DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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GLOBAL EVENTS LISTINGS - ART & FILM: July 18th, 2014.

FRANCE: Maroc, couleur désert (Morocco, desert colour).

Consisting of over 100 rugs, blankets and cushions woven by the Aït Khebbach - a semi-nomadic Amazigh (Berber) people living along the border with Algeria, the exhibition highlights the cultural and personal significance of these woven pieces, through multimedia arts such as film, photography and music, and the women who create them.

Each life-size photograph taken by Serge Anton reveals not only the artistic tapestry of each textile, but places the woman responsible for its creation in front of her work as a way to give credit where credit is due.

Musée Bargoin, Clermont-Ferrand.
30 April - 25 August 2014.

FRANCE: Yinka Shonibare - “Egg Fight”.

Fondation Blachère is presenting a solo exhibition and new light installation by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA. The exhibition takes its cue from Shonibare’s installation Egg Fight (2009) recently acquired by Fondation Blachère.

Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, the piece is a satirical staging of the divisions between Protestants and Catholics through the argument over which end of a boiled egg should be broken, the large or small end. This work reflects Shonibare’s interest in addressing conflicting ideologies observed in culture, politics and society.

Fondation Blachère, Apt, France.
23rd May - 20th Sept. 2014.

ENGLAND: Yinka Shonibare at Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2014.

See some of Shonibare’s work at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of their “Summer Exhibition”.

Royal Academy of Arts, London.
9 June - 17 August.

SOUTH AFRICA: “21 Icons” photography exhibit opening June 16th at MOAD.

Mercedes-Benz presents ‘21 Icons – Portrait of a Nation’ opening at the Museum of African Design in the Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, on Youth Day, 16 June. The exhibition runs to 17 August and features the work of award-winning photographer Adrian Steirn who, for several years, has photographed some of South Africa’s most inspiring icons.

MOAD, Johannesburg.
16 June – 17 August.

USA: “Tête de Femme” by Mickalene Thomas.

Tête de Femme, a new body of work by artist Mickalene Thomas, explores the intricacies of female beauty through painting and collage, focusing on how artifice serves both to mask and reveal the individual essence of her subjects.

Lehmann Maupin, New York.
June 26 – August 8, 2014.

GERMANY: “Giving Contours to Shadows”.

The art and research project Giving Contours to Shadows takes its cue from the Glissantian concept that history, a “functional fantasy of the West“, cannot be left in the hands of historians only. In that sense, the project looks at ways, by which artists, curators and thinkers relate to their epoch, to times past and to the drawing of prospective trajectories, thus weaving alternatives to established narratives – from embodiment practices to possibilities of pre-writing of History.

Unfolding into a group exhibition at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and SAVVY Contemporary and a performance program at Maxim Gorki Theatre and Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, a roundtable program as well as a series of satellite projects in Marrakech, Nairobi, Dakar, Lagos and Johannesburg, Giving Contours to Shadows reflects on philosophical, socio-cultural and historical aspects of global interest.

Look out for:

September 2014 Kër Thiossane, Dakar
October 2014 Video Art Network / CCA, Lagos
November 2014 Parking Gallery / VANSA, Johannesburg

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin.
May 24 – July 27, 2014.

USA: Trenton Doyle Hancock: “Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing”.

A new and exciting exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston features work from American artist Trenton Doyle Hancock amassed over a period of two decades, from 1984 to 2014, chronicling the foundation of the artist’s prolific career. Beginning with his childhood, the exhibition provides a unique glimpse into the evolution of Hancock’s idiosyncratic vision.

'Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing is the first in-depth examination of Hancock’s extensive body of drawings, collages, and works on paper. The exhibition features more than two hundred works of art as well as a collection of the artist’s notebooks, sketchbooks, and studies, many showing the preparation for several public commissions.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas.
April 27 – August 3, 2014.

ENGLAND: “Return of the Rudeboy” Exhibition.

This summer, London’s Somerset House is highlighting one of Jamaica’s most influential exports on British fashion, music and style - the Rudeboy.

