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Yasiin Bey Reveals Statement On South African Arrest And Announces Retirement: "No More Parties In SA"

Yasiin Bey has released a statement on his arrest in South Africa and news of his retirement via Kanye West's official website.


On Friday, we reported Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) was arrested on Thursday in Cape Town, allegedly over using a World Passport while trying to leave the country. Okayafrica spoke with Bey's official representative who maintains that the allegations against him are false.

Up until now Bey himself has been silent. Tonight, the rapper and actor released an official message on Kanye West's website.

The ten-minute phone recording begins with a freestyle from Bey that nods to Kanye's new songs, "No More Parties in L.A." and "Real Friends":

“Peace, this is Yasiin. No more parties in SA. Please, tell them no more parties in SA. Ain't home arrest, I don’t need to stay. I'll leave and I'll stay away. I committed no crime any place. Why these police up in my face? Why they raiding my place? Why I don't feel safe? This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that's for everything I love or hold dear. Umi's in the building. So is my wife and my children. I committed no crime. Why is the state wasting my time? They must be out of theirs minds. I forgive them, that's the spirit of divine. I just wanna go where I'm wanted. Where I'm loved, stop fronting. Where I live is my choice. You cannot mute my voice. Thank you Kanye West for being a real friend, a real friend, a real friend. No more parties in SA. Please, no more parties in SA. I heard your choice the first time, I'll go away. And when I leave, that's exactly where I'll stay. This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. A country called Earth, everywhere, a country called Earth, everywhere. No more parties in SA. Please, no more parties in SA."

Bey then says that he's currently in Cape Town, where he's "being prevented from leaving; unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason" and the South African government wants to deport his family.

He continues to maintain that the World Passport is not a ficticitious document and that he has broken no laws. "I have made no false claims," he says. "I have not misrepresented myself. I'm under unnecessary state supervision... And, I have reason to believe, or suspect, that there are political motivations behind the way that I am being treated. This is following no reasonable strain of logic, and it's also... curious. I haven't broken any law. And I'm being treated like a criminal."

According to Bey, he just wants to go home. "All I seek is to leave this state. I'm not looking to state any future claims against things for damages and none of that. People keep whatever state jobs that they're worried about or concerned about losing, because I just want to go home. And I don't live in America, and I have a right to [...] wherever I please. Without fear, or without interference. The State of South Africa is interfering with my ability to move, but to even fulfill my professional obligations unnecessarily. But that's fine. We don't have to be enemies and we don't have to be friends either. My family and I are prepared immediately to make whatever move that we need to make outside of this state never to return to this state again. We don't have to be here. We're not [...] to be here. And we're compliant in every possible way, reasonably."

Bey also reveals that he's retiring from the music industry and Hollywood, effective immediately. He'll be releasing his final album in 2016. "And that's that."

Listen to Bey's full message via kanyewest.com.

**Correction, January 20 5:10pm EST: We previously reported Yasiin Bey was given 14 days to leave South Africa. Bey himself will appear for trial on March 8. His family was ordered to leave South Africa by January 29, 2016.

**Correction: The lyrics to Yasiin Bey's freestyle have been updated to say "Umi's in the building."

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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