Listen... I had the pleasure of attending the Afrofuturism Conference at The New School this past weekend. They had an excellent line up of panels and workshops on topics around the theme of designing new narratives for the African Diaspora. Closing out the conference was an amazing performance by Jojo Abot, a Ghanaian singer and stylist/creative director at Gold Coast Art House. Her new EP Fyfya Woto will be released May 13th. Be sure to check her out and bookmark Afrofuturism for next year's conference!
Read... Discover new authors and books at the Pen World Voices Festival. "This year's program, co-curated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, takes you beyond the news by providing a rare chance to hear voices and perspectives from contemporary Africa and its diaspora." "This year's Festival includes writers, artists, academics, and activists from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya, Congo-Brazzaville, South Africa, Cameroon, and more. These writers' work offers an entry point to discuss timely subjects, such as gender issues in Africa, and the role of the African diaspora, as well as important cultural phenomena including the publishing landscape and variations in important literary genres in different countries."
Watch... With Cinco de Mayo passing earlier this week, it's important not to forget the often "invisible" Afro-Mexican community. Check out this student-directed documentary, "Asi Somos: Afro Identities in the Coast," in which Afro-Mexicans from La Costa Chica talk about identity, discrimination and their experiences as part of the African Diaspora. The short film was directed by Andy Amaya, an anthropology student and filmmaker.
See... the Ori exhibit at Gallery 151 in New York. Toronto-based Nigerian artist and designer Oluseye "combines an interest in Yoruba culture and geometry as a reference to explore universal themes of sexuality, spirituality and identity." The show closes May 12th so get there fast. There will be an artist talk and closing reception this Sunday, May 10th.
Attend... The African Film Festival (AFF) "is dedicated to advancing an enhanced understanding of African culture through the moving image. It offers diverse platforms for the wide distribution of African media through its flagship annual film festival and complementary year-round programming. AFF is committed to increasing visibility and recognition for African media artists by introducing African film and culture to a broad range of audiences in the United States and abroad, bypassing economic, class and racial barriers." Check out the website for information on films, tickets and venues. The festival lasts through May so you still have time to see some great films.