Arts + Culture
Photo still via YouTube.

The Top 25 African Dancers To Follow on Instagram

From One Corner and Gwara Gwara, to Shaku Shaku and Kupe, African dance moves have a hold on influencing global pop culture online. Meet some of the talented creatives responsible for this.

Original content is most impactful when it's directly in the hands of the people who care about it most. That is exactly what's going on in the world of African dance and choreography on new media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Progressively, African dance artists have mastered the art of digital content creation and made the internet the main outlet for their creativity.

These dance artists (choreographers, instructors, digital marketers and independent filmmakers) are some of the hardest working people on the internet, as they are able to alloy a range of different skills together from video production, art direction and obviously choreography to create regular viral content. Indeed, community is a huge component of the growth of this online session, as most creatives in this regard actively support each other by collaborating, sharing content and borrowing parts of their choreographies from each other. This allows them to expand beyond their original niche audience and collectively grow the practice that they care so much about.

To celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and passion of these dynamic individuals from the continent and in the diaspora working hard to shape our collective movement vocabularies with new steps and choreographies, here is a list of some of the most engaging and entertaining dance accounts to follow on Instagram.

Dig in and practice your own moves with the dancers below.

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South African artist, Ayanda Seoka, and Zamoo at CHALE WOTE 2018. Photo by OBE Images via ACCRA [dot] ALT.

CHALE WOTE Is the African Street Art Mecca Fostering Limitless Creative Power

An in-depth look into how CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is proof of the power of independent cultural programming.

ACCRA [dot] ALT, producers of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival have managed to turn Accra in August into the Mecca of street art culture, after eight successful editions of one of the biggest and most captivating art events anywhere in the world.

The week-long festival, which has been in a constant state of progressive evolution, has grown from a passion project creating accessible and impactful art and dialogue around social, political and economic issues, to an entire subculture representative of unrestrained self-expression and limitless creative power. CHALE WOTE has become accessible to everyone who may or may not understand the strength of independent culture programming.

The festival brings together different fields of expression from performance, to fashion, to video art through artists of different dispositions and cultural backgrounds hailing from all over the world. These artists create work in response to a theme that's presented in an entirely open environment with the same fervent and militant spirit of street art, which inspired the whole movement. This year's theme, PARA OTHER, presented an urgent need for "evolution beyond the dialectic of belonging and non-belonging"; requesting for the rediscovery and invention of new codes, symbols, sounds and fractal as a basis for reimagining meta-realities.

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Ria Boss. Photo: Dave Mufasa.

How Young Artists Are Using Analog Sounds to Create New Experimental African Music

Alternative African artists like Ria Boss have found a new use for nostalgia, utilizing it to create new memories among fans.

Contemporary African music has always been inspired by ingenuity. Through history, our people have developed dynamic sounds to match their dynamic life experiences. From early musicians tinkering with local rhythms with brass band instruments to create the core of highlife music (the grandpa of your favorite afrobeats jam) to the use of low budget synthesizers by Ghanaians in Europe to subvert the cost of booking session musician to create burger highlife.

Today however, more and more young musicians seem to be moved by the sound and aesthetic in analog music recording as they piece together their sounds for the future—from the use of low fidelity audio to 8-bit animated music videos and chopped up highlife samples from the '70s and '80s. There seems to be a renaissance of sorts where the past is providing a solid base for an artist of the present to sculpt the future. It is especially fascinating when you notice how memory or nostalgia, paired with analog sound signatures, are being used to trigger very precise emotions in listeners.

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