Birthed on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, the Rudeboy (or Rudie) came to represent the young rebels who wore distinctively sharp sartorial styles such as Mohair suits, thin ties and pork pie hats. Much of their identity was rooted in aesthetics but their style was also closely connected to the music movements of the time, notably American Jazz and R&B musicians.

Curated by prolific photographer and filmmaker for music’s most wanted Dean Chalkley and fashion-industry favourite creative director Harris Elliott, this interactive exhibition focuses on and highlights the origins of Rudeboy culture in Jamaica, as well as its presence in the United Kingdom through various subcultures, through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces.

Somerset House, London.
13 June – 25 August 2014.

USA: Free Outdoor Screening of Wattstax.

A free outdoor screening of the legendary documentary that chronicles the events and social climate surrounding the 1972 Wattstax day-long concert, hosted by BAM.

Putnam Triangle Plaza, 22 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn, NY.
22 July at 8pm.

USA: “Drawing On Things” with Shantell Martin.

Inspired and led by Shantell Martin, adult workshop participants will bring their own objects to adorn with elaborate, original drawings! BYO blank canvas (any white object — clothing, curtains, tote bags, shoes, lampshades, whatever!) and drawing supplies will be provided. Open bar.

MoCADA, Brooklyn, NY.
July 2014 at
6:30 am (I think they meant pm) - 8:30 pm.

USA: 2014 AFF SUMMER SERIES, New York.

Lots of great movies to be seen all summer long thanks to the folks a AFF. Join them at various venues in NYC parks to get your fill!

Various parks, New York City,
July 7th - September 7th, 2014.

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NEW MUSIC: Ace - Jeje.

Following up from his 2013 single Dominate, Nigerian artist Ace delivers the track of the summer with his Fela-quoting Afrobeat-inspired jam song ‘Jeje’.

Combining the old and the new, musically and visually speaking, the video for ‘Jeje’ takes us through re-imagined hip and colourful party scenes of previous decades.

Definitely the best we’ve heard from Ace.

NEW MUSIC: Phyno ft P-Square - O Set.

In a more commercially-driven track to his major track Alobam, Nigeria’s number one Igbo rapper Phyno teams up with the duo who brought us money anthems such as ‘Chop My Money’ and ‘Testimony’ and delivers a track that follows along a similar theme.

The Year Algeria Made Football & World Cup History.

It’s been 32 years since the Algerian national football team caused what some have named one of the ‘biggest upsets' in World Cup history by defeating then European champions West Germany. It's also been 32 years since Algeria was sabotaged in what The Guardian calls “one of sport’s most blatant cases of match-fixing.”

Qualifying for the first time ever, Algeria’s presence at the World Cup hosted in Spain that year was already an historic feat. The African team had been placed in a group that included Austria, Chile, and West Germany who they were scheduled to play against first.

On that June day in 1982, the North African novices faced reigning European champions West Germany. Many predicted a thrashing by the Germans who in turn didn’t shy away from making boastful statements about the game that lay ahead. One German player boldly declared before the match, “we will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs”, openly mocking their Algerian opponents. Even the then West German manager, Jupp Derwall, reportedly said that if the Algerians won, he would “jump on the first train back to Munich.” Algeria defender Chaabane Merzekane recalled that one of the West German players said that he would play the match with a cigar in his mouth.

Well, if Derwall had any sense of foresight, he would’ve booked a one-way ticket back to Munich immediately. Better yet, if Derwall had only done his homework on the Algerian team, he may have refrained from making such a statement. Negligence on Derwall’s part would later mean that West Germany would be in for a great surprise. It was only after the match that Derwall admitted that he was given a footage of the Algerian players in action, as is customary, but did not show it to his team as they would have mocked him had he done so. Why? Simply because the Germans, whether out of racism or ignorance, did not think the Algerians to be worthy opponents.

