“My nomination is even more valuable to me that you always had the wisdom not to establish racial, ethnical or religious quotas to be admitted among you”. Unanimously elected in 2013, the eighty-years-old Senegalese sculptor follows Léopold Sédar Senghor’s footsteps, elected at the French Academy thirty years earlier, and to whom he paid tribute during his enthronement. This event will surely and durably shake-up the African Diaspora: after the constant search for role models, the awareness of a possible future. Oneself.”
One Google research is enough to acknowledge the distinguished Sun Ra and the archandroid Janelle Monae as obvious flagships of afrofuturism, cyber-intertwined in a movement they don’t claim to be actually part of. The first returned to the far-off Saturn planet in 1993 and the latter spans space and time in an alternative reality.
The Battle of Versailles, coined by former WWD publisher John Fairchild, served as the beginning of American fashion as we know it today and became the catalyst for diverse runways that lasted nearly a decade. “[Designers] wanted entertainment and black models were associated with being able to really express themselves on the runway.” However, by the 1980s, “once entertainment was devalued, black models became less in demand.”
“For the past two years, Luanda—not Tokyo, Moscow, or Hong Kong—has been named, by the global consulting firm Mercer, as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. Luanda’s lure, and its treasure, is oil. […] In the past decade, tens of thousands of American and European employees of international oil conglomerates, fortified by generous cost-of-living allowances, have descended on Luanda. […] The country now produces 1.8 million barrels of oil a day; in Africa, only Nigeria produces and exports more. The boom has transformed a failed state into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”
Alva Bernadine is a mysterious photographer for some, a fetichist for others… The artist from Grenada broke the feminine figure that we usually see in art and made his way into pop culture. Artists like Azealia Banks copy his work in her video «Yung Rapunxel »
From last 4 to 7 June, Paris hosted the third edition of the Nigerian Film Festival, the Nollywood Week Film Festival. An opportunity to return to a phenomenon that has propelled the most populous country in Africa on center stage, alongside the Bollywoodian outsider and the overwhelming Hollywood machine. How did Nigeria emerge within the Top 3, despite a substantial lack of resources which have long played against it? Can the advent of a new “Nollywood”, more structured, reverse the trend in cinematography for the coming years?
As part of the festival Africa in every sense, that took place in Paris from last 22 May to 7 June, the Black(s) To The future’s team met Amadou Tounkara, an artist from Senegal issued from the Fine Arts, having exhibited in Paris, Montreal or Tokyo. Invited by the festival to participate in workshops and live performances during concerts, he also took part in the realization of a fresco on a wall exposed near the Petit Bain in Paris, in collaboration with Ndoye Douts, a Senegal visual artist.
Crazy outfits, guest stars incognito, concerts – each seemingly better than the last – and above all, a willingness for a transatlantic universalism: the B(s)ttf team was out there for the first installment of the Afropunk Festival in Paris.
The Empire series, which has been surfing the FOX in the US this winter – and everything reversed on its way, it’s little to say! – is a blatant example of how western folk culture is enamored of certain aspects of Afro-American culture, rejecting codes that it reappropriates itself elsewhere. While ostentation has become a full-fledged claim, how to interpret this denial?