31 May 2012

Film | Kinshasa Symphony

The award-winning film documents the journey of the people in Kinshasa on their quest to create a symphony orchestra. The orchestra consists of 200 musicians, most them self-taught amateurs. Some of the instruments like the double bass, were built by the musicians themselves. Their music repertoire includes Beethoven's Ninth, Orff's Carmina Burana, and works by Dvorak and Verdi. The film provides a study of an impressive group of people on an endeavour to maintain the complex system of a symphony orchestra.

For more on Kinshasa Symphony, visit the official website.

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The Suit | A Musical Play

The Suit is a musical play based on short story written by the late South African journalist and playwright Can Themba. The play tells the story of a husband who arrives home to find his wife in bed with another man. In a hurried escape, the man leaves his suit behind. As a punishment and reminder of her infidelity, the husband orders his wife to treat the suit as an honoured guest.

In a video interview by the Guardian, director Peter Brook discusses the links between the apartheid era and today's political protests, as well as his interest in the play.

The Suit will be performed from May 21 - June 16, 2012 at the Young Vic in London. 
For more information visit www.youngvic.orgvia Arise

30 May 2012

Kehinde Wiley | The World Stage: Israel

Kehinde Wiley is an artist known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of young men positioned in the confident poses that were typical of the classical European portraits. The artworks shown in this The World Stage: Israel collection were based on photographs of men of diverse religions and ethnicities living in Israel.

In an interview for The Jewish Museum, Wiley explains:
"One of the interesting features of Israeli society, is that there are so many aspects to the diaspora... I think there is a strong correlation between being on the margins of society as a person of colour in America, and that which we see on the streets of Israel... I was in one of the nightclubs in Tel Aviv. The type of music that was celebrated was around hip-hop but it was also around reggae as well. You saw young white Israelis with dreadlocks down their backs fraternizing with Arab-Israelis and Ethiopian-Jews all in the same room... something I don't necessarily see when I turn on the television every day..."

The exhibition is open from March 9th, 2012 - July 29th, 2012 at The Jewish Museum.

Also check out:
Njideka Akunyili | A Nigerian artist who explores her love for Western culture.

Wide Open Walls | Living Art in Gambia

Wide Open Walls was an initiative to create art installations in Mandina, Gambia to promote the region as a tourist destination. One of the most important goals of the project was to "create connections between the street artists and the communities through mural painting, and art workshops." The artists included Bushdwellers (Gambia), ROA (Belgium), Know Hope (Israel), Remed (Madrid), TIKA (Switzerland), Freddy Sam (South Africa), Selah (South Africa), and Best Ever (UK).

29 May 2012

Film | Monsieur Lazhar

Monsieur Lazhar is an award-winning film, which tells the story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Monsieur Lazhar, a 55-year old Algerian immigrant is hired as a substitute teacher. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept this own painful past. The film  was an official selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, an 2012 Academy Award Nominee, as well as the winner of several awards at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011, the Locarno Film Festival 2011.

For more on Monsieur Lazhar, visit the official website.

Also check out:
New Boy | A story about a Rwandan refugee boy who starts school in Ireland.

21 May 2012

Mustang | The Kingdom of Lo

Taylor Weidman and Nina Wegner document the well-preserved region of Mustang in Nepal's Himalaya mountain range for a book entitled, "Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom". 

Photos via CreativeRoots

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18 May 2012

Soul Sister | Soul Brother by Carlos Quiterio

I'm loving these artworks by Carlos Quiterio.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Erykah Badu
Gil Scott Heron
Curtis Mayfield
Minnie Riperton
Ella Fitzgerald
Stevie Wonder

17 May 2012

Vik Muniz | Waste Land

Waste Land is a documentary starring artist Vik Muniz, which documents his journey from Brooklyn to his native Brazil. There, he partners with scavengers of recyclables working at one of the world's largest landfill to create large mosaic portraits. Waste Land received the audience award for the best international documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for best feature documentary.

Waste Land (2010) Trailer

For more on Waste Land visit www.wastelandmovie.com.

16 May 2012

Ava DuVernay | Middle of Nowhere

The Sundance film festival presents the exciting, award-winning Middle of Nowhere. Director Ava DuVernay, is the first African-American woman to be awarded Best Director at the festival. The film  tells the story of a woman's journey to maintain her identity and her marriage during her husband's incarceration. Starring, Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy Corinealdi, this complicated love story offers a unique perspective into the lives of women who lose their husbands, brothers, and fathers to jail. 

Watch the Official Teaser Here:

Middle of Nowhere will be in theatres on October 12, 2012. 
For more information on the show times, visit AFFRM.

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Outside The Barcode | Kae Sun

Singer songwriter Kae Sun has released an entitled, Outside the Barcode. The album is a reflective collection of songs which were inspired by his Ghanaian heritage. The raw acoustic songs invoke a natural sense of authenticity which I appreciate.

Upcoming shows:
July 16, 2012: Club Balattou with Festival Nuits, Montreal QC
July 29, 2012: Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton ON

For more on Kae Sun, visit www.kaesunmusic.com
where you can also download his new EP Outside The Barcode for free.

14 May 2012

Opening Ceremony | "Vellies" from Namibia

Formally called the Veldskoen boots, "vellies" are 'desert boots' that are handsewn from pieces of kudu hide by workers in Namibia. These amazing, vivid photographs were taken on a recent trip to the workshop base as part of the Opening Ceremony portion of the Schier campaign.

All photographs by Jason Eric Hardwick.

13 May 2012

Ozwald Boateng | SS 2012

Ozwald Boateng presents a fascinating new collection shown in the recent "I love Soweto" photoshoot. Captured in Africa, the collection represents a European take on an African aesthetic. Ozwald Boateng is renowned for his classic British tailoring style. The colourful artwork used in the background of this photoshoot complement the sleek, sharp clothes beautifully. 

  Images via Shadders

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12 May 2012

Njideka Akunyili

Njideka Akunyili is an artist who has received numerous awards for her unique artistic style. The daughter of a Nigerian minister and  graduate of Yale University, Njideka addresses her internal tension between her Nigerian origins and Western culture through her artwork.

Njideka Akunyili writes, 
"I use my art as a way to negotiate my seemingly contradictory loyalties to both my cherished Nigerian culture that is currently eroding and to my white American husband. Most of the Nigerian traditions I experienced growing up are quickly disappearing due to the permeation of Western culture and the ensuing opinion that being ''too Nigerian'' is uncool. I feel dismayed by Nigerians' unquestioningly valuing anything Western as superior however, my awareness of this problem does not exempt me from it - indeed, I question whether this mentality played a part in my falling in love with my husband. My art serves as a vehicle through which I explore my conflicted allegiance to two separate cultures."

For more on Njideka Akunyili, visit her website,
or her page at the Heather James Fine Art Gallery.

Mina Danielle

Mina Danielle offers a fusion between its African roots and Western accents. The result is a collection of beautiful, colourful clothing created from a partnership with womyn from Ghana and Kenya. At the core of Mina Danielle's motivation, is its mission to be part of the social movement for equality and womyn's rights.


The clothing is available for purchase online or in-store at the Wafrique Boutique in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more on Mina Danielle, visit www.minadanielle.com or @minadanielle on twitter.

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