February 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
At Gallery 102 on the campus of George Washington University last week a timely new exhibition opened to the public, kicking off with riveting performances by three artists from diverse backgrounds addressing the fluidity, ambivalence and anxiety that can come from a hybrid cultural identity. Entitled “Hyphen American,” it features several multidisciplinary and performance artists whose works challenge the dominant perception of immigrant communities and people from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Fittingly, the idea behind Hyphen American came from two first generation Americans whose similar experiences with their own families and community were the force behind their collaboration. Tsedaye Makonnen, an Ethiopian-American multidisciplinary and performance artist and Alexandra “Rex” Delafkaran, an Iranian-American sculptor, performance artist and curator approached the project from the viewpoint of language and the way it can lay « Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
“I think any black woman is a queen. It’s just, do you know it…Based on who we are and what we’ve been through and how we survive and where we stand, we are on kind of sacred ground. We stand on the backs of our ancestors.” – Ava DuVernay, Film Director
In keeping with Afrofusion TV’s mission to celebrate African diaspora people, highlight their creativity, achievements and accomplishments, we have started a new series featuring African Diaspora Women. Ms. DuVernay’s quote encapsulates the idea behind this series, which will focus on women who are making an impact in their area of professional activity – socially and culturally – and continuing the legacy of greatness that was left by those who have passed on. In the ongoing chronicle of the progress that African descendants have made in the diaspora, unfortunately, black women have not always gotten their due. And so we aren’t waiting, we’re celebrating.
We’re kicking it off with a feature on actor, producer, author, and raw girl vegan Esosa E. We first talked to this Nigerian-American renaissance woman back in 2014 about her role as Ngozi in the hit web series An African City; this year Esosa has been performing her one-woman play “The Woman Who Would Be King” at major DC venues after a successful showing in South Africa last year. Special thanks go the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for allowing us to use some of their footage for this piece, and thanks a heap to Esosa for her time and for agreeing to do this feature. Check out a short promo video of our interview and watch the full feature on our website and our YouTube Channel. We’ll say no more; just be sure to follow Esosa on Instagram, Twitter, and like her page on Facebook.Watch this space for more features on dynamic African Diaspora women. Bless…
July 15, 2017 § 3 Comments
It was a powerful tribute to Diaspora women at the 5th edition of the AfroLatino Festival NYC, and it couldn’t have been done at a more important time, as they have essentially been the backbone – as well as at the forefront – of the struggle for basic human rights and justice. At a time when the very existence of AfroLatinos and other Afrodescendientes is still questioned, spaces and events like this two-day festival are vital to the survival and evolution of Diaspora and Afrolatino communities. The festivities started at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, with a AfroLatin Talks symposium and a Liberación Film Festival. Afro-Peruvian singer/songwriter Susanna Baca received « Read the rest of this entry »
June 26, 2017 § Leave a comment
A couple of years ago when Prince made that statement at the Grammys, “Like books and Black Lives, albums still matter,” he might as well have been making reference to reggae star Protoje, whose 2015 album Ancient Future is definitely one of the best reggae albums from Jamaica in quite some time. In a world of mixtapes and leaked tracks, Protoje has led a new wave of reggae artists who are creating some really innovative and inspirational music, with Protoje and his Indiggnation Collective, already putting out three and half albums since 2011. In what is really a growing but tight community of creative artists, the movement dubbed reggae revival by author and activist Dutty Bookman has led to some stellar collaborations between musicians like Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah 9, Chronixx, and others. One of the most popular – “Who Knows,” by Protoje featuring Chronixx appears on Ancient Future; the song has become a staple at « Read the rest of this entry »
February 17, 2017 § 1 Comment
She “broke the internet” with an Instagram photo of her African print prom dress in 2015; now 19 year-old Kyemah McEntyre is the featured designer at Harlem Fashion Week’s runway show in her debut collection at New York Fashion Week. Afrofusion TV was there as Harlem Fashion Week Founders Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell put together a radical, magical show that featured emerging and established designers, with part of the proceeds going to the rebuilding of the Slave Museum at Senegal’s Goree Island. Check out the video we put together, with interviews from Kyemah McEntyre, Yvonne Jewnell, Tandra Birkett, and celebrity stylists Brandon Hood and Jonathan Boderick. Tandra and Yvonne are also organizing a symposium on “The Business of Fashion” next month, March 25th in Harlem, to help educate new and established designers on ways to build their business. Be sure to check it out! You can also watch our highlight video on our Facebook page.
October 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
Afrofusion TV caught up with New York-based Jamaican filmmaker Karen Marks Mafundikwa after her film The Price of Memory screened at the African Diaspora International Film Festival in Washington, DC. in August. The documentary is the first to deal with the issue of reparations in Jamaica, and it had already screened at the Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival and other festivals around North America. We wanted to talk to Ms Mafundikwa about what led her to pursue this topic on film, an issue regarded by many in the west as sensitive and controversial. You can find the full interview on our website; here is a condensed version that you can also watch on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The Price of Memory will be screened at Boston University Art Galleries, next Tues. Oct 4. The filmmaker will be in attendance. Let us know in the comments what you think once you watch the interview: what are your feelings about African descendants receiving reparatory justice? Bless…
September 5, 2016 § Leave a comment
You can’t call Jimi King a “fashion designer,” even though he is quite a successful one. You can’t really call him an “African artist” either, even though he is an artist, and most definitely a proud African. Like many individual artists in the art and fashion world, Nigerian artist Jimi King is uncomfortable with labels. “I don’t like to be boxed in,” he revealed in an interview with Afrofusion TV on a recent visit to the Washington, DC area during his 2016 summer tour. Given the length and breadth of his experience, it’s understandable. In addition to fashion (wearable art, as he calls it) King does painting, sculpture and music (drumming). He has been a regular in Paris at the UNESCO Africa Week and Bazaar for the past five years, and participated in Africa Fashion Week London during the « Read the rest of this entry »
June 2, 2016 § 1 Comment
In the ever changing world of filmmaking, from the technologies used in its creation to the way we view the end product, a few things remain constant. For artists of color the world over, especially those of African descent, one of these is the importance of telling our own stories. Brazilian filmmaker Gabriela Watson obviously takes this very seriously; in her new documentary film Baobab Flowers, she tackles the problem of education inequality from an African Diaspora perspective by following two women high school teachers in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Philadelphia, USA. It is a film that seeks to show the endemic problem of low quality education in underserved black communities worldwide by focusing on two unrelated women who are nonetheless similar in their approach to teaching and to their relationships with their students, and also in their struggle to overcome such abject inequality. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 26, 2016 § 4 Comments
When Uche Ibezue of Omak Designs started African Arts and Fashion Week DC, her idea was not simply to bring attention to the nation’s capital as a fashion force. Grabbing the attention of the fashion market, both national and global, was an abiding aspiration. Last week, the third annual AAFWDC featured a panel discussion and fashion showcase, and many of the burning issues regarding African fashion were raised.
A few years ago it was nice to see a number of celebrities wearing African print designs to red carpet events worldwide. Famous names like Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Solange Knowles and her sister Beyonce, Angela Simmons, and even Gwen Stefani were all spotted in gowns and complete sets that were made from African prints like Ankara and Kente. The popularity of those designs has since trickled down to the young ones, the rebellious youth that are always finding innovative ways of expressing themselves. In that vein, a young lady “broke the internet” when she created a stunningly beautiful African print gown, posted it on Instagram, and « Read the rest of this entry »