In 1982, most of Algeria’s national football team was comprised of players who had been teammates for years as Algerian law at the time prohibited players from leaving the country before the age of 28, something that stemmed from the FLN’s role in Algeria’s history of independence and its influence on the country’s football team. All of the players had been based at home, as a result of this law, making their bond of the field exceptionally strong and fluid. Several former FLN players were part of the coaching staff in 1982, including Abdelhamid Zouba and the co-manager Rachid Mekloufi, and the spirit of Algerian pride that had been established by these players who left France to play for Algeria was present in the team. 1982 was also the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. 

Algeria had successfully beaten Nigeria to be present at the 1982 World Cup and during their first ever match at this tournament, the determination and humility of the Fennec Foxes, as well as their skill, of course, would see them through to a 2-1 victory against West Germany. This victory made Algeria the first African team to defeat a European opponent at the World Cup. Their next match against Austria saw the tides turn as they lost 2-0, but against Chile, they regained their form and won that match leaving them with four points from their three games (back when it was two points for a win).

Now, their fate of progressing became dependent on West Germany failing to beat Austria the next day. But both the Germans and Austrians both knew that if Germany beat Austria 1-0, it would result in both teams progressing to the next round at Algeria’s expense. Thus, both teams conspired to achieve this result - a distasteful case of match-fixing that forever changed the world of football. After Germany’s Horst Hrubesch put his team in the lead at the 10th minute, both the Germans and Austrians basically did nothing for the next 80 minutes. No attempts at goal, just an hour and 20 minutes of kicking the ball around.

As The Guardian points out, “the game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy.”

Both the Austrian and West German teams were scorned by the public. Algerian fans in the crowd burned peseta notes to show their suspicions of corruption. Spaniards in attendance waved hankerchiefs throughout the second half in a traditional display of disdain. The following day, Spanish newspapers denounced the actions of both teams and there was outrage in West Germany and Austria too.

German commentator Eberhard Stanjek, working for German channel ARD, almost sobbed during the match and said: “What is happening here is disgraceful and has nothing to do with football. You can say what you like, but not every end justifies the means.” His fellow Austrian commentator suggested viewers turn off their TVs and he refused to speak for the last half-hour. Former West German international Willi Schulz branded the German players “gangsters”.

But these ‘gangsters’ remained unapologetic through the criticism, backlash and protesting. When German fans gathered at the team hotel to protest, the players responded by throwing water bombs at them from their balconies.

The head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, made this extraordinary racist comments about the Algerian team: “Naturally today’s game was played tactically. But if 10,000 ‘sons of the desert’ here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he’s entitled to open his gob.”

Not ones to stoop down to the level of their European opponents, the Fennec Foxes remained publicly unphased by these comments. As Merzekane recalls, “We weren’t angry, we were cool,” he says. “To see two big powers debasing themselves in order to eliminate us was a tribute to Algeria. They progressed with dishonour, we went out with our heads held high.”

All over the world, people called on FIFA to punish the Europeans or stage a replay, but in the end all that was done by them was to rule that from then onwards the last pair of games in every group would be played simultaneously. Algeria had come to the World Cup and made history in more ways than one. They had left an “indelible mark on football history.”

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Algeria Football Team Given A Heroes Welcome Upon Return From Brazil.

In contrast to the reactions shown by officials from the other African countries that competed in this year’s FIFA World Cup, the Algerian national team were given a hero-like welcome upon their return home from Brazil.

Having been one of two African countries to make it to the round of 16, the team achieved victory by being the first African team to score four goals at one match in World Cup history, and also became the first Algerian team to progress beyond the group stage at the World Cup.

Although they were defeated 2-1 by Germany, the support from their fellow Algerians remained strong even after their loss, so much so that the Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal personally greeted and thanked the players as they arrived home. The team has also decided to donate their  prize money to the people of Gaza saying that they needed it more than the team did.

Talk of money amongst the other African teams begun even before kickoff with Cameroon refusing to board their plane over wage disputes.

During the tournament, Ghana’s presence was marred by a bonus money airlifting scandal, Nigeria refused to attend practice over bonus money issues and had to be reassured by the president that they would receive money owed to them, and Cameroon is being investigated following match-fixing claims. Both Cameroon and Ghana’s Presidents have called for investigations into their teams’ performances at the World Cup. Algeria and the Ivory Coast are the only two African countries that were controversy free during this year’s World Cup.

