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'Noirlinians' Fashion Bloggers Say New Orleans Is "The Most African U.S. City"

AfroFashion blog Noirlinians is the brainchild of friends interested in exploring the relationship between culture & identity in the diaspora

The "AfroFashion" blog Noirlinians is the brainchild of two friends interested in exploring the complex relationship between culture and identity throughout the African diaspora.


Mwende Katwiwa, a Kenyan writer and community organizer, and Denisio Truitt, a Liberian fashion designer and artist, are based out of New Orleans, which they've dubbed "the most African city in the U.S."

"The blog sprung from a series of conversations between us about how distinctly ‘African’ New Orleans felt from our experiences growing up as first generation or being an immigrant with strong ties to our respective cultures," wrote Katwiwa and Truitt in an email. "Through conversations, we realized we both were in the process of exploring our current and past relationships to clothing, place and identity and the idea for teaming up for Noirlinians to push ourselves to stay on this journey of self discovery...For us this blog is very much about seeking the bits of African culture that have been preserved in this city and not in other places we’ve lived in the states."

Last month, Katwiwa and Truitt shared the vivid photographs from one of their first street style editorials, a collaboration with New Orleans-based photographer danielle c miles' as part The Corner, an ongoing photo-documentary series on "confluence" in the Black community. In an email, miles explained the cross-cultural concept behind the series:

"I am documenting confluence amongst people of color, especially Black people. Black people everywhere have always been a very communal people. I chose to tie that in when they asked me to do some Noirlinians shoots because the blog focuses not just on clothes but also on ‘the most African U.S. city’. This gathering is tied to our ancestral roots. As more places in America become gentrified and our social interactions are now largely via social media, New Orleans has still managed to hold on to the African tradition of meeting in neutral places-- to trade stories, goods, information, ideas, play music and so on-- no matter how the social landscape has changed across the nation. I think this is part of why New Orleans has been able to hold on to its 'Africaness'. 'The Corner', to me isn't necessarily a reference literal corners, it is anywhere Black people converge."

View photos from danielle c miles' The Corner series and more from Noirlinians in the gallery above. Follow Noirlinians on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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