Arts + Culture

NextGen: Look to Lina Iris Viktor for Illuminating Depictions of Black Girl Magic

The first profile of our July 'NextGen' series highlighting talents who envision a black future features visual artist Lina Iris Viktor.

DIASPORAOver the course of July we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures." Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it. 


Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here.

Throughout this month, we'll also highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in our daily profile series, 'NextGen.'

We kick off the series with artist and visionary, Lina Iris Viktor.

Self-portraiture is an expendable, infinitely interpretive space to express reflections of ourselves. In our mind's eye, we may be more glamorous than we physically present ourselves to the world, or worse: less glorious than we truly are.

'Syzgy' (2016). Lina Iris Viktor. Photo via Instagram.

British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor sees her work beyond the confines of self-portraiture—a universal form that enhances her worldly persona, evolving herself into an ethereal, regal being. Using paints of white, blue, black and browns, geometric patterns, photography and pure gold, Viktor presents herself as a sensual goddess, an intimidating empress, a fierce queen, and so much more.

Photo via Lina Iris Viktor's Instagram.

The narratives behind her paintings reclaims the ideas of black girl magic by envisioning herself as an intergalactic, otherworldly black female entity. “My work is an abstraction of self—an obliteration,” Viktor says in an interview with OkayAfrica. “...Those portraits, whether viewed as me or not, are an act of defiance, and in there lies something that is empowering. It controls the gaze—demands respect.”

'the body black series, 2015.' Lina Iris Viktor. Photo via Instagram.

Considering the stereotypes attached to black women—hypersexualization, fetishization, misogynoir, the angry black women—Viktor’s worlds negate these notions and pursue a more enlightened, uplifting narrative that’s been echoing in our inner ears for centuries: black women are magic, dripping in gold.

Lina Iris Viktor. Photo via Instagram.

Viktor’s Afrofuturism is timeless, empowering and bold. One look at her dreamy, stylish images and we are transported into a world where curves, confidence and brown skin reigns, and where gold is an element used to evoke emotion, tell stories and symbolize our royalty—exactly what our ancestors would have wanted.

Lina Iris Viktor. Photo via Instagram.

Watch Lina Iris Viktor speak on the misconceptions of blackness in art in this video and keep up with her on Instagram here.

Video

Watch Chad Da Don and YoungstaCPT’s Music Video For ‘F.U 2’

Chad Da Don and YoungstaCPT connect again on "F.U 2."

In their latest song, "F.U 2," South African rappers Chad Da Don and YoungstaCPT are sparring just like they did on last year's "F.U."

In the song's music video, the two MCs perform their verses in a crime scene, in front of an ambulance with a dead body just chilling there in a body bag.

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Bobi Wine Calls Out Kanye West for 'Immoral' Meeting With Museveni

The Ugandan activist believes Kanye West should have "used his voice for the good of people in Africa."

Ugnadan musician, lawmaker and activist Bobi Wine has spoken out against Kanye West's recent meeting with President Yoweri Museveni, calling it "immoral," reports The Guardian.

Wine was referring to West's Monday meeting with Museveni in which he and his wife Kim Kardashian gifted the leader a pair of white Yeezy Boost sneakers. Kanye, who is currently in Uganda recording his forthcoming album Yhandi, decided to meet with Museveni despite his recent attacks on Wine and his rampant crackdown on the opposition.

Museveni, like Kanye, is also a big fan of President Donald Trump. He professed his love for him earlier this year, stating "America has got one of the best presidents ever," he said. "I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. The Africans need to solve their problems, the Africans are weak."

READ: Op-Ed: Kanye West In Africa Is Music Marketing At Its Worst

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Photo by Shako Oteka.

Immaculate Taste's New Editorial Campaign Is Inspired by Soccer Nostalgia

Immaculate Taste's Alec Lomami speaks on the jersey collaboration with Durham brand Runaway and the hub's new creative agency.

Immaculate Taste, a North Carolina-based record label and management company comprised of Congolese creatives Alec Lomami, Shako Oteka and Mike Tambashe, have announced the creative agency arm of their hub by dropping an editorial highlighting their new, retro-fit soccer jersey.

In collaboration with Durham brand Runaway, Immaculate Taste tapped into their nostalgic love for soccer when conceptualizing the jersey.

"Growing up in Congo and later in Cote d'Ivoire, soccer was our first sport we as a family fell in love with," Lomami tells OkayAfrica via email. "We used to collect soccer cards and jerseys—dreaming to one day play professionally. When the decision came down to figuring out our first campaign, it only made sense to go with a soccer jersey. One day we hope to redesign the Congolese soccer jersey, so who knows, this jersey could be our proof of concept."

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