In “Baobab Flowers,” African diaspora women challenge Education Inequality

June 2, 2016 § 1 Comment

BF Still

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 »

Skype Interview with Carolina Moraes-Liu, Director of Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê

April 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you’ve ever visited Brazil, chances are you haven’t been to Salvador da Bahia, especially if you’re a tourist. It is the largest black city outside of Africa, yet until recently standards of beauty have been decidedly European. Carolina Moraes-Liu, a Bahia native, noticed an attitudinal change amongst black women when she returned home after several years, and – being the true documentary filmmaker that she is – decided to investigate further. The result is Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê, an ode to the beauty of black women, and a lively and realistic study of black identity and social change. The documentary follows three women competing to be Carnival Queen of the Ilê Aiyê, the Afro-Brazilian group that has been behind this positive shift in black consciousness and black female self-esteem. Featuring colorful African-style costumes and  Afro-Brazilian song and dance, « Read the rest of this entry »

New Video: Africa Underground at the National Museum of African Art

March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Zezeh Brazil Samba Troupe

The event was billed as Africa Underground; held on February 18, 2011 it sold out so quickly, to the point where it was rumored that scalpers tried to make a quick buck with their tickets on Craigslist. The organizers knew they had a successful show on their hands, and the video and photos are the proof!. The Afro-Brazilian theme was brought to life with drinks, dancing, partying, and art, featuring Zezeh Brazil Samba, Afrobeat music spun by DJs Adrian Loving and Munch, Brazilian cocktails, and mixed media art from Brazil’s Henrique Oliveira « 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 »

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