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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This work explores the relationship between tension and resolution and
is in three - components.

Seven women of color in movement (jumping rope)

One hair braider will connect them in a circle, each movement is a
hypothetical dramaturgy of Robert Wagner’s opera - Tristan x Isolde.

The performers will remove hair and place it on soil in the galerie space.

This work will move through the music of Tristan x Isolde.

Working Period - Paris
April 2014 TBA
4 hours

Performance - Paris
May 27, 2014
25 minutes in three parts

*FRASQ festival and exhibition in Paris runs from May 27-31 2014.
Since 2009, Lé Génératuer intrduces every year during four weeks
FRASQ, a meeting of performance work.  This is a dynamic network
uniting artists, plasticiens, dancers, actors, poets, historians, and
critics of art for performances, installations and experimental
exchange.


http://legenerateur.com/frasq/

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

Born and raised in France with a French mother and Malian father in a household that was more culturally French than anything else, blogger Fan Sissoko attempts to answer the one question that has been plaguing her her entire life: “Am I African?”

On the subject of cultural identity, I remember my childhood as being the most fruitful time for internal questioning. I looked at my mum, and I looked at my dad, and I wondered why they both looked so different to me. I guess I wasn’t the only one wondering. When I was about 6, a random woman in the streets walked towards my mum and asked about me and my brother, who were holding her hands: “Did you adopt them? They are so cute!”

Despite that, I don’t think I ever wondered if I was adopted. I accepted the fact that light beige + dark brown = a slightly darker shade of beige, or a slightly lighter shade of  brown, depending on the season. My internal  questioning was more about culture than ethnicity. I looked at other children at school and felt a bit jealous of how they managed to be so assertive about their own cultural identity. I grew up in a very diverse area of Paris, and every child I knew seemed to have a ‘bled’ to go to over the Summer holidays, be it Burgundy or Algeria, Portugal or Senegal. I had Montreuil, and the closest I’ve ever been to Mali were the Malian foyers (workers’ accommodation) where my dad first lived when he immigrated to France, and where he sometimes used to go to feed himself maafe when he had enough of my mum’s boeuf bourguignon.

By the time I was a teenager, I had learned to deal with annoying questions with either humour or icy cold silences and was no longer perplexed when people addressed me in Creole in the streets. I suppose I was dealing with a much grander type of identity conflict, wondering what I could do with the rest of my life, and discovering what it meant to be a woman, and all that jazz.

When I moved to Ireland, in my early twenties, the question disappeared altogether. I was just Fan. People knew I was vaguely French, but that was the extent of their curiosity. Or perhaps they were just to polite to ask (set aside the farmer who asked me if I knew what a tractor was, and if I had any  in my country – he quickly backed away when I told him with a contemptuous stare that my country was France). Either way, the whole “being 20 in Dublin and making up my own identity as I go along” experience was very liberating.

Then I moved to London. I have lived in London for nearly four years, and have come up with two definitions to sum this city. The first one is a big hungry monster that swallows people forever. And the second is an identitary minefield. If you are not sure what I mean by identitary minefield, take a colonial past, mix it with a class structure that hasn’t quite been questioned yet, add to this a status of immigration metropolis, and finally layer with a sheet of truly exciting multiculturalism and you get what I call an ‘identitary minefield’ where every assumption you make about where someone else comes from and what they stand for is bound to be wrongly assumed, in the best case, or outrageously offensive in the worst case. Not only I moved to London, but I chose Brixton, out of all places. So add to the mix described above a backdrop of gentrification (which, of course, as a young creative professional, who has recently moved into the area, is not an issue I can ignore), and you rightly wonder how  I can be at peace with who I am, where I come from, and most importantly what I represent.

For a long time, I ignored the question. Of course, I sometimes had bouts of confusion that turned into guilt, or the opposite. But a recent event made it clear to me that I need to be stronger and more assertive with my self-defined identity, no matter how complex it is. 

So the event. Some time ago, in the office, someone made a comment about the fact that we were becoming more and more diverse as an organisation (it was not meant as a joke, but it could have been – I have never worked in a more homogenous organisation). This person remarked: “We almost have every continent represented! Well, apart from Africa and South America.” I interjected: “Hey, I’m African! My dad is from Mali!” To which she replied: “Well, that doesn’t really count.”

