A Summer of Pictures

Summer is a distant dream for many of us living in the northern hemisphere (climate change aside, that is – only 3 days ago I was out and about in short sleeves!). Indeed, it’s now 2 months since I returned to London from my trip to a hot and humid U.S. and, I’ve been meaning to share the highlights since. What better timing than when I need a reminder of how good it feels to have the sun kiss my appropriately darkened skin.

My 5-week trip was a glorious respite from what has been a very challenging year, in so many ways (more on that another time).

(Corset by Evie Nix)

Governors Island Hammock NYC View

It was a time for perspective: I find being away from your ‘normal’ environment great for seeing things clearer.

(Hammock grove at Governor’s Island)

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Buy African: Who Said Beige Is Boring?

‘Beige’, as an adjective, often has negative connotations – boring, plain, unimaginative. When we think of African design, we often think of the opposite – a creative kaleidoscope of prints and colours. I thought it would be interesting to find some beautiful design pieces for the home, that prove that beige can indeed delight. It’s all about texture!

 

From top, left to right: Set of 3 Ghanaian baskets from Swahili African Modern; Zig Zag Gris mud cloth pillow from Proud Mary; Ecru Fleur a Joure crochet pillow from Proud Mary; Mali bull mask from Weylandts; ceramic crockery by Imiso; Senegalese sewing basket trio from Swahili African Modern; Moroccan leather pouf from Beyond Marrakech; Slat stool by Dokter and Misses; Magnet lounge chair by Vogel Design; Beni Ouarain carpet from Beyond Marrakech.

 

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Buy African: Monochrome Home

Buy-African-Furniture-Home-Decor-Black-White-Monochrome-Home

 

As much as I love colour in design, black and white can be really interesting too – especially when texture and pattern come into play. Here, some furniture and home decor pieces, in black and white.

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TGIF! with Amadou & Mariam

Amadou and Mariam Mali Music

Today it's time for the ever fresh Malian duo, Amadou & Mariam.

First up is the beautiful video for 'Africa mon Afrique' – animation + collage = what's not to love?! Then, a rockin' collabo with Santigold, 'Dougou Badia' (RSS readers click here to view videos)

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Interview with Musician Fatoumata Diawara

It’s a great honour to present this interview with musician, actress and activist, Fatoumata Diawara. Born in Côte d’Ivoire to Malian parents, Fatoumata moved to France to pursue acting – she appeared in the films La Genèse and Sia, le Rêve du Python and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba. She later began composing her own music, blending Southern Mali traditions and international influences.

Under Fatoumata’s belt is her debut album, Fatou, and her EP, Kanou. She has performed around the world and recorded with acclaimed artists including Oumou Sangaré and Dee Dee Bridgewater and recently participated in the “30 Songs / 30 Days” campaign to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women.

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TGIF! with the Musical Women at WOW 2013

The Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre is coming and there are some great music performances that will be complementing the various talks and workshops. Today, enjoy music and spoken word from the African and diaspora contigent of artists who will be performing next week.

Don't forget to also check out the Afri-love top picks for WOW events to do with business, entrepreneurship and career development and stay tuned for culture, activism and social debate picks, early next week.

 

Meklit Hadero 


WOW 2013 Meklit Hadero

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TGIF! with Boddhi Satva

Boddhi Satva House Music DJ Producer

Boddhi Satva Ancestral Soul Interpretations Part I House Music


Boddhi Satva
, Central African Republic-born DJ/Producer has made some special music with his recent release, Ancestral Soul Interpretations Part 1. A collection of songs reworked with his distinct Ancestral Soul sound, it features artists including Bjork, Drake, Erykah Badu, Frank Ocean, Gyptian, Jill Scott, Meshell Ndegeocello, Radiohead, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder and Usher!

As you may know, I LOVE house music with soul and this description of Boddhi's sound is quite close to explaining why: "a generous and extravagant music that tells real life stories as well as makes people give their whole self up to limitless and code-stripped styles of dance – ritualistic, erotic, ecstatic, jubilant." 

 

Listen to and download Ancestral Soul Interpretations here or here and download it for free on Boddhi's site. You can also download Boddhi's single Nankoumanjan featuring Malian singer Mangala Camara here – video below (videos here for those reading via RSS):

 

Purchase Boddhi Satva's latest album Invocation on iTunes or Amazon.

Thanks to the fabulous Phiona Okumu for making my day!
Image of Boddhi: Musthavesoul.com

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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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