30 Unchained: 30 Creative Women from Across the Diaspora Inspire Live Unchained’s Interactive Anniversary Challenge

30 Days Live Unchained

 

If you've been reading the blog a while, you'll recall me mentioning Live Unchained – an initiative to celebrate women artists across the African Diaspora and represent our collective and individual creativity. As they approach their 4th anniversary, they're calling us to help celebrate with a series of creative challenges dubbed 30 Unchained (#30unchained). 

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TGIF! The best of 2011: great music discoveries

Afri-love-best-of-2011-music-1

Staff Benda Bilili. I highly recommend the film, Benda Bilili – a documentary about the groups rise from poverty and obscurity to international success. It's proper feel-good.

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How does Africa inspire you? My 10 favourite interview responses to date

Over the last year, I've had the privilege to interview 21 passionate, talented and inspiring people whose vision and work embodies the Afri-love spirit. All of them reminded me of the value in doing what you love. I hope that they've given you encouragement, opened your eyes to new possibilities and that you've discovered new music, art and ideas in the process. My favourite question to ask is, "how does Africa inspire you?" It was a difficult decision but here are 10 of my favourite responses.

Ihsani-Culture-models

"Africa is who I am and it's Africa that raised me – the rest of the world just barely touched me. So everything that flows out of me is Africa – whether its basic components look or do not look overtly or stereotypically African." 

— The Design Director of Ihsani Culture, Kenya-based

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Interview with AfriPOP! editor and music marketeer Phiona Okumu

Phiona-Okumu

Phiona Okumu is one of those women whose energy is envious. She is constantly travelling, curating an eclectic collection of pop culture goodness and is a self-professed "quiet storm lover" and "digital hustler." If you ever need to know what's hot and happening, wherever you are, Phiona is your go-to girl. I managed to track this true Afropolitan down, to find out what drives her.

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Week in review, experiments with the work week & the image of the black in Western art

Week-in-review

I hope you've all had a fantastic first week of the year!

I always feel like what I make of the first week sets a precedent for the rest of the year. Although I went "back to work" this week, I spent most it reflecting (yes, some more – see our Asilia year in review), planning, writing proposals, preparing contracts and meeting with current and potential collaborators. Generally getting organized and handling business so that I can free up space and time to get down to the good stuff – to actually designing.

One thing that I'm experimenting with, in an effort to create larger chunks of uninterrupted time in which to create, is working on Sundays instead of Fridays. Because other people don't generally work on Sundays, I'm not going to feel like I should be available and ready to respond to emails and calls. With that psychological barrier out of the way, I'll be free to get in my flow, without anticipating any intrusions. Plus, Friday is a great day to have off – the early start to the weekend makes it seem like a long one.

So far, so good.

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On the lookout
I came across this series of books this week, via Essence magazine:

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Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume I: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire

Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume II: From the Early Christian Era to the ""Age of Discovery"", Part 1: From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood and
Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume II: From the Early Christian Era to the ""Age of Discovery"", Part 2: Africans in the Christian Ordinance of the World

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on these. It will be interesting to see the different contexts and different ways in which black people have been represented in art over the centuries. And, I am intrigued as to whether the examples include art created by blacks themselves.

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Afri-love on YouTube
I also set up an Afri-love YouTube channel this week. At the moment, I'm slowly adding videos from the wider YouTube community that I like and think are relevant. Categories so far include art, hair, literature and music. Later in the year, look out for videos created especially for Afri-love – especially for you! Subscribe to the channel to stay up to date.

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Last week on the blog
Here is a quick (and brief) recap, in case you missed anything:

Zaki_photos-by-Che-Kothari

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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: Zaki Ibrahim

TGIF! Interview with music maker Zaki Ibrahim

Zaki_illustration by Parishil

I'm so delighted to bring you this interview with the beautiful Zaki Ibrahim. You may have heard the South African music maker and storyteller on the soundtrack for the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange's great choreopoem, For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Well, there's much more in store for us and here, Zaki shares the passion behind the music.

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