Top picks for the Women of the World (WOW) Festival, Southbank Centre, London

Eska

The Southbank Centre annual Women of the World (WOW) Festival starts tomorrow and it's set to be a really great experience. Celebrating the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, it will feature music performances, films, comedy, theatre, poetry, as well as a three-day conference dealing with debates, talks, workshops, networking and mentoring opportunities.

Afri-love Highlights:

Continue reading “Top picks for the Women of the World (WOW) Festival, Southbank Centre, London”

Women of the World (WOW) Arts Fair tomorrow, London UK

WOW-Arts-Fair-Asilia-design

International Women's Day is tomorrow and to celebrate, Old Spitalfield Market in London is holding a Women of the World (WOW) Arts Fair. Female artists and craftspeople from around the world will be exhibiting their wares. There will also be a sales and trading training workshop and an appearance by Mel B, of Spice Girls fame. More details here.

Flyer design by Asilia (more images here).

Week in review and celebrating sisterhood

I'm really excited about International Women's Day next week.

There are never too many opportunities for us (women and men) to celebrate sisterhood and the women in our lives. Let me warn you, it's going to be women's WEEK on the blog, with posts on fashion, thoughts and reflections on sisterhood, exciting events, literature etc. I've been so swamped with work lately that my posting frequency has been less than desired but, there's no greater inspiration to amp it up than to celebrate women and being a woman. So, watch this space!

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On the lookout: London via Lagos!

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And speaking of watching this space, here is an early warning about a fantastic season of plays coming to London's Oval House Theatre this Spring. London via Lagos is a celebration of new British-Nigerian playwrighting.

From the streets of Hackney to the English countryside; from the mansions of the Lagos elite to the oil pipelines of Northern Nigeria, three remarkable plays burst with the stories of the diaspora. Londoners in Lagos, Lagotians in London; Afropolitans, Africans and Europeans – a heady mix of characters and stories revealing our inter-connected world. 

Presented by Oval House Theatre, BEcreative and Spora Stories, the festival celebrates the work of three African-heritage, UK-based, world-class playwrights: Ade Solanke, Arinze Kene and Lydia Adetunji. We (Asilia) have the great pleasure of working with them all to design the promotional material for the festival (such as the teaser flyer seen above). I'll be unveiling more of the work as we draw closer to Spring and sharing with you as well, the playwrights talking about their passion and inspiration.

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Last week on the blog

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Here is a recap, in case you missed anything:

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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!

Lulu x

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Image courtesy Nancie Mwai. Styling by Nancie, photography by Emukule Ekirapa (more images and full shoot credits here).

 

Week in review

I'm writing this yesterday, on my way to London and looking forward to the night's Iamthenublack meetup (which I'll blog about next week). I'm really excited about meeting in person, passionate Afri-loving people who I've gotten to know via Twitter and Facebook. Including the subject of this past week's interview – Phiona Okumu. It's truly wonderful that in this day and age, location is not a barrier in terms of finding and exchanging with like-minded people.

The North and Sub debate

And speaking of the technology and platforms that make this possible, we are increasingly exposed to millions of voices and viewpoints and, if we choose to, can interact directly with them. This week, I saw a tweet by somebody predicting that this year, African countries will follow in the footsteps of Arab countries and protest against their governments. When the gentleman referred to African countries, he meant sub-saharan countries and he had included the Northern African nations of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, in the Arab countries category. 

I'm sure you've come across this before – Northern African countries not really being considered as part of Africa. Despite the undeniable geographic fact of the matter and, the fact that people have traveled across, up and down the sahara, so that influences from all sides stretch far and wide.

The aforementioned gentleman speaks of a united Africa but can't see how the Northern African countries can be considered part and parcel of the continent. I'm confused as to how this is reconciled. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter…

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On the lookout: WOW Arts Fair, 8th March

WOW-Arts-Fair-Asilia

International Women's Day is almost here and to celebrate, Old Spitalfield Market in London is holding a Women of the World (WOW) Arts Fair. Female artists and craftspeople from around the world will be exhibiting their wares. There will also be a sales and trading training workshop and an appearance by Mel B of Spice Girls fame. I/Asilia had the pleasure of working with Hatch Events to design promotional material for the event.

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Last week on the blog

Phiona-Okumu

Here is a recap, in case you missed anything:

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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!

Lulu x

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Image courtesy Phiona Okumu

 

Week in review and back to business

Thanks to all readers, new and old. The post count has been relatively quite low in the past couple of weeks but it's good to know that you're still feeling the love and coming back for more. 

After an overwhelming few weeks and the workaholic inside getting the better of me, I am happy to say that you can expect a healthier dosage of content this week. I won't give you specifics but expect interview goodness, some visual inspiration, music, quotes and more.

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On the lookout

Open-the-Gate-London

Last week, I visited Open the Gate, "The Black Culture Cafe" in East London. I felt right at home! A tasty menu of eclectic African and Caribbean dishes; a comfortable lounge area with a wax print tapestry ceiling and bathrooms painted, from top to bottom, in a Ndebele-inspired design; art on display (currently a collection of several rasta portraits by Lois Cordelia that made me seriously miss my locks) and a basement concert/club space.

I was there for a night of music featuring: my friend, musician and photographer, Namvula Rennie, performing with her band, Nsoromma; Manding griot, Jally Kebba Susso and; DJs Africathy and Volta 45. Open the Gate also hosts screenings, children's activities, an African market and more. Unpretentious, cosy and full of good vibes – it's definitely a venue I will be visiting again. 

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Last week on the blog

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Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:

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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!

Lulu x

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Image above: in technicolour

 

 

 

TGIF! End-of-year special

The year summed up in African music! Songs that will remind me of 2010.

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The year of the first FIFA World Cup held on African soil. Shakira's "Waka Waka" may forever be associated with the historic event but those who know know that, this right here is the original …


 

Continue reading “TGIF! End-of-year special”

Inspired by Khadambi Asalache

Khadambi-Asalache

This is the home of the late Kenyan poet and author, Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006). Considered a pioneer of modern Kenyan literature in English, Asalache was also a fine artist. He transformed, by hand, his modest London terraced house into an incredible piece of art that he left to the UK's National Trust. Inspired by Islamic, English and African art, 

"His work encompasses stories of migration and immigration, exile and return, a narrative which is common to the lives millions of people from all continents. The fact that it is hidden in an 'ordinary' English city terrace is all the more intriguing."

— Elsie Owusu, Founder, Society of Black Architects (full quote here). 

Read more about Asalache and his house here. Currently undergoing a £4 million renovation, the house will be open to the public in 2012.

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Images via Linda Nylind/Guardian. See more here

Afro Cup Festival

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London’s calling from the 11th of June to the 11th of July. In celebration of the first World Cup on African soil, Rich Mix will be screening all the games and keeping the party going with 25 days and nights of live music, DJs, art, films and food. The Afro Cup Festival has an incredible line-up and the chapati image on the food page is seriously stirring my taste buds! Sure to be an experience filled with positive Afri-love vibrations.

(Oh yes, and entry is free!)