I was hurt. Why would it not count? I was born and grew up in France, and culturally, I define myself as European, yes. But my father is from Mali, and although he didn’t raise us ‘à la malienne’, 50% of me is and will always be Malian. Sometimes, claiming I am Malian feels like an imposture, because I did not grow up there. But dismissing my Malian self is much worst. It would be outrageous if I did it to myself, so having it done to me by someone who knows close to nothing about me feels like murder.

I drew the series of flags above when I was 24 and still living in Ireland, to remind myself and others that the “Where are you from?” question is never innocent, and the answer is always more complex than one expects. I am, and will always be confused about my cultural identity, and that is fine. I see it as a comforting symptom of the fact that I am an evolving being, and that I am lucky enough to be able to define my own identity, not only based on where I was born and where my parents are from, but also on the places I lived in and learned to love, and on the people that inspire me.

What I will not allow is someone else to be confused about my identity and to make assumptions about who I am, and where I should fit in their view of the world.

Cathedrale Notre Dame du Plateau, Abidjan, Cote-d’Ivoire

http://yourdelicatesse.tumblr.com/

P.S: Photo by Esprit Photographie

awkwardsituationist:

HERE WE ARE, WE ARE GAY, WE ARE UGANDAN" by tadej žnidarčič

on february 24, 2014, a new anti homosexuality law in uganda took effect, imposing life imprisonment for engaging in homosexual relationships (the death penalty was initially proposed, but was ultimately withdrawn). the bill also makes it a crime for anyone - parent, friend, priest, doctor - not to report homosexual activity to the authorities.

newspapers already out people they suspect, and this is believed to have led to the 2011 murder of david kato, a prominent ugandan gay rights campaigner. that newspaper article included a list of 100 people and their addresses, with the headline “hang them.” in uganda, publicly identifying as gay or being identified as such can result in the loss of a job, arrest, harassment, blackmail, beatings and death.

in 2010, tadej žnidarčič began a series of portraits and interviews with ugandan lgbti activists with the aim of giving voice, if not face, to the members of the community (you can read their individual stories here). due to the precarious situation, they did not want to be identified and were photographed from behind.

but when žnidarčič, a physicist turned photojournalist who has been living in uganda for four years, revisited them in 2013, they had become more empowered, assertive and confident, and were now willing to face the world. to emphasize their transformation, he paired the images together. as one of the photographed said, “here we are. we are gay. we are uganadan.”

Fashion Editorial: “Black Ice”
Photography: Ada Emihe of Avaloni Studios
Make Up: Dele Alakija
Model: Karen Bengo

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All Africa, All the time.

Photography: “Walls" by Aaron Yeboah Jr.

"Walls is a visual exploration of the beauty of individuals and colors."

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All Africa, All the time.

Cancers that attach to beautiful flowers by Zoe Gadegbeku.

Her lithe beauty was both incongruous but yet strangely at home as she picked her way through the crowded marketplace, expertly and delicately sidestepping rotten pieces of fruit squashed into the dirt. The well-to-do housewives visiting the market left their air-conditioned cocoons for brief periods of time in search of items they couldn’t find on supermarket shelves lined with imported goods. Their wealth seemed to ooze crudely from their overly moisturized pores as they lifted their spotless kaftans quickly and roughly out of the reach of the grasping hands of children begging for coins and the eager grips of market-women desperate to make a sale. She, on the other hand, elegantly extricated herself and flashed her flawless smile in apology. It was almost as if she knew that others couldn’t resist her, even though regrettably there wasn’t enough of her charm to go around. She paused every so often as she wound her way through the market, taking a deep whiff of Asana’s spices and agreeing with Aunty Vida on how ripe and juicy her tomatoes were this season.

She lugged her basket bursting with produce back to the waiting 4×4, and unless you were watching excruciatingly close, you would probably have missed the slightly uneven edge to her gait, and the exhausted puff of air she expelled as she heaved her wares finally into the boot of her car. She sat back against the cool leather and inhaled the new car smell that still clung to the car’s interior. She had come home from her final (and probably most stressful) semester at Stanford to find the sleek Mercedes resting in the driveway like a blinding white birthday cake awaiting the cutting. It was more so a lure, a bribe to stay at home and continue pursuing her medical career rather than returning to the States which she had grown to call home over the past couple of years. She declined to drive it at first, what would she look like, a “small girl” cruising the streets in a “big man’s” car?