And where Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi resigned from his duties as Nigeria’s head coach, despite winning last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (the second man as player and coach to achieve this title), and having gotten the Super Eagles to the last 16 stage of the World Cup, Algeria are keeping Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

Keshi’s resignation has not been made formal yet but there are already talks that he might become Bafana Bafana’s new coach.

Despite the controversies surrounding the West African teams, often attributed to the corrupt practices of soccer officials in their countries, this World Cup was monumental for Africa in many ways. From having two teams in the round of 16 for the first time ever, to Asamoah Gyan’s top African player scorer feat.

See footage of the Algerian team’s return parade.

STREETCHIEF Lookbook Pre-Fall 2014: “Area Boys Collection”.

Whilst many of us are familiar with Kente fabric being used in contemporary fashion, no one does it quite like STREETCHIEF. For their latest collection, the menswear fashion brand have once again found ways to incorporate Kente-inspired prints into street wear garments - from button-up shirts to white-rimmed vests.

View their Summer 2013 Lookbook.

Model: Joseph Adamu (thedapperhomme)
Photographer:
William Ukoh (willyverse)

NEW MUSIC: BLITZ the AMBASSADOR ft Emicida & Y’akoto - All Around the World/Respect Mine.

Globetrotting Ghanaian MC Blitz the Ambassador has just dropped the music video for the latest single off his recently released album Afropolitan Dreams.

In true Afropolitan style, Blitz takes this opportune time to not only visit a part of the world that is home to the largest African-descended population outside of the African continent, but a country that many eyes around the world are currently focused on due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. For his All Around the World/Respect Mine music video, featuring local Brazilian artists Emicida and Y’akoto, Blitz shows us multiple sides of Sao Paolo - from the facets of Afro-Brazilian culture many of us are familiar with, to the anti-World Cup protests we should all be familiar with.

Catch Blitz live at the Brooklyn Museum on July 5th.

Look at her ♥️. (Ngambe, Cameroon) - @voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

Le garçon marchait - @voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun365 #afrique #africa

OPPORTUNITY: She Leads Africa Entrepreneurial Grant.

She Leads Africa’s Entrepreneur Showcase is a platform that introduces the continent’s most promising female entrepreneurs to investors, accelerators, and mentors looking to invest in the next generation of African talent.We are looking for early stage startups that want to meet investors, gain access to new mentors, and grow across Africa.

Our top 10 applicants will be invited to  pitch their business ideas in front of a panel of  notable business personalities for the chance to win a cash prize of $10, 000 as well as other non-financial prizes (see details below):

Application Criteria:

 Entrepreneur:

  • Have a woman on the founding team who will present at the pitch day
  • Female founder between 18-35 years old
  • Be based in an ECOWAS country and focused on the African market (Diaspora entrepreneurs are welcome)

Company:

  • Received less than $50K USD in funding
  • Been in operation for less than 3 years
  • Have a live product in the market

Prizes:

  • Cash prize of 10,000 USD for first place, 5,000 USD for second place
  • Access to prominent venture capitalists, angel investors and other leading professionals to act as mentors and sponsors
  • Consultation on brand development with Etisalat in-house marketing team
  • Free business line for one year (including voice and data)
  • SME accounting software from SmartStart Ghana
  • 2 meetings with legal advisor from top law firm to discuss incorporation, corporate structures and copyrights
  • Meeting with 2 executive directors of a leading merchant bank to discuss business plans and fund raising
  • Interviews with major media outlets

On September 27th the finalists will pitch their businesses in front of a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and financiers who understand what it takes to build a successful business in Africa.

(more details)

Six Totally Unique Places to Visit in Africa:

The Big Pineapple
Bathurst, Eastern Cape, South Africa

If you’ve ever wondered where you can find the world’s largest artificial pineapple, your curious mind needn’t ponder anymore. Located about 55km from Grahamstown, the 16,7m-high attraction was created by members of the local agriculture community in Bathurst as a way of displaying their love for this tasty fruit as it grows in high abundance in the area.

