Africa and Diaspora events this October

As September draws to a close, I'm getting geared up for a bunch of exciting events in October. I'm one of those people who plans her social calendar waaaay in advance and diligently researches to find Afri-love-inspiring events. Not always easy but definitely worth it! I thought that I'd spare you some of the time and effort and compile all the Africa and Diaspora related events that I find each month. I also hope to tap into the power of crowd-sourcing to create an even richer listing for all of us. I invite you to share the great discoveries that you make in your "yard" (see the bottom of this post for details). Enjoy!


Black History Month (UK) events in Islington
Islington Council is organising a variety of free and low cost film screenings, exhibitions, talks, readings, poetry and performances inspiring and connecting communities to historical legacies and Black experience today
Download Islington Black History Month 2011- Arts and Culture events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Business and Enterprise events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Schools activities 


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Africa at the Fringe

Every August, Edinburgh, Scotland is taken over by 100s (maybe 1000s) of arts and cultural events courtesy of various festivals. These include the Edinburgh International Festival and more famously, the incredibly diverse Edinburgh Festival Fringe – claiming to be "the largest, and greatest, arts festival in the world". There's just one week of this year's programme left but I thought I'd round up some of the Africa-related events to whet your appetite for the possibilities next year. 



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Week in review





I don't know about you but, I'm properly in holiday mode. Something about this time of year is so special – most people are in high spirits and positive vibes abound. This is often true regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, regardless of whether you're in below minus weather or in the sunny tropics. With the busy lifestyles many of us lead nowadays, it sometimes feels like we need to justify making time to just relax, unwind and reconnect with what and who really matters. This season is the perfect time for this. And hopefully, for discovering that exhaling is vital and can be a more regular part of our lives in the new year. That's what I'll be reflecting on!

Here is a round-up of all of last week's posts, in case you missed anything:

A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebooktwitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.

Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.

Next week, look out for:

  • Quote of the week
  • Inspiration from an artist with outstanding diligence whose craft transformed his home, one inch at a time
  • An interview with an entrepreneurial designer who brings spring to every season
  • How the arts are bringing change and unity to a group of women in East Africa
  • Celebrating Libya's independence day
  • TGIF! Mali meets Cuba

Have a fantastic week! Be proud and be inspired.



Images from top: Designs by Dimitra Tzanos; Senegalese Fixe crafts from Swahili Imports; A couple of albums from this month's installment of album art; Etsy finds by MusoMasiri (left) and HazelsHouse – see the post for more. 



Inspired by Senegalese fixe


While ogling the beautiful arts and crafts on Swahili Imports, I learned about the fixe technique. A reverse glass painting art form* rooted in Senegal's Islamic history, fixe reaches back through centuries and across borders. The creations pictured here are made by artisans in Dakar and available to purchase on Swahili Imports.

From the Swahili Imports website:

"One school of modern fixe painters focuses on portraits. Signare paintings [such as those in the plates pictured] were typically inspired by Senegalese women who married foreign dignitaries, and over time their images become iconic of wealth and power."

How about that: social commentary with dinner!

* The artist paints on the inner side of the glass, rather than on the outer surface.

Week in review



Rafiya CD Amazing



I hope you've all had a fantastic week. Mine's been hectic and it's great to exhale a little, take stock and get revved up for the week ahead. It was busy on the blog too with multi-media inspiration! The week ended on a high note with a taste of the continuing influence of Fela Kuti's spirit.

Here's a round-up in case you missed anything:

 A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebook, twitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.

Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.

This coming week, look out for:

  • Quote of the week
  • Moving beyond defiance through design and investigating design for good
  • An interview with an incredibly funky and Afri-fabulous London-based designer
  • Inspiration from a handful of my role models 
  • TGIF! a look at African music's new classics
  • A celebration for Zambia's Independence Day 

Have a fantastic week! Be proud and be inspired.


Images above: 2nd from top – Fela-inspired art (see Fela post for details); 3rd from top – songstress Rafiya's CD, Amazing; graphic defiance from Chaz Maviyane-Davies (see post for details); bottom – jewelry from Rachel Stewart.

African cinema at the BFI’s London Film Festival, 13th-28th October, UK


This week, London's BFI hosts 2 screenings of New African Cinema – a collection of 3 short films created as part of the Africa First mentoring scheme. The films include The Tunnel, from South Africa's Jenna Bass, Pumzi from Kenya's Wanuri Kahiu and Saint Louis Blues from Senegal's Dyana Gaye. Find more information about these films and screenings here.

Also on show during the festival:

Exciting stuff for you lucky Londoners!

Pumzi stills from the BFI website.