News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know

Get your daily fix of what's hot on the continent and the diaspora.

Arts and Culture:


DIASPORA— Zanzibar-born artist Lubaina Himid and Jamaican-British painter Hurvin Anderson have been shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize for excellence in art. The age restriction has been lifted this year, and for the first time ever, all of the nominees are over the age of 40. At 62, Himid is the oldest person to be shortlisted for the prize. Read more on the story here.

DIASPORA—Nigerian-born spoken-word poet, writer and mental health advocate, Bassey Ikpi will have her memoir published with Harper Perennial. The book will chronicle the challenges she’s faced as a black woman living with bipolar II disorder and anxiety. The book, entitled, Making Friends With Giants, is due out in Fall of 2018. Read more about its conception in this article by her collaborator, Eric Smith.

EGYPT— Saad Mohammed of Belqina, Egypt has spent the last three years writing, what he believes, is the largest Quran in the world. Mohammed has written the 700-meter book entirely by hand and is looking to submit it for the Guinness World Record, but he needs a little help doing so. Read the full story via BBC Africa.

DIASPORA— Prolific Nigerian artist Kehinde Wiley’s latest exhibition “Trickster” opens today (May 5) at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. The show will run until June 17.

“In Trickster, Wiley explores the range of ways that artists engage with and draw from the world around them,” read a press release. “He employs the mythological trickster trope––existent in nearly every culture’s folklore––to not only examine how artists disrupt the status quo and change the way in which we think, but as a signifier of how people of color navigate both real and symbolic social boundaries inherent to their blackness.” Read the full press statement here.

Music:

NIGERIA—Wizkid has hinted at a new collaboration with Future for his upcoming album Sounds From the Other Side. ‘Big up the hommie big, Future! We got some heat on the way," he wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Wizkid is yet to announce a release date for his album, but according to Nigerian Entertainment Today, the project will also boast guest appearances from Alicia Keys, Sean Paul and Ty Dolla Sign.

SOUTH AFRICA— The All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) has partnered with the African Union (AU) for this year’s award show, with the mission of telling African stories through a showcase of the continent’s rich musical heritage. The plans for the show were unveiled on Tuesday (May 2) in South Africa.

The AU’s Head of Culture, Angela Martins, praised Afrima for its role in championing African arts on a global scale. “Afrima has been able to mobilise millions of people and renowned artists from the five regions of Africa,” she said. “Afrima celebrates artists, musicians, managers and producers. In 2016, it awarded and recognised the contributions that Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade and Papa Wemba have made to African music.” Read the full story via the Independent Online.

Sports:

DIASPORA— Nike is developing a new sneaker design to help three of the world’s leading long and medium-distance runners break the 2-hour marathon barrier. Distance runners,  Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea and have been handpicked for the campaign and are currently taking part in test-runs to help develop the performance wear. You can read a full profile on the runners and the project via Runnersworld.com.

Politics:

SOMALIA—The youngest member of Somalia's cabinet, Abas Abdullahi Sheikh, was shot dead on Thursday after being mistaken for an Islamist militant, reports BBC Africa. The 31-year-old minister was killed by Somali forces in his vehicle, just outside of the presidential palace in Mogadishu. According to BBC Africa, Sheikh became Somalia's youngest MP in November and became a cabinet minister in February, when the country declared its new president, Abdullahi Mohammed Farmaajo.

Sheikh was born in Dadaab refugee camp before achieving political success, and was an inspiration to many young Somalis. Below is a short clip from TedxMogadishu of Sheikh answering the question, “what can you do for your country?”

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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