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.
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.
"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."
Africa Unsigned is a platform that allows African musicians to record music funded by fans. Next Monday, the UK arm of Africa Unsigned launches and which means that UK based African artists can now be considered for "crowd funding" by their fans.
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.
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.
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As a student, it was difficult to learn about African graphic designers, let alone ones concerned with channelling the power of design for good. I remember the excitement I experienced when I finally discovered Chaz Maviyane-Davies.
Here was somebody creating striking, clever and provocative work. Challenging several perceptions at the same time:
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.