3 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Africa Utopia 2014

We’re just one week away from a special festival looking at what can be learnt and celebrated from Africa and the African diaspora. I’m looking forward to this second edition of the Africa Utopia festival for 3 main reasons:

1. The Great Line-up

My top 5 picks include:

  1. A Brief Look at Dance in Africa – a lecture/demonstration looking at the variety of dances across the continent, using performance, percussion and film.
  2. Africa Calling – work by new and established designers from Africa and the diaspora spanning furniture, fashion, graphic arts and more.
  3. Africa on the Catwalk – a selection of fashion and accessory designers who originate from or are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Africa (including Asilia client, Adele Dejak!)
  4. Afropolis: New African Aesthetic – From the catwalk shows of Yves St Laurent to the windows of Topshop and Zara, style-wise, Africa is everywhere. What are the deeper aesthetic and socio-cultural dynamics at work behind this phenomenon and what impact does it have on African regional and cultural identities?
  5. Simply Soweto Encha – a five-piece a cappella group from Soweto township that sings gospel, soul, jazz, doo-wop, r’n’b and celebrates South African oral and dance traditions. I have a super weak spot for a cappella!

There are so many other great events throughout the weekend that I hope to check out. View the full programme here.

 

2. Asilia’s Social Media Workshop

Following my workshop at the Women of the World Festival, earlier this year, I’ve been invited back to run a special session at Africa Utopia. Come spend an hour with me to explore how to use the web and social media as tools to:

  • Celebrate and share your experience, perspective and vision with the world
  • Connect with kindred spirits
  • Monetise your activities
  • Contribute more of your passion to your community and the world

More info here.

 

Christmas-Cards-2014-Asilia

 

3. Asilia’s Stall at the Africa Utopia Marketplace

We’ll be launching the first of our brand new holiday line and we’ll also have a limited number of our Tropical Paleo, Miriam Makeba and Frida Kahlo art prints on sale. It’s also an opportunity to place your order for custom portraits. They’re great as gifts and it’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping! Creativity and Noise will be joining us too with a selection of hand screenprinted tees from our collaboration.

Follow me (@lulukitololo) and Asilia (@weareasilia) – on Instagram for a document of the long weekend. If you’re in London – come say hello!

 

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

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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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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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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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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Getting Down to Business at the 2013 Women of the World Festival (WOW 2013)

Great things happen when women come together

In a little over a week, the 2013 Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre begins. Last year was my first experience of WOW and I listened to a myriad stimulating talksI spoke and shared ideas, learned that I’m funny and embraced my reticent inner fashionista! I’m incredibly excited about doing it all again and this year’s line-up of events is even more enticing than before.

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Dispatches from Africa Utopia: It’s Complicated

Africa-Utopia-Southbank-Centre-London-2012-Festival-of-the-World

"Africa is all too often written off as an intractable "problem" for the world to solve. I hope this festival will reveal just some of what Africa has to offer the rest of the world: the energy of our youth and their desire to engage with the world; the transformative potential of culture and, perhaps most potently, the power of community to bind people together."

 – Africa Utopia Co-curator, Baaba Maal

Indeed the festival's main question was, in what ways can the continent lead the way in thinking about culture, community, sustainability and ethical wealth creation? In short, what can the rest of the world learn from Africa?

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Inspired: Fashion by Eki Orleans

Eki-Orleans-African-Fashion

I had a fantastic weekend thanks to all the intellectual stimulation and creative inspiration from Africa Utopia at the Southbank Centre in London, part of the Festival of the World.

I'll be posting more about that, later on this week. Today I wanted to share the beautiful work of fashion house Eki Orleans, fusing vibrant prints with delicate silk. Designed by Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, Eki Orleans was part of the 'Africa on the Catwalk' event which was put together by Ola Shobowale, Creative Director of Infinite Beauty Factory, and ARISE Magazine Fashion Director, Sabrina Henry. 

The month-long series of events is not yet over, check out what's on in these final few days.

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

We-Face-Forward-Manchester-2012

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Wanted: Youth Delegation for Africa Utopia at London’s Southbank Centre

Imagine

I am thoroughly appreciating my age but, here's one of those moments where I wouldn't mind being 26 and under …

London's Southbank Centre is looking for independent-minded young people, aged 18 – 26 years old, based in the UK or Africa who are interested in the arts, Africa and social change, to form a youth delegation during Africa Utopia in July 2012.

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