Events

Yale Reveals 'Africa Salon' 2016 Contemporary African Arts And Culture Festival Lineup

A few of our favorite people and projects are headed to Yale for the university’s second-ever contemporary African arts and culture festival

Jean Grae, Shingai Shoniwa, Angélique Kidjo, Just A Band's Blinky Bill and Sahr Ngaujah at Yale's 2015 AFRICA SALON Concert (Photo: Akisa Omulepu)


A few of our favorite people and projects are headed to Yale next month for the university’s second-ever contemporary African arts and culture festival.

Taking place March 28 through April 3rd, the 2016 AFRICA SALON features a week’s worth of exhibits, screenings, "unpanels," fashion shows, performances, parties and projects highlighting work by “some of the most consequential artists from the continent and the diaspora.”

This year’s lineup includes the likes of Achille Mbembe, Kwani?, 2manysiblings, Kent Andreasen, Hannah Giorgis, a concert headlined by Blitz The Ambassador and Thomas Mapfumo, screenings of The Pearl of Africa, Sembené, Afripedia and Horses of God, a fashion show with Ikiré Jones and House Of Chihera and much more.

As the organizers explain in a press release:

Contemporary African artists reveal the inaccuracy of images of Africa as a culturally stagnant, tech-less, and solely rural space. From the continent’s biggest cities, the diaspora, and elsewhere, African artists tell stories of urban life, grapple with the complexity of identity, innovate through digital media, and infuse the traditional with their own contemporary references to push the boundaries of the arts and destabilize narrow preconceptions of Africa. Through exhibits, fashion shows, “unpanels,” film screenings, performances, a “Portal” to Kenya, and a tantalizing “African brunch,” AFRICA SALON creates a space where local communities can experience firsthand the stories, images, sounds, and even tastes of Africa’s current artistic and cultural landscape.

Yale's AFRICA SALON returns March 28-April 3, 2016. Check out the full lineup below and sign up for the AFRICA SALON newsletter for information on upcoming ticket sales and updates.

For more, read AFRICA SALON curator Ifeanyi Awachie's full recap from the 2015 edition of the festival.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Ethic's Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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