Arts + Culture
Photo by Fifo Adebakin.

Photos: This Is What the Melanin Unscripted x Native House Pop-Up Looked Like

Young African creatives gathered in community to discuss the state of contemporary African culture and music today.

As Lagos and Accra continue to buzz with plenty of concerts and parties to revel in the festive season as well as ring in the new year, young African creatives are also taking the time to gather like minds in community.

Melanin Unscripted, the agency and media platform headed by Nigerian-American visual multi-hyphenate Amarachi Nwosu, recently linked with The NATIVE to host Native House. Guests from near and far came through to the African Artists Foundation in Lagos for a day-long pop-up of cultural activations including a photo exhibition and a series of panels to discuss the state of contemporary African culture and music today.


"The Futurist Exhibition" amplified young African photographers you should know who are challenging stereotypical narratives of Africa, showcasing the work of Nwosu, Manny Jefferson, Stephen Tayo, Lawrence Agyei, Jerusa Nyakundi, Flo Ngala, Wami Aluko, Josef Adamu (Sunday School), Nwaka Okparaeke and TSE.

While attendees perused through the photo exhibition, three panels were held, focusing on West African music being today's newest cultural currency to African youth shifting their continent's narrative through imagery.

Journalist Ivie Ani moderated "The New Scramble for Africa" panel featuring Teezee of The NATIVE, Chin Okeke of GidiFest, Olive Uche, Wale Davies of Show Dem Camp and Dipo Faloyin, managing editor of VICE UK. Ani and the panelists touched on the history leading up to the "scramble," how to maintain authenticity in West African music during this moment and more. Nwosu then gathered Lawrence Burney of The FADER, record exec Tunji Balogun, as well as Nigerian artists Tems and WurlD in conversation for the "Music in Migration" panel for a talk on the importance of online platforms have in the ever-growing music industry on the continent, risk-taking, giving credit to the past while paving a way forward and the industry's future.

To close, journalist Stephanie Smith-Strickland led a panel discussion entitled "The Futurist," where she was in conversation with the featured photographers in the exhibition, touching on African youth culture and the role visual arts' play in shaping the creative landscape on the continent.

Take a look at select images from Native House below, with all photographed by Fifo Adebakin.

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Photos: How La Sunday Became Abidjan's Favorite Party

Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Image by Kabelenga Phiri.

Check out 'AKANTUNSE', a Visual Celebration of African Mythology

The speculative photo series by Zambian collective Kabumba, re-imagines nine significant figures in African mythology, cosmology and folklore.

Kabumba is a Zambian multimedia curatorial platform based in Lusaka that curates African visual art that seeks to push the limits on existing narratives within African art. AKANTUNSE is Kabumba's latest project—a fun and speculative multimedia project which celebrates nine figures in African mythology, cosmology and folklore.

We reached out to creative director, Chanda Karimamusama, who worked alongside photographer Kabelenga Phiri and make-up artist Mary Mthetwa, to find out what how AKANTUNSE came together.

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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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