Constructed and erected between 1990 and 1992, the Big Pineapple came into fruition on Summerhill Estate after a few of the local farmers went to the Sunshine Coast of Australia, saw their Big Pineapple, copied the idea and made an even bigger and better version.

Lake Reba/Lac Rose
Cap Vert Peninsula, Senegal

There aren’t many places in the world where you can see a pink lake. In fact, there are only two countries that host these incredible cotton candy-tinted waters. Aside from Australia’s Lake Hillier, Senegal’s Lac Rose is the only other of its kind in the world.

Less than an hour away from the capital city of Dakar, Lake Retba is separated only by some narrow dunes from the Atlantic Ocean. It gets its colour from Dunaliella salina, a type of algae that is attracted by the lake’s high salt content reaching as high as 40% in some areas. The bacteria produces a red pigment in order to absorb the sunlight which gives the lake its unique pink hue. Its saline content is comparable to that of the Dead Sea’s and exceeds it during the dry season (November to June). And yes, that means exactly what you think it does - you can float easy if you enter the lake.

Thanks to its high salt content, not many organisms can survive in the lake, which makes it useful for salt production. So if you visit the lake, you’ll also happen upon salt collectors in the area extracting this precious condiment from the bottom of the lake by hand. 

Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Rinsed in various hues of stand-out blues, this northwestern Moroccan city of ‘Chaouen’ (as it is often called by Moroccans) has become one of the most instantly recognized cities in the world, as well as a popular tourist destination. Yet, there is a rich history to the place that isn’t always as well known.

Situated in the Rif Mountains was originally founded in 1471, as a small fortress, by Moorish exiles from Spain, led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami, to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It also became one of the few areas where Moriscos and Jews sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco. With Morocco’s independence in 1956, the city was ‘returned’ and is known a part of modern-day Morocco.

The name of the area refers to the shape of the mountain tops above the town, that look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. “Chef Chaouen" derives from the Berber word for horns, Ichawen. The countryside around it has a reputation for being a prolific source of kief. The Chefchaouen region is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco. Hashish is subsequently sold all over town, but is mostly the domain of native Chaouenis.

Apparently, the town is painted blue to ward off mosquitoes.

The Rock Restaurant
Michanwi Pingwe beach, Zanzibar

It really isn’t hard to sell a place like this. What’s fancier than eating at a seafood restaurant atop a rock? I mean, you even have to take your shoes off before entering it. Whether you go for the food, location or both, it’s bound to be a memorable experience.

Avenue of the Baobabs
Menabe. Madagascar

One can only imagine that this place is as incredible as it looks. This dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar is lined and surrounded by majestic fort-like Baobab trees that are up to 800 years old and around 30 meters high. What’s more is that this particular species of baobab tree, of which there are nine in total, is endemic to Madagascar making the place all the more unique.

Meroë Pyramids
Shendi, Sudan

As much recognition, and deservedly so, that the pyramids of Giza, Egypt, receive, Sudan’s Nubian pyramids are a site to behold themselves. These architectural and archaeological feats are a testament to the greatness of the once formidable city of Meroë, the capital city of the now ancient Kingdom of Kush. From around
800 B.C. to 280 A.D., the Kingdom of Kush flourished and, influenced by Ancient Egypt, erected these pyramids as a way of burying their elite.

Although in various states of ruin, there are over 200 pyramids that are a combination of royal and non-royal tombs. It is a wonderfully complex site situated in North-East Sudan along the banks of the Nile River.

My little muse. Cc @Voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

Summer’s in full swing with South Sudanese model Aluad Anei in her latest editorial for S Style magazine’s June 2014 issue, photographed by Rayan Ayahs and styled by Nadia Pizzimenti.

Still on the road Between Douala & Buea in Cameroon. @voodart #Visiterlafrique #Douala #cameroun #cameroon #africa

Between Douala and Buea Cc @Voodart #Cameroon #Cameroun #Visiterlafrique #Africa