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'Interwoven Histories' In London: An Exhibition Of Handcrafted Work By 4 Artists From Benin, Kenya & Nigeria

The October Gallery in London presents 'Interwoven Histories,' an exhibition of handcrafted mixed-media works by 4 African artists.

Throughout the month of November London's October Gallery is presenting Interwoven Histories, an exhibition centered around contemporary African artists who eschew popular artistic processes and technology in favor of more personal handwrought narratives. The monthlong exhibit brings together four award-winning artists from Benin, Nigeria and Kenya, who specialize in creating intricate handcrafted works using a variety of re-purposed materials. The most readily recognizable pieces in the show are those of Beninois mixed-media artist Romuald Hazoumé, whose masks and large-scale installations made from discarded petrol containers question modern iterations of economic slavery, oppression and exploitation in Africa. Other featured artists include Nigerian-American sculptor and video artist Adejoke Tugbiyele, who uses wire, natural fibers, fabric and wood to create sculptures that explore issues of queer sexuality, politics, and social justice while retaining elements of traditional Yoruba spiritualism; Kenyan metalwork artisan Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, whose one-of-a-kind wall-mounted metal sheets pay homage to the grassroots community housing projects created in the 60's by the Mabati Women's Group; and Nigerian found object sculptor Nnenna Okore, who creates highly tactile sculptures with basic materials such as clay, newspaper, wax and rope in order to bring attention to the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly Nigerian communities. Click through our gallery above for a preview of recent and older works by the four selected artists.


Interwoven Histories is now on display at London's October Gallery and continues through November 29.

 

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9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

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