Arts + Culture

Wangechi Mutu's Africa's Out! To Celebrate UHAI EASHRI With Solange Knowles

Wangechi Mutu's Africa's Out! will hold its inaugural fundraiser June 5th in New York City with performances by Solange Knowles and more.


Founded by Kenyan visual artist and activist Wangechi Mutu, Africa's Out! is a new platform that aims to initiate and create radical ideas that change the way we engage with Africa and, more specifically, the way in which Africans reach out to empower one another. The initiative, which is presenting its first official fundraiser this Friday with a special focus on LGBTQI rights within Africa, will serve as an umbrella organization for events throughout the year.

In a clip posted this week, Mutu shed some light on the project. "I want people to understand where gay rights are in East Africa and do something that actually makes an impact," she says. "And makes this issue visible, makes it beautiful, makes it interesting, makes it relevant for American minds and American people, and also brings together the African community that includes the Diaspora, the African American, Caribbean folks, and all those people who actually care about human rights, gay rights and people's lives, and people's expression and their fullness. So that's what Africa's Out is, it's this big, big powerful love fest of politically minded cultural makers coming together to do good stuff, important stuff quickly."

The inaugural Africa's Out! event, taking place this Friday at the Gladstone Gallery in New York City, will honor Mutu's close friend and fellow Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (whose public coming out in January 2014 inspired Mutu to found Africa's Out!) with performances by Solange Knowles and Cakes Da Killa plus DJ sets by Venus X, Nigeria's DJ Cuppy and Electric Punany (Melo X + Jasmine Solano). The benefit, which intends to raise funds for UHAI EASHRI (the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative), will auction off works from 50+ artists, including Kehinde Wiley, Hank Willis Thomas, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Toyin Odutola, Julie Mehretu, Titus KapharZanele Muholi and the evening's host, Wangechi Mutu. According to Mutu:

“This event produced by Africa’s Out! is very dear to my heart and was inspired both by Wanja Muguongo’s work with UHAI EASHRI and also the public coming out of my close friend, writer/activist Binyavanga Wainaina. On January 18, 2014, through a symbolic letter to his Mother published online, Binyavanga pronounced that he is gay. It was the ‘lost’ chapter of a book he’d published two years before, called “One Day I’ll Write About This Place”, for which I helped design the cover. Only one week prior to Binyavanga’s letter, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan passed a flat-out anti-gay law, which makes same-sex relationships illegal, punishable with up to 14 years in prison. Uganda passed a similar law on February 24, 2014, punishing “aggravated homosexuality” with life imprisonment (revised from an earlier proposal of the bill, in which individuals would receive the death penalty). With this sort of climate rampant throughout the continent and the world, our action is more important now than ever. I am so very proud of all the courageous Artists and culture producers who have joined us in this effort – the first ever Africa’s Out! fundraising benefit.”

Tickets to the inaugural event (and after party) this Friday, June 5, at the Gladstone Gallery in NYC, can be purchased here. Keep up with Africa's Out! on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Interview
Stella Mwangi. Image courtesy of the artist.

Stella Mwangi: Hip-Hop Saved My Life as an African Growing Up in Norway

The Kenyan-Norwegian rapper speaks about the Hollywood hustle, the potential of East African music and what she's dropping next.

If it seems like Stella Mwangi is everywhere these days, that's understandable. It's nearly impossible to see all the rings she's throwing her hat into: her songs are getting featured in Hollywood and across commercials, films and movie trailers.

There's a reason why it's possible to stay on such a grind, to make it work after more than a decade in the rap game, and that's an underlying theme with much of what the Kenyan-Norwegian artist, who also goes by STL, does. She's charged with an incomprehensible current that would have burned out other artists. Even as I caught up with her, she was hours away from taking a flight to the filming of a reality cooking competitions in Norway.

So what is on deck for Stella Mwangi? As it turns out, seemingly everything.

Keep reading... Show less
News

This South African DJ Is Creating a List of Toxic Men in the Industry She Won't Work With

DJ ANG is taking a stand against sexual harassment in the music industry by calling out toxic artists.

August is Women's Month in South Africa, and women around the country are using the opportunity to stand up against femicide, gender violence and sexual harassment on a national level.

There are many ways to protest, and South African DJ and head of SheSaidSo South Africa, Angela Weickl, also known as ANG is carrying out her own demonstration against sexual harassment in the music industry by calling toxic artists out by name and refusing to work alongside them.

"I will be including a list in every booking agreement from now onwards," the artist wrote on Facebook. "This list will be of artists who I refuse to be on a line up with due to their toxic and harmful behaviour. I will not share the spaces where we work to promote diversity, inclusion and safety, with people who harm and disrespect us. If a venue or promoter cannot understand my choice, then I choose not to associate with them."

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Watch the Trailer for 'La Negrada'—Mexico's First Feature Film with an All-Black Cast

The beautifully-shot film snagged the cinematography award at the 2018 Guadalajara International Film Festival.

This August, OkayAfrica shines a light on the connections between Africa and the Latin-American world. Whether it's the music, politics or intellectual traditions, Africans have long been at the forefront of Latino culture, but they haven't always gotten the recognition. We explore the history of Afro-Latino identity and its connection to the motherland.

This new film that recently premiered in Mexico City has made history in the Latin American film world.

La Negrada, directed by Jorge Pérez Solano, is Mexico's first fiction film portraying the Afro-Mexican population, REMEZCLA reports.

Contributing to the slow, but long overdue recognition of Afro-Latino communities on the big screen, La Negrada tells the story of two women, Juana and Magdalena, who are both romantically involved with the same man, Neri. The film was shot throughout Costa Chica—a region that spans along the coast of Guerrero and Oaxaca that's home to the highest concentration of Afro-descendants in Mexico—as Solano enlisted locals and non-professional actors to star in the film.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.