How to: Create a Great Web Presence + Other Top WOW Festival Picks

WOW-Women-of-the-World-Festival-Southbank

It's that time again – the annual Southbank Centre Women of the World Festival takes place this week, in London.

A couple of years ago, I presented on Digital Tapestries and, taking that theme to another level, this year I will be running a workshop entitled 'How to: Create a Great Web Presence'.

Most of us want to spend most of our time honing our craft – doing what we love most. However, for most of us to continue doing this, somebody's got to buy.

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Inspired: Afro Supa Hero – An Upcoming Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood

Afro Supa Hero posters

Award-winning Creative Director, Jon Daniel, has curated what is set to be an exciting adventure – the Afro Supa Hero exhibition, running from 14 September 2013 – 9 February 2014, at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The exhibition will give us an insight into Jon's own experience, as a boy of African Caribbean heritage, growing up in 1960s and 1970s Britain. Jon's collection of action figures, games, comics and other paraphernalia, starring pop culture heroes and heroines of the African diaspora, represent some of the positive black role models he (and many of us, around the world) grew up with. 

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Is it African? Questions of Aesthetics, Authenticity and Classification

Is-it-African

In the past few weeks, the question of what constitutes as 'African' has come up in different contexts.

As I prepared my African fiction and non-fiction reading lists, I had to reflect on how I was selecting the books. In the end, I defined African fiction as such because of the heritage of the author and thus their perspective and experience, whether or not the subject of the book had anything to do with Africa. On the other hand, African non-fiction picks had everything to do with the subject matter.

I attended a couple of conferences in April: the African Creative Industries Investment Summit (ACIIS) and London Business School's Africa Day. Both were great opportunities to meet some truly inspiring people and listen to some exciting insights and ideas (and as much as I've been a skeptic of networking – I must say that that was actually the highlight of these 2 events. In fact, these experiences changed my whole perspective on the matter but, more about that here).

What did of course come up was this question of the African aesthetic. What makes something African?

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Afri-love Picks: Culture, Activism and Social Debate Events at WOW 2013

Alice Walker Women of the World Festival 2013 London


The last batch of my top picks for this year's Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre covers events to do with culture, activism and social issues and debates. I don't know about you but, between this list; the business, entrepreneurship and career development one I shared last week and; the music, poetry and spoken word events, it's going to be tough deciding what to actually attend! It's the kind of tough decision that's a joy to make. To those planning to attend the Festival, I hope you have a wonderful time and perhaps I'll bump into you. To everybody else, I look forward to reporting back.

 

Alice Walker
WHAT: A world exclusive premiere of ‘Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth’, a feature documentary film by Pratibha Parmar, about the life and art of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Color Purple’.
The 6:30pm screening will be followed by a conversation with Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar. The 9.30pm screening is introduced by Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar.
WHEN: Sunday, 6:30pm and 9:30pm

What's new in African Feminisms
WHAT: Looking at what is fresh in African feminist thought and action. African women are gaining force in music, writing and film, offering powerful and subversive views on gender, power and the future.
WHEN: Sunday, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

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The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music

It will be 2013 in under a week and that means it’s time for one of those lists summing up the highlights of the year! The following is a selection of posts that you found most interesting (as per the analytics); posts that I most enjoyed creating; exciting discoveries and; some off-blog but on-topic articles.

Art and Design

 

Interview with Artist Toyin Odutola

Interviews

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Nairobi Half Life and Questions about Identity

Nairobi Half Life Mwas Arrives in Nairobi
Nairobi Half Life

The Film Africa festival launched opened last night with a fantastic film directed by Tosh Gitonga, Nairobi Half Life. Beautifully put together – story, cast, cinematography, direction, production! The world-class quality of this film has surely set the bar for Kenyan film and no wonder it's a submission for Best Foreign Language Film at next year's Oscars. 

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Cotton Global Threads exhibition: on the heritage of wax print and the exploitative nature of cotton production

Cotton-Global-Threads-exhibition-Whitworth-Art-Gallery-Manchester-UK

A recent visit to the Cotton: Global Threads exhibition raised 2 issues that I thought were particularly relevant for the Afri-love context: the heritage of wax print and the problems with cotton (and our complicity!). 

The exhibition at Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery gives a global history of the production, consumption and trade in cotton and features art by contemporary artists including Yinka Shonibare MBE, Malian artists Abdoulaye Konaté and Aboubakar Fofana and Grace Ndiritu. As well as presenting some truly beautiful textile-related installations and pieces of art, you're in for an informative experience. 

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Dispatches from WOW 2012: On fashion and being who we want to be

Maggie-Semple-Folake-Kuye-Huntoon-StylePantry


It's easy to be distracted from the fact that fashion is about creative expression the joy of dressing up. The industry – as represented in glossy magazines and billboards – often intimidates rather than liberates women to be adventurous and have fun with their appearance. 

Fashion for all

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There are many ways to get to Mombasa and so many stories to tell

Many-ways-to-Mombasa

Alternative stories – this has been a recurring theme for me in the past few days. After posting an interview with Ann, aka Afrolicious, whose passion lies ultimately in teaching people to listen and to be heard, I wanted to get some thoughts out in keeping with the spirit of this.

I've been ingesting Western culture all my life, despite growing up in Kenya, and starting this blog is just one reaction to that. One attempt to explore a different story. Being that I share my personal observations, experiences and thoughts – the exploration actually explores several different stories, informed by all aspects of my identity: 
Kenyan
Tanzanian
African
Female
Artist
Designer
Writer
Immigrant
Diasporan
Business owner
Blogger
Natural hair wearer
Perfectionist
Optimist
Idealist … and so on.

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