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Michaela Coel To Star In Upcoming Netflix & BBC War Crimes Drama 'Black Earth Rising'

The series explores international war crimes and the relationship between Africa and the West.

Michaela Coel is set to star in upcoming Netflix and BBC Two drama Black Earth Rising.

The BAFTA-winner and Chewing Gum show runner, will play Kate Ashby, a legal investigator, who was rescued as a child during the Rwandan genocide and adopted by a British prosecutor named Eve Ashby, played by Harriet Walter. The show takes place across Africa, Europe and the US.

Here's the show's synopsis via a press release from BBC Two:

Kate was raised in Britain and, now in her late 20s, works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (played by "Roseanne" star John Goodman). When Eve takes on a genocide case at the International Criminal Court, prosecuting an African militia leader, it pulls Ennis and Ashby into a journey that will change their lives.

"Kate Ashby's story is inspirational, it was an honour to play a character in possession of so much strength and integrity," says Coel of the role.

Written by fellow BAFTA-winner Hugo Blick, the eight-part series has also been described as "a labyrinthine thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the personal, legal and political turmoil it ignites as well as the West's relationship with contemporary Africa."

"The past isn't dead, it isn't even past," says Blick. "I was never quite sure exactly what this famous quote meant but by following the fictional journey of a young black British woman on an epic and deeply personal quest to bring a Rwandan génocidaire to legal justice—now I do. And now I know just how critical, difficult and terrifying that phrase can seem to anyone in pursuit, and denial, of international criminal justice."

It will also star Noma Dumezweni ("Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"), and Tamara Tunie ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit").

The show is set to premiere on BBC Two in the U.K. and on Netflix internationally later this year. Coel is also set to star in the upcoming comedy musical Been So Long.

Photo courtesy of Kunjina

Spotlight: Ethiopian Brand Kunjina Is On a Fashion Metamorphosis

Founder and creative director Kunjina Tesfaye speaks on her namesake brand, and how her personal evolution manifests through the unique garments.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists, and more who are producing vibrant, original work.

In our latest piece, we spotlight Ethiopian fashion brand, Kunjina. The Addis Ababa based label focuses on ready-to-wear fashion and empowering woman through their garments and designs. Creator Kunjina Tesfaye established the brand in 2017 in her home country Ethiopia, and has since shared her distinctive designs with the world. Each garment acts as a physical embodiment of Kunjina's life experiences, and the stages we all go through to become closer to ourselves. "When the work comes from a personal place, it portrays a true feeling therefore the output becomes Authentic", the young designer says on the website. Each garment is carefully and intentionally created, as the company prides themselves on their choice to reduce unnecessary waste -- often times what happens with brands focused on trends.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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