied citizens. 

I've found it to be true that, once you start doing something, you generate the awareness, insight and energy to do so much more. Idleness begets idleness and action becomes exponential. It is with this attitude, that I plan to approach the rest of 2011 and I hope you will too! Let's go create the lives we want.

(* Thanks for the link @Mwistar)

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On the lookout: Afriapps

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Afriapps is a new Asilia initiative to showcase apps from and for Africa. We are  looking forward to further developing this platform for exposure, for both developers and users alike. The work will involve helping to establish industry standards, with the aim of increasing the quality (and competitiveness) of apps from and for Africa. My business partner, Andrew Mugoya, talks more about it here and discusses it with Afrinnovator here.

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Last week on the blog

SILHOUETTE

A full week it was. Here is a recap, in case you missed anything:

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Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).

Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!

Lulu x

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Image copyright Mutua Matheka

Algeria Independence day

El Kantara

Algeria celebrates their independence today. 

This North African country is home to the first African-born winner of the Literature Nobel Prize, Albert Camus. Perhaps most famous for his novel, The Stranger, Camus is also regarded as a key philosopher of the 20th century. Philosopher and founder of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida was also born in Algeria. Martinique philosopher and psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon, spent a great part of his life in Algeria and his work there constitutes a great part of his famous revolutionary book, The Wretched of the Earth.

Algerian art

Along with a centuries old tradition of arts and crafts, there is a significant contemporary art scene which is well documented. Read this insightful article on Algeria's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers (MAMA) and how it is facilitating new relationships between "culture and memory, public space and sense space, urbanity and citizenship."

 

Images above:
Top – Barrage d'El Kantara à Biskra by Astonar.
Middle – Art work by  Ammar Bouras, Samta Benyahia and Mohammed Khadda