Africa’s New Carnival: Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria

February 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Seychellois singer Grace Barbé will perform (photo from Seychelles Tourism Board)

In 1972 the first ever “Festival of the Seychelles” was held, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the first settlement of the islands in 1770. Now after an almost 40-year hiatus, Seychelles, the “Land of Perpetual Summer” opens its beautiful beaches to the Carnaval Internacional de Victoria (International Carnival in Victoria) to be held in the capital Victoria from March 4th to the 7th. In a celebration of its multi-ethnic roots, the Carnival has taken the theme “The Melting Pot of Cultures,” as it is populated mainly by people with African, Asian and European ancestry. The three-day celebration will feature participants from all over the globe, and has invited representatives from the world’s most famous carnivals. Already confirmed are folks from the UK’s Notting Hill Carnival and « Read the rest of this entry »

Namibian Feature Film Selected for FESPACO and LA’s Panafrican Film Festival

February 19, 2011 § 5 Comments

Joel Haikali, Director of "My Father's Son"

Joel Haikali, Namibian actor and director, already scored a first for his nation when his film My Father’s Son became the first Namibian film to get a distribution deal. Joel was last seen onscreen with Danny Glover and Carl Lumbly in Charles Burnett‘s epic film Namibia, in which he played the young Sam Nujoma. Now he’s on the brink of his own success as a director, with his feature one of many new African films in competition at the Pan African Film Festival – or FESPACO – that kicks off in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso February 26, and runs until March 5. My Father’s Son was also an official selection of the 2011 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, one of the biggest film festivals in the world. FESPACO is Africa’s largest film festival, and occurs every two years. It tells the story of two brothers, one living in a village and another living the city life in the capital Windhoek, who returns with his “colored” wife after 21 years to “rescue” his « Read the rest of this entry »

Afro-Brazilian Theme at Africa Underground (After Hours at African Art)

February 17, 2011 § 5 Comments

It has an almost subversive sound to it; the idea that a prestigious national museum would open its doors after dark to drinking, dancing and partying! I mean, the museum’s director is the distinguished former Spellman College President, Dr. Johnnetta Cole!! But it’s all good, and that’s what’s going to happen Friday 18th February at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, in the first of its Africa Underground series that it bills as “After Hours at African Art.” It’s a major African Diaspora event that will feature a Brazilian theme; as Dr. Cole put it in the museum’s blog, “it’s an exciting way to celebrate the ties between Africa and the African Diaspora, and for our museum to continue a vigorous conversation with communities in the Diaspora.” To that end, the organizers have brought in Zezeh Brazil Samba Troupe to have you practice your samba steps; there’ll be African wine and beer, Brazilian cocktails, « Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Nikyatu Jusu’s Black Swan Theory Online Now!

February 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Still from the short film Black Swan Theory

Nikyatu Jusu’s short film Black Swan Theory is streaming online on the Shadow And Act website! Jusu won the Shadow and Act Filmmaker Challenge with her screenplay, and received $3,000 to make the film. The result can now be seen here. It’s only 12 minutes long, but it won’t be available after midnight on Friday (18th Feb) so if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out now before they remove it! Nikyatu Jusu is an award-winning filmmaker who’s about to complete her MFA at New York University, film school. Her short film Say Grace Before Drowning was acquired by HBO, and I believe it debuted this month on the cable network. Afrofusion Lounge has been keeping an eye on this young filmmaker; we did a Skype interview with Nikyatu a few months ago, where she talked about her background, her approach to filmmaking and her experiences in the industry. We’ll continue to look out and support her, and you should too! Bless…

Reggae Britannia – BBC4 Doc Celebrates Reggae’s Influence on British Music and Culture | i-reggae

February 15, 2011 § 3 Comments

It’s quite simply the story of black music in the 20th century, isn’t it? A music style is created and developed. It is ridiculed, ignored and rejected by the industry’s white establishment. It grows in popularity. It is embraced by rebellious white youth. It is co-opted by white musicians. Booyah! It’s suddenly “great sounding music, let’s play some records, shall we?” If you watch the new BBC4 documentary Reggae Britannia, you’ll find that that’s essentially what happened in the UK with the music from Jamaica called reggae. “We completely plundered reggae, without remorse,” admits Stewart Copeland of British rock band The Police, who came to prominence in the mid-70s. But in the 1960s, reggae artists and performers had the darndest time getting any pay for their records, and definitely no play on the radio. “A lot of the deejays had a snobbery towards Jamaican music, and sometimes it bordered on racialism,” says author Steve « Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria’s “Outside the Law” is Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film

February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Roschdy Zem and Sami Bouajila as brothers in the Algerian film "Outside the Law"

Movie poster for "Outside the Law"

The protests that greeted Rachid Bouchareb’s film Outside the Law at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in France were certainly not on the size or scale of those that have now run Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak out of his country. This film deals with a different revolution: the fight for Algeria’s independence from France. But as far as revolutions go, whether violent or non-violent, you can be sure that any protagonist explaining the struggle would point to “a cause higher than ourselves.” And that’s just what Abdelkadder (actor Sami Bouajila), a radical intellectual, does in one of the film’s scenes. He, his two brothers, and their mother have been viciously uprooted from their homeland by the French, and find their once divergent lives « Read the rest of this entry »

1st year Anniversary Celebration of AFROCUBA!

February 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ariel Fernández, alias DJ Asho

For Ariel Fernández Díaz, the promulgation of the Afro-Cuban aesthetic is not simply a glamorous enterprise. “It’s naive to me to analyze the present without reviewing the past,” he says in a recent interview. In throwing his monthly parties at Sutra Lounge in Washington, DC his goal is to celebrate the culture of Afro-Cubans “through music, documentary films, and personal interactions.” On Thursday February 10 DJ Asho, as Ariel is known, will host a special edition of AFROCUBA! to celebrate its 1st year anniversary in DC. It’s an integral part of his effort to make sure that the contributions of people of color and the oppressed in the history and culture of Cuba do not get dismissed or ignored. As such, Thursday’s edition « Read the rest of this entry »

Bob Marley Birthday Celebration and Super Bowl Party: Trench Town Rock!

February 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

There are two things that are special about Sunday February 6 this year. One, it’s Super Bowl Sunday (in the US). Two, it’s Bob Marley’s Birthday! So, with all the usual parties, gatherings and “socials” that happen on that day, how about joining in on “Trench Town Rock,” an all-day Bob Marley Birthday Celebration and Super Bowl watch party at Ras Lounge in Northwest Washington, DC? Dera Tompkins of I & I Productions first started celebrating Bob Marley’s Birthday in DC in 1982, when she broadcast a two hour-long radio special on WPFW 89.3 FM. In 1983 she organized the first party in celebration of his birthday, and has been « Read the rest of this entry »

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