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Photo via lincolnblues on Flickr

#OscarsSoWhite: These Are the African Artists Invited to Join the Academy This Year

The list of new Academy members shows that the Oscars are making changes but still have a long way to go.

The Academy just released a record 928 invitations to new academy members this week, which included some African actors and filmmakers from the continent and diaspora.

It's no secret that the academy is whiter than ever, and over the last couple of years the Academy has come under fire for its lack of diversity and inclusion of marginalized communities in movements like #OscarsSoWhite in 2014.

On Monday, the Academy put out 928 invitations to a list of new academy members, raising the number of invitees to include more women, people of color, and international film makers. Women make up 49 percent of the new list, which will shift the number of women to 31 percent of the overall academy. People of color make up 38 percent of the new members, which brings the overall number to just 16 percent. The new members all together represent 59 countries.

The list included some African artists from the continent and the diaspora in various categories like actors, directors, visual effects, documentary, short film and feature, and executives. The artists were Danai Gurira, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Daniel Kaluuya, Waniru Kahiu, Femi Odugbemi, Tendeka Matatu, Ngozi Onwurah, Yvonne Muinde, Wunmi Mosako.

The Academy included actors involved in large blockbuster films like "Black Panther" and "Get Out," but the list also included other filmmakers like Kenya's Kahiu whose film "Rafiki" was banned in Kenya but still received positive responses this year.

Some members have started accepting their invitations especially on Twitter, but even if no members decline their invitation the Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity.

You can read the full list of invitees here.

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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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