The Southbank Centre is partnering with Senegalese singer and human-rights campaigner Baaba Maal, to put a month-long series of events looking at Africa today. Africa Utopia, part of the Festival of the World, celebrates contemporary African culture, and hopes to bring an African paradise to the heart of London. Here are a few of the many highlights:
Word Sound Power: Baaba Maal and the Southbank Centre’s artist-in-residence Lemn Sissay officially kick off the series with a night of music and poetry, with appearances from artists such as Inua Ellams.
China Loves Africa: This should prove to be an interesting discussion, focusing on the on-going debate about the ever growing relationship between China and Africa.
Catalyst Rwanda: This event looks at the inspiring Catalyst Rwanda project, which took London B Boy Pervez over to Rwanda to teach a group of former street children how to break dance. The event includes a screening of the film ‘Yes man!’ about the project, followed by discussions with some of the boys and the team behind the project.
Africa on the Catwalk: The Southbank transforms itself into a mecca for African fashion, showing off a mix of African designers and African-inspired designs.
The Ultimate Afrobeats Utopia: Definitely not to be missed, this is a night of party hard African beats with Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s DJ Edu. Whether you’re busting out your best azonto move or winding your waist to makossa, this will be a night where standing by the wall will not be allowed.
Africa Utopia runs at Southbank Centre 3-29 July. Full listings can be found here.
By Femi Fagunwa