Africa- and Diaspora-related events spanning Kenya, the UK and Switzerland. What's happening where you are this month?
Kultura Film Club – Nights of Ethnographic Films
City: London, UK
Venue: Passing Clouds
This week's installment of the Film Club features two short films about rhythm, negotiating identities, dance and belonging, including Temporary Sanity by Dan Brunn. The film tells about Jamaica’s dance music culture in New York and especially about the versatile disc jockey Skerrit Bwoy. Originally from St. Johns, Antigua, the youngster migrated to Bronx, New York in the mid 1990’s. Clubbing at a very young age, and hanging out on Creston Avenue, it did not take him long to fit into the fast pace life of the city. Skerrit Bwoy burst on the international dancehall scene this year, with his sound system Ghetto Life that he has molded into becoming an award winning sound that was crowned as 2005 – 2006 “Bronx Sound of The Year.”
Vibes and Pressure Shubeen featuring Natty, Tinashe and The Skints
Continue reading “Africa- and Diaspora-related events this March”
Yesterday, Tunisia celebrated 55 years of Independence from France, no doubt made sweeter by the recent triumph in toppling authoritarian president, Ben Ali, after 23 years in power. Rather than spend this post further commemorating this revolution (I'm sure several others have done this well so I would like to share something different), I would like to draw your attention to beauty and design.
Continue reading “Tunisia Independence Day: Celebrating beauty and design”
To jump on the Valentine's Day bandwagon somewhat, I chose a quote that talks of love. Then again, ultimately, everything on this blog talks of love. Particularly, self-love. It is with that focus that I share with you this week's quote:
"When we can meet ourselves where we are and treat ourselves with compassion, then we are able to meet others where they are and to engage with the world with compassion.
… We are all capable of great things when we find our own authentic and unique place in the world."
— Marianne Elliot, Zen Peace-keeper and change-maker (definitely check her out)
Reflecting in my morning pages earlier, I came up with a new mantra for myself that is quite appropriate here. The context was largely work-related, being that my services are charged according to time spent. People who are not used to thinking of their time in terms of money, sometimes don't appreciate that mine is literally worth money. One related consequence is being shortchanged and another is that it's often challenging to find enough time for myself. So, by heaping and asserting all this value around my time, I can hopefully get across just how valuable it is. Long story short, this is the mantra and I think it applies to several other contexts as well: "By valuing myself, I confirm that I am valuable."
Indeed, by valuing ourselves, we confirm, assert even, that we are valuable. As our comrades in Tunisia and Egypt have recently shown!
I hope you've all had a good week. It's been quite a momentous one for Tunisia with the ousting of dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after more than two decades in power. Powered by the people, the revolt that led to this result is a reminder that we, the people, can stand up and be heard. That we, African people, do not have to endure our so-called leaders disregard of our humanity. The questions that remain though are to do with the how. How do we best and most effectively campaign for what we deserve? Can we avoid violence?
I read a great article by Kate Bomz this week that I recommend to all: "Isle of Peace into Peaces: A Call to Disarm." Two of our continents most peaceful nations, Tunisia and Tanzania, have been sites of unprecedented violence this year (as "new" as it is). Bomz investigates the meaning of patriotism, apathy and challenges us to get up off our fences.
Interesting also, are discussions around how media was instrumental in the cause of the Tunisian people, including social media such as Twitter, and how US media networks were AWOL in covering such an important event.
On the lookout
Speaking of campaigning for the change we desire, I came across this children's book, again in Essence magazine:
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli, with illustration by Kadir Nelson, tells the tale of Kenyan, Nobel Prize-winning, environmental and political activist, Wangari Maathai.
I don't remember reading children's book much as a child so it's going to be a whole new experience when I have kids of my own. It will be interesting seeking out books that show characters that look like them and heroic, inspiring ones at that. I do remember my parents telling me bedtime stories (rather than reading books to me). What particularly stands out in my memory is my Dad's re-telling of the adventures of the heroic Abunuwasi.
Afri-love on Tumblr
Following last week's foray into the wider world of online social network with the set up of an Afri-love YouTube channel, this week I set up an Afri-love Tumblr site (yes I do make a lot of time for internetting!). I thought it was about time to see what all this Tumblr hype is about.
Last week on the blog
Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:
Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).
Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!
Image above: collage by Jasmine Rose