(continue reading

About the writer: “She Who Writes Reality” is a collection of thoughts, rants, love letters, lyrics, insults and insights spilling from the fingertips of a Ghanaian girl, Zoe, who thinks she can write.

[image by Ablade Glover]

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT PROGRESS FOR GIRLS AT THE AU SUMMIT

by Ritha Bumwe, Sarah Duhimbaze, Pascaline Niyigena, and Sandra Anitha Mutoni via girleffect.org

More than 50 girls met with leaders at the African Union (AU) Summit last week to talk about the importance of investing in girls to power economic development.

Girl journalists Ritha Bumwe and Sarah Duhimbaze, plus Girl Hub Rwanda Girl Trustees Pascaline Niyigena and Sandra Anitha Mutoni, joined the delegation put together by World YWCA. The girls spent the week gathering information and speaking with African leaders. Here’s what they discovered about the state of play for girls in Africa right now.

AFRICAN LEADERS ARE LISTENING TO GIRLS

On day one of the summit we attended a high-level breakfast with more than 50 heads of African states and heard about their determination to make sure girls’ needs are at the forefront of their plans for the future.

"When we talk about any adverse situations in Africa, women are directly affected," said former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. "They are affected as Africans and they are affected as women because in almost all our countries there is either cultural, traditional or religious inequality. Collectively we have to remove these layers of oppression. One key element of focus for our foundation is girl child education."

Oda Gasinzigwa, the minister of gender for Rwanda, added: “The country (Rwanda) has taken tremendous pride in delivering a better future for our girls and the younger generation at large. We have noted with keen interest the voices and the different issues raised by our girls on their rights and opportunities.”

Read More

submitted by http://girlhubrwanda.tumblr.com/

I’m an American working in Cape Town on my own photography project on women’s rights. I’m investigating the multi-faceted lesbian identity of Cape Town as a whole. I would like to show how society reacts positively and negatively to this identity–negatively, being rape and discrimination, and positively, ranging from the welcoming artists’ community to just normal everyday acceptance. Most importantly, I would like to highlight the wonderful women of this city who openly embrace their sexuality.
 
I am interested in finding gay women situated in the Cape Town area who would be willing to sit down for a chat. I’m especially interested in woman who are active in the LGBTI community, or those whose work may reflect their sexuality (possibly artists, writers, photographers etc) –– but any and all may respond!
 
You can learn more about myself and my project on my website: 
 
 
Feel free to contact me via email: monet.izabeth at gmail.com
submitted by Monet Eliastam

PETALES POUR UNE FILLE NOIR.

(2manysiblings.tumblr.com)

image

YAAPD cordially invites you to the third annual Sankofa54: African Youth Empowerment Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is Pan-Africanism in the 21st Century. 

This year’s conference will explore strategies for us to overcome the dilemmas of divisions and how we as individuals, as communities and as nations can work together to forge partnerships that foster success across the continent and promote peace. We will look at how the social landscape of the nation-state is shifting through changes in population and infrastructure; at the ways in which Africa can invest in Africa; at the ways in which we forge connections across boundaries; at how our leadership influences the trajectory of growth and at how our health challenges require a global, holistic outlook to provide solutions. We will move beyond dissension and conflict in order to renew our commitment to peace, to development and, most importantly, to unity. 

This year’s conference will feature distinguished speakers including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Leymah Gbowee. 

The conference will feature five discussion panels concerning infrastructure, economic development, telecommunications,governance, and global health as well as a series of breakout sessions regarding regional integration, African art and literature, education and LGBTQ rights. Attendees will also have the chance to connect with important African businesses and NGOs at our networking fair, African Connections to African Opportunities.

Early Registration: $50 
Late Registration: $60

Register now!  - http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sankofa54-african-youth-empowerment-conference-2014-tickets-8140304871?aff=eorg

SMELL THE ROSES.

(Sarah Marie, 2013)

2manysiblings.tumblr.com, Kenya.

CHAI PETALS

(Sarah Marie, 2013).

2manysiblings.tumblr.com, Kenya.

Have you heard about this racist Police Officer Jenny Pohl’s racist comments on black athletes? About how all black athletes are “dumb black thugs”. She still has her job and we’re having trouble getting this story to go viral. We’d appreciate it if you could reblog the screenshot of her FB comment on our blog, it’s the first post. Bossip and Black Sports Online have covered it but it still hasnt brought the story national exposure. Please publish this ask too. We can use all the help we can get.