Discovery Channel insert on Cape Flats b-boy crew, Ubuntu B-Boys, made by Fly on the Wall.
Paris-based Zoulikha Bouabdellah (born in Moscow of Algerian parents), seen in a video above talking about her work at the Brooklyn Museum in 2007 (as part of the “Global Feminisms” exhibition), is one of six artists in “Perspectives: Women, Art & Islam” (going till September 13, 2009), an exhibition opening next Thursday, June 4, at MoCADA, near downtown Brooklyn.
The other artists are Fariba Alam (Bangladesh), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan), Safaa Erruas (Morocco) and Nsenga Knight (United States). The show is curated by Kimberli Gant and Lisa Binder. (The exhibition forms part of the larger “Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas” at the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music.
To coincide with the commemoration of the June 16, 1976 uprising in South Africa, the Harlem-based Imagenation Cinema Foundation is screening “Skin,” a fictional film based on the life of Sandra Laing, a South African woman born to white Afrikaner parents in the mid-1950s and later declared black by the authorities because of her dark skin and frizzy hair.
The film stars the British actress Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”) as Sandra.
[The documentary, above, about Sandra's life was screened on South African pubic television in 2000.]
My cynicism often gets sidetracked by striking visuals and beautiful lyrics. This is a scene from the documentary “I Bring What I Like,” which focuses on the reaction to Senegalese pop singer N’Dour’s album of Sufi Islam devotional music. That film is finally being shown in New York: On Saturday, June 6, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The night before N’Dour will perform with his band at the same venue.)
The video is sort of appropriate today given that two days ago, May 25, it was Africa Day.
Jonah Weiner, in online magazine Slate, profiles the hipster performance-artist Prince Zimboo Abakunamabooba, who sends up African stereotypes. Produced by Diplo and based in Jamaica, Prince Zimboo “… has 999 wives. He hails from an unnamed region of central Africa (“a thin layer of impenetrable rainforest”) known only as d’bush … raps about zebras …”
Then, according to Weiner, there’s something else:
“… While that may seem counter-intuitive to Americans accustomed to bleaker images of Africa, recent studies have documented the flight of immigrant professionals from the United States to their home countries. Chinese and Indian workers increasingly say they see better opportunities and lifestyles at home. And diaspora associations of Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans and other Africans say their members — mostly from middle-class backgrounds — are joining the exodus, choosing life in the land of slow Internet connections and power outages over the pressures of recession-era America.“
The title of the post will make sense of you read the rest of this story on African immigrants to the United States moving back to the continent.
Princeton political scientist Melissa Harris Lacewell‘s impressions of a visit to Cape Town:
“… Tourist areas reflect the power of global capitalism and cultural imperialism; making shopping for groceries and clothing entirely indistinguishable from an American shopping experience. Television and radio are completely familiar, as are brands, styles, and dining. Despite its surface familiarity, the legacy of apartheid is an ashen residue still overlaying every interaction here. For tourists, black South African culture is carefully delimited to public spaces that entertain rather than educate. There is no escaping the harsh racial segmentation of labor and leisure … While the symbols of political power reflect changes in racial opportunity, the structures of employment and residence belie much stickier inequality … being in Cape Town is a stunning reminder that the collapse of legal segregation, the opening of limited class mobility, and even the secure representation of black people in national politics does not heal the brutality of entrenched racial injustice.“
Magazine FAST COMPANY continues the popularity lists with its “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Like I said with the announcement of TIME’s 100 List, there is nothing rigorous to these lists.
One African made this year’s list: the young capitalist, June Arunga (the link is to pop-up profile on the FAST COMPANY website). No surprises why she’s on the list, she doesn’t like foreign aid, seems to take inspiration from the ideas of Ayn Rand, and is a fervent promoter of privatization all the time.
HT: Mustafa Maluka.