#Okay100Women

TOURIA EL GLAOUI

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Touria El Glaoui is the Founding Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. She was born and raised in Morocco and earned an MBA from Pace University in Strategic Management and International Business. After many years of being an observer in the art world, she noticed a void in the UK market for African art created by Africans themselves. It was then that she became actively involved in the art industry by filling this void and curating 1:54.


1:54 is the only art fair of its kind in the United Kingdom which Glaoui established in 2013. The fair takes place annually in October at Somerset House in London and will be expanding to New York in May 2017 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. 1:54 showcases African artwork from artists across the diaspora. Its opening was a bold move by Touria because she coordinated the fair to take place during Frieze Week, which is one of the world's most renowned contemporary art fairs. An African Art Fair in London was unheard of before Touria was brave enough to conceptualize and curate 1:54.

Although her father, Hassan El Glaoui, is considered one of the most revered Moroccan artists, she forged her own way by pursuing her respected art event. In addition to creating 1:54, Glaoui is a trustee of the Marrakech Bienniale and a member of the Executive Committee of The Friends of Leighton House, London.

—MB

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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