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'Polyglot,' A New Web Series On Young Creatives Of Color In Berlin

Polyglot is a new web series from Rwandan-German filmmaker Amelia Umuhire that explores the daily lives of young creatives of color in Berlin


Amanda Mukasonga as Babiche Papaya in 'Polyglot'

Polyglot is a new scripted web series from Rwandan-German visual artist and self-taught filmmaker Amelia Umuhire that explores the multi-hyphenate identities of young creatives of color in Berlin. The show's first episode, which premiered in April, introduced viewers to Babiche Papaya, a rapper and poet played by Umuhire's sister, Amanda Mukasonga. Titled "The Bewerbungsgespräch" ("The Interview"), the five minute clip follows Papaya as she tries to find a home among other international Berliners.

With its intimate fly-on-the-wall cinematography, Umuhire plans for future episodes of the web series to focus on a rotating cast of young polyglots navigating daily life in the German capital. The show's recently-uploaded second episode, "Les Mals du Pays," returns to Babiche's world as she deals with the malaise of homesickness and the frustrations of maintaining a natural hair care routine. "If I were in a TV show, normally as me a black woman, I wouldn't get to be this real, as this 3D, as deep as a character, you know," Mukasonga told NPR Berlin of her role in the series.

The Rwanda-born Berlin-based sisters who grew up in a small town in West Germany are quintessential polyglots-- fluent in German, English, French, and Kinyarwanda. Growing up with multiple means of expressing themselves and their culture, Umuhire and Mukasonga look to challenge preconceived notions of Afro-European lives with the series. "There is this one image of Germany, like you have white people speaking German, if you look at the TV landscape for example. Black people only appear as nurses, or cooks," they said. "You don't get to know people, this big part of Germany and Berlin, because they are kind of marginalized in media."

Watch episodes 1 and 2 below. Keep up with Polyglot on Facebook and Instagram.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Netflix Launches 'Netflix Naija' and Announces First Nigerian Original Series

Netflix is stepping up its game in Nigeria.

After much anticipation, Netflix has announced its presence in Nigeria.

Yesterday, the streaming giant, which had been procuring Nigerian content throughout much of last year after acquiring Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart in 2018, announced the arrival of Netflix Naija with a new Twitter account.

"N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood,"read the account's announcement tweet. "N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you're looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly...hello, Nigeria!"

The tweet was shared along with a photo of some of the Nigerian film industry's most notable actors and filmmakers, including Banky W, Adesua Etomi, Kunle Folayan, Kemi Adetiba, Omoni Oboli as well as veteran actors Ramsey Nouah and Richard Mofe-Damijo and several others.

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Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

The buzzing Nigerian artists shares a catchy new banger.

Buzzing Nigerian artist Rema shares his first single and music video of the year "Beamer (Bad Boys)."

The track is the first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssianm, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing of their love for "bad boys."

The steely music video features several love interests and flashy cars as Rema moves through the city on an undisclosed mission. The video features crisp, scenic shots directed by Fxrbes.

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"Zion 9, 2018" (inkjet on Hahnemuhle photo rag)" by Mohau Modisakeng. Photo courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

South African Artist Mohau Modisakeng Makes Solo NYC Debut With 'A Promised Land'

The artist will present the video installation 'ZION' and other works centering on the "global history of displacement of Black communities" at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Brooklyn.

Renowned South African visual artist Mohau Modisakeng presents A Promised Land, his latest solo exhibition, opening at Brooklyn's Jenkins Johnson Gallery this month. This marks the New York debut of Modisakeng's ZION video installation, based on the artists's 2017 performance art series by the same name. It originally debuted at the Performa Biennial.

"In ZION the artist deals with the relationship between body, place and the global history of displacement of Black communities," reads a press release. "There is an idea that all people are meant to belong somewhere, yet in reality there are millions of people who are unsettled, in search of refuge, migrating across borders and landscapes for various reasons."

In addition to the video, the show also features seven large-scale photographs that communicate themes of Black displacement. From 19th century Black settlements in New York City, which as the press release notes, were eradicated to clear space for the development of Central Park, to the scores of Africans who have faced conflict that has led them to life as refugees in foreign lands.

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Rema in "Beamer (Bad Boys)" (Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela, Sarkodie, Rema, Costa Titch x Riky Rick x AKA and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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