Last Week in Pictures: Lines, Stripes and Multi-colour

1-Stripy-Patterned-Woven-African-Bag-Lovedu

 

Glancing at my Instagram feed from the past couple weeks, there's a common theme emerging: lines, stripes and multi-colour! Here's how it went down …

Above: this bag is most definitely on my wishlist. Handmade in Kenya, available from Lov'edu.

 

2-Vibrant-London-Underground-Cables

 

Colourful cables at Whitechapel tube station.

 

3-Tanabata-Fukinagashi-Decorations-Southbank-Centre

 

Tanabata Fukinagashi decorations at the Southbank Centre. Check out the ongoing Festival of Love.

 

4-Art-Deco-Window-Grills-Hackney-London

 

Window grills needn't be boring! I spotted these art deco ones in Hackney.

 

5-Suede-Strips-Tiny-Track-Accessories

I always enjoy seeing how other makers roll so it was a delight to go to the Hackney Downs Studios open studios event last week. Here: suede that Hyun K Shin of Tiny Track turns in to intricate fashion accessories.

 

6-Amazing-Woven-Butterfly-Chair-Wahaca

 

This chair is everything! Have a seat at the Wahaca mexican market eating branch in Waterloo.

 

7-Stripy-Patterned-Ethnic-Bag-at-Blitz-Vintage

As I mentioned in a recent post, about resonance across the global south – this bag is reminiscent of the one at the top of this post but, I have a feeling that this one was made across in Latin America … Or could it be from around the Europe/Asia boundary? Spotted at vintage store Blitz London.

 

8-Woven-Vintage-Chair-Larks-Liverpool

Another vintage store find – these woven-back, red-seat chairs at GASP in Liverpool. 

What's been in your line of vision this week? 

Come join me on Instagram @lulukitololo.

 

* For those of you who noticed, yes, "last week" isn't strictly just last week 🙂
All photos by Lulu Kitololo. Some enhanced with VSCOcam. 

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Design, Music and Good Vibes at Africa Oyé 2014

1-Creativity-and-Noise-Africa-Oye

I spent a wonderful weekend in Liverpool, at the UK’s largest African musical festival, Africa Oyé. This year wasn’t just about soaking up the good music and good vibes (although there was still plenty of that) as I was helping out at the Creativity and Noise + Merkato stall. 

 

2-Creativity-and-Noise-Yebo-T-shirt-on-Tour

It was great to get out of the big city – I love train journeys, exploring new places and taking a breather from the hecticness of London.

 

3-Setting-Up-Festival-Stall

I have enormous respect for entrepreneurs who regularly set up at markets and events. It's demanding work!

 

4-Laura-Merkato-MKTO-Setting-Up-Shop

This is Laura Marano, the lady behind Merkato (fairly traded homeware and fashion accessories). You may remember her from a popular Afri-love interview where she talked about her other venture, Green-Safari.

 

5-Merkato-MKTO-Creativity-and-Noise-Stall-Laura-Marano-Lusungu-Chikamata

Laura and Lusungu Chikamata of Creativity and Noise. All set up and ready to trade!

 

6-African-Design-Tote-Bags-Creativity-and-Noise

It was exciting to launch the new Creativity and Noise t-shirts and tote bags, designed by yours truly and hand screenprinted by Lusungu. 

 

7-African-Design-Baskets-Merkato-MKTO-Taita

Beautiful wares from Merkato. Most made in the Taita-Taveta district of Kenya, where my Dad is from.

 

8-African-Design-T-shirt-Creativity-and-Noise-Drum-Lusungu-Chikamata

Lusungu representing in his new 'Beat It' t-shirt. Look for it on the Creativity and Noise shop.

 

9-African-Design-Knit-iPhone-Cases-Merkato

Knit iPhone cases from Merkato.

 

10-African-Design-Guords-Taita-Baskets-Merkato

It was a visual treat checking out what the other vendors had to offer, such as these guords. Right: a Taita basket from Merkato (and the lady who made it!).

 

11-Kenya-Tanzania-Beaded-Bracelets

I met some fellow Kenyans, Muigai and Anto, who were selling these beaded bangles that had me feeling all patriotic. Kenya and Tanzania represented – perfect!

 

13-Moroccan-Shoes-Leather

A wonderful array of colours at Dry Rain, a stall selling Moroccan wares including these leather slippers.

 

14-Coasters-and-Bangles-by-Craft-Africa

Our neighbouring stall had a massive collection of baskets and other woven goods including these coasters, bangles …

 

15-African-Design-Woven-Rugs-Mats-Craft-Africa

… and mats/rugs.

 

16-Zebra-Print-Van-Safari-Food

A funky zebra-print van belonging to a food stall selling all kinds of African game meat, including my beloved crocodile!

 

17-African-Design-Recylced-Flip-Flops-Upcycled-Fridge-Magnets-Merkato

Butterfly fridge magnets made from recycled/upcycled flip-flops. From Merkato.

 

18-Dancing-Chikamatas-Africa-Oye

Of course, there was time for dancing.

 

19-Africa-Oye-With-the-Zambians

Me with the Zambians, all representing with our Creativity and Noise tees.

 

20-Blue-Skies-Africa-Oye-Liverpool

It almost always rains at some point during the Africa Oyé weekend. This year, it didn't! Blue skies and sunshine throughout. What a bonus?!

 

21-African-Design-Rocking-Merkato-Creativity-and-Noise-Africa-Oye

All geared up and ready for day 2 of the festival.

 

22-Africa-Oye-African-Music-Jally-Kebba-Susso-Joe-Driscoll

We got to watch Joe Driscoll and Jally Kebba Susso  jamming/warming up early on the Sunday morning. The kora on reggae and hip hop tracks sounds amazing!

 

23-Sunset-Africa-Oye-Rose-Tinted-Glasses

As usual, the whole experience was a welcome and wonderful assault on the senses.

One of the things I love about Africa Oyé is that there’s no heavy-handed policing. The police and security presence at this festival is surprisingly minimal – you barely notice them. No gates to walk through where every inch of you is checked, no wall of policemen to intimidate. It just goes to show that if you treat people like human beings, they will act like human beings! 

At some point on the Sunday, I found myself feeling a little bit teary. I know this is going to sound corny but, I was overwhelmed by just how beautiful the moment was. All kinds of people – ages, races, abilities; all kinds of random acts of kindness going on; people talking to strangers … real, tangible joy!

See you there next year!

 

Photos by Lulu Kitololo (and a couple courtesy of Lusungu Chikamata), most of them processed with VSCOcam. View even more photos from the weekend, on Facebook.

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Africa- and Diaspora-related events in the UK this Summer

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.

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2 JUNE – 16 SEPTEMBER

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Africa Oyé this weekend!

Africa-Oye

To all those residing in the UK, the place to be this weekend is at Liverpool’s Africa Oyé festival. The annual celebration of African music and culture kicks off on Saturday. With a line-up of musical acts from the continent and the diaspora, arts, crafts and refreshments, it’s sure to be two days of good vibrations and Afri-love.

And it’s free!