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New Year And New Inspirations Exploring Creative Africa

As 2014 gets under way, it brings with it the promise of another great year for creative Africa in design, music, fashion, art and all round creative inspiration. 2014 sees Cape Town, South Africa take on the mantle of World Design Capital, bringing with it a whole host of events; and late 2013 saw Brazzaville, Republic of Congo elected a UNESCO Creative City, designated the ‘City of Music’, and in doing so becomes the first African member of the Creative Cities Network launched by Unesco in 2004.
[Image credit: Africa is Now – The Design Indaba Expo]

Some of events to look forward to in the year ahead include:
Africa is Now at the Design Indaba Expo 
South Africa
February to March

Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougu
Burkina Faso
February to March

Harare International Festival of the Arts
Zimbabwe
April to May

Dak’Art 2014 Biennale
Senegal
May to June

Lake of Stars Music Festival
Malawi
TBC

Gnaoua World Music Festival
Morocco
June

Zanzibar International Film Festival
June
Zanzibar

National Arts Festival
South Africa
July

Add to this list, the Fashion weeks held across the Continent.

Wishing you a happy, blessed, successful and inspired 2014.

[Image credit: The images shown belongs to Design Indaba, and if downloaded and used elsewhere must be credited accordingly]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive