Arts + Culture
Photo by Selina Avleshie

This Exhibition in Accra Celebrates the Brilliance of African Women Photographers

Take a look inside the Nubuke Foundation and Africa Lens' latest group exhibition which highlights the work of leading African women photographers.

The contemporary African visual landscape is constantly being refreshed with new images from different perspectives that represent the myriad of stories we have to tell. From performance art to literature, creatives work hard to produce vivid and honest depictions, not just of themselves, but their collective existence, as a means of expressing their experiences as well as countering the misrepresentation black bodies face. However, in most of these creative fields, the narratives tend to be dominated by men and or the male gaze. Nubuke Foundation, an Accra based gallery and Africa Lens have come up with a solution to this.

Over the past weekend the gallery and arts foundation located in East Legon a suburb of Accra, transformed the walls of its exhibition space into a shrine for Adama Jalloh, Amaal Said, Jessica Sarkodie, Heather Agyepong, Hilina Abebe and Lyra Aoko to tell their stories. The exhibition was based on the women focused 4th edition of the African Lens, a publication aiming at promoting visual storying telling by Africans, for Africans. Each room in the mazy gallery took on weighted emotions frozen in light by photography, and highlight a scope of techniques from fashion and lifestyle to documentary and portraiture.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Dayme Arocena. Photo courtesy of the artist.

4 Artists Preserving Santería, Kumina & Yoruba Religion Through Their Music

Acts like Ibeyi, Daymé Arocena, Zara McFarlane and Sibusile Xaba are creating spaces for spirituality and religion in their songs.

Contemporary African music does a great job at mirroring the vibrant culture that inspires it. A cross section of its genres will mirror the dominant themes in the lives of Africans, from the infectious dance rhythms of gqom and afrobeats fertilizing the joy in celebration to the soulful meditation of desert rock or Ethio-jazz for pensive days. One aspect of current African music that's quite apparent but often minimized is the space it has created for spirituality and religion.

Over the past few years, artists such as Ibeyi, Daymé Arocena, Sibusile Xaba, Zara McFarlane and many others have etched a major conduit for the flow or spiritual energy through contemporary and popular music. They define their work by various religious and spiritual practices such as Yoruba, Kumina and Santeria. Music is one of the few ways through which you learn about indigenous African traditions as the intricacies of these doctrines are largely overshadowed and eroded by the rapid growth of Islam and Christianity. But what are the ways in which these musicians are instrumentalizing their spirituality and how is it preserving the culture?

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Photo by Nii Kotei.

Ghana's Winneba Fancy Dress Festival Is a Living Museum

This photo story shows the annual celebration of sheer ingenuity and living history.

Where would you see Mortal Kombat characters, Black Jesus, Donald Trump, members of a royal wedding party and cowboys wielding Supreme cash guns in one place at the same time? At the start of the year in Winneba, a town in the central region of Ghana, these characters and more draped the coastal town in iridescent color for the Winneba Fancy Dress Festival.

The annual masquerade festival is a celebration of sheer ingenuity and living history. The tradition of masquerading emerged from contact with Dutch colonizers who introduced putting on masks and wearing fanciful attires to socialize in many coastal towns in Ghana. The people of Winneba adopted and owned this practice by setting up various masquerade troupes—as far back as the 1930s—to create elaborate characters and perform with marching bands for their townsfolk. In 1957, the institution was formalized by Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who sponsored the first parade to mark Ghana's independence. The 60th edition of the festival was spread over an entire week and comprises, exhibitions, panel discussion, tours, various marching floats, all of which culminated into the final parade on new year's day where the four troupes competed for a trophy.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.