Changing Africa’s Narrative Through Arts and Design

 

African Communications Week is a global campaign that will run from 22-26 May inclusive. AfricaCommsWeek will see workshops, conferences and seminars held around the world, getting together to discuss the theme is ‘What Is The Role Of Communicators In Africa’s Development’. Events are being held in Nairobi, Accra, Paris, Brussels, Abidjan and more.

Whether or not you attend or host an event, there is still an opportunity to get involved by sharing your thoughts or visuals channels such as blogs and social media platforms using the hashtag #africacommunicationsweek

I, myself will be guest speaking at dinner-debate hosted by Muntu World Project on Monday 22nd in Belgium, where we will be discussing ‘Changing Africa’s Narrative Through Arts and Design’ as part of the global vent programme. For more details and to book tickets visit the eventbrite page.

 

– Tapiwa

Creative Africa Art And Design Comes To Philadelphia

Africa’s creativity is certainly capturing global attention, with seemingly every major city around the world holding or is planning to hold an exhibition dedicated to exploring and showcasing African creativity. In May, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, saw the opening of  Creative Africa, a new major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that celebrates African art and design, and runs from May 14, 2016 – September 25, 2016. Creative Africa presents the work of visionary artists throughout Africa and is made up of a series of five individual exhibitions each exploring a distinct theme ranging from contemporary photography, fashion, and architecture to centuries-old sculpture.

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Design Week Addis Ababa Showcasing Ethiopian Contemporary Design

DWAA Event Poster

Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA) is the latest edition to Africa’s wider creative calendar. The annual event launches this weekend – 12-13 December –  at the Mosaic Hotel near Bole Medhanealem, Addis Ababa. DWAA is the initiative of creative director Metasebia Yoseph who seeks to shine the spotlight on Ethiopia’s contemporary creative talent, from technology, fashion and textiles, food and gastronomy, architecture, industrial design, interiors, graphic design, and art.
[Main image credits: Design Week Addis Ababa]
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Contemporary African Design And Craft At Open Design

Join myself, Tapiwa Matsinde and South African author, Elbe Coetsee on Tuesday 18th August 2015 as we discuss contemporary African design and craft, and our recent publications,Contemporary Design Africa (Thames & Hudson) and Craft Art in South Africa (Jonathan Ball) respectively. Elbé will be there in person to answer questions, and I will be joining in over Skype from London. The event is part of The Open Design Book Boutique at the Open Design Cape Town Festival.
[Main image credit: Invitation to Open Design book Boutique Discussion]

Contemporary Design Africa Book Launch And Designer Showcase Event

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Contemporary Design Africa will be launched at a special event at The Jungle in Johannesburg, South starting this Thursday. If you happen to be in Johannesburg between the 9th -25th July, pop along to the concept store, where in addition to celebrating the book, The Jungle will also be showcasing and selling the work of select designers featured within the book’s pages. A great opportunity to see some of the designs first hand.

[Image featured, Chair by Nulangee Design courtesy David Crookes for Design Network Africa]

 

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Africa Design Award Celebrating Contemporary Design in Africa

The inaugural Africa Design Award prize ceremony was held on the 25th May in Libreville, Gabon, as part of the prestigious New York Forum Africa 2014 event. Founded by award-winning Moroccan creator, designer and architect Hicham Lahlou, the Africa Design Award is a visionary initiative to celebrate and fly the flag for contemporary design and innovation across the Continent in all its forms.
[Image credit: Africa Design Award Logo – Africa Design Award]
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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]
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African Inspired Textiles At Julie Kouamo London Pop Up 

[Image credits: Julie Kouamo Pop Up – taken by Tapiwa]
Textile and interior accessories designer Julie Kouamo launched her first ever pop up store last night in London’s Camden, with a private view. Located at the Camden Collective, the pop up is open to the public from today 2nd October until Sunday 6th October. On display are Julie’s signature African inspired textiles collections across a range of soft furnishings, lampshades, wallpaper, wrapping paper, notebooks and furniture, with products available to purchase or place orders. Throughout the duration of the pop up Julie is on hand to discuss her collections and any requirements you may have,. There will also be a range of special evening events including, a creative networking and discussion session on Wednesday 2nd October, and on Saturday 5th October London-based Cameroonian singer Debra Debs is scheduled to perform. Visit the Julie Kouamo Facebook page for further details.
[Image credits: Lilian Blot]
Alongside the Julie Kouamo’s African inspired textiles, is a display of photography from two French photographers, Lilian Blot and freelance photojournalist, Barbara Doux, both of whom have spent time in Africa, and showcase the images they have taken. Lilian’s photographs are highly emotive, reflecting his travels to places like Kenya, Venezuela and Northern of England, the region he now calls home. In the case of Barbara Doux, her images are printed onto fabric, displayed in and amongst Julie’s fabric designs to create an engaging wall feature.
[Image credits: Barbara Doux]

The pop up is located at: The Camden Collective, 69 Camden High Street, London, NW1 9HE

[Image credits: The top image shown belongs to Atelier Fifty-Five, if downloaded and used elsewhere it must be credited accordingly. Photography: the centre image belongs to Lilian Blot, and the bottom images belong to Barbara Doux, please credit the photographers accordingly]

The Best Of African Design At London Design Festival

September has been a good month for design lovers, and proved a great month for viewing some of the best contemporary African design as part of the London Design Festival. The earlier part of the month saw London-based textile designer Julie Kouamo exhibit her latest collection of lampshades at Bangou at one of Europe’s biggest trade events, Maison et Objet in Paris. The lampshades are the latest editions to the Bangou collection of African inspired textiles, which was debuted in January 2013.
Meanwhile the prestigious London Design Festival (LDF), whose core events occurred between the 14th-22nd, brought with it London’s major trade shows shows and exhibitions, including 100% DesignTent LondonDesign Junction; and saw galleries and retailers like Anthropologie, Mint and Habitat putting on specially curated exhibitions; and studios opening their doors to the public. Wednesday saw me at 100% Design where I got to chat with the lovely Eva Sonaike, whose textile products channeling a chic modern African design aesthetic brought a burst of bright colour to the proceedings conveyed in the brand’s signature African inspired prints across soft furnishings and fabrics.
[Image credit: Bangou Collection Lampshades – Julie Kouamo]
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Digital by Design Interactive Sessions At The V&A

It has proved to be an exceptionally busy week, and I have been spending quite a bit of time either moderating, or thinking about issues surround creativity for Visible by Design’s Digital by Design sessions running simultaneously at the V&A’s Sackler Centre, the hub for the London Design Festival, and online. We have had attendees logging on from Kenya and Hungary and the sessions are open to anyone whether you are a creative or not, Wednesday session was joined by a medical student who brought her insight into how she uses creativity to the discussion.
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