Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lagos Literary and Arts Journal Call for Submission

Lagos Literary and Arts Journal publishes all genres of creative writing – including but not limited to poetry, fiction, essay, memoir , drama; political essays, satire, profiles, book reviews, anything to stimulate public interest in reading and writing.

Online Journal
All work for publishing on the web site should be submitted online . Do also take the time to complete your online profile form so that readers can track your submissions and contact you if necessary. For image Submissions - all visual art and photographic please possible limit the size of each images to 200k

Print Journal
Submissions should be made to editor@lagosliteraryjournal.com with your name, email address and phone number so we can contact you if you're work is accepted, also include a brief bio for us to post alongside your submission. Send all manuscripts as attached PDF files or Word Documents labeled manuscript and the author’s name.

A Note About Submissions:
Because of our small size and general lack of funding we are unable to pay contributors at this time. However, if your work is chosen for our print journal, you will be entitled to two contributor copies of the issue you are in with the option to buy as many more as you'd like at cost. If you have any questions about submissions or payment contact

TC African Diaspora Cine-Club

TC African Diaspora Cine-Club
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street
Train 1 to 116th Street - Walk up four blocks or
Bus M4, M60 or M104 to 120th Street

Photo ID required to enter building

WHAT: FREE Friday screenings and discussions on films from Africa and the African Diaspora. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, July 31 @ 6:00 PM

US, 1969, 107min, drama in English, Gordon Parks, Dir.

Gordon Parks' adaptation of his autobiographical novel. The story centers on Newt, a sensitive and intelligent 15-year-old boy living in the South during the 1920s. An African-American with high aspirations in an age when segregation ruled, Newt's experiences with racism, sex, love, and loss help him develop into a mature individual. In contrast, Newt's friend Marcus is a sullen youth who seems to think only with his fists, and whose life is headed nowhere. But Newt's morality is severely tested when the wrong man is arrested for a murder that Newt witnessed. If Newt discloses the true killer's identity, it could affect both his and Marcus' lives forever. Friday, July 31 at 6 p.m. (FREE Screening).

Independent African-American
Film Series Program
Live-Forum w/Refreshments
Saturday, Aug. 1 @ 6 PM

Saturday, July 31- Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009
at Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street

Screenings: $9 General Admission,
$7 students & seniors, $5 Live-Forum / $12 Forum and "Medicine for Melancholy" film screening

The African Diaspora Film Festival continues to spotlight the black experience with its Spring/Summer Thematic Film Series program. This month's installmetn focuses on Independent African-American Cinema.

The African Diaspora Film Festival, The Office of the President, Diversity and Community Affairs and the Center for African Education at Teachers College, Columbia University invite you to ADFFs Independent African-American Film Series program that will feature films directed by African-Americans. Too many films by African-Americans do not make it to mainstream theaters- some go straight to DVD sans fanfare, but each filmmaker/film has a story to tell that deserves exposure and the ADFF is the vessel that will give these much-deserving films/filmmakers an opportunity to tell their story.

In addition the film screenings, ADFF is also excited to present the Live-Forum: Independent African-American Cinema: A Conversation with African-American Filmmakers. Panelist consist of film industry tastemakers that will discuss whether Will Smith and Tyler Perry have changed the name of the game for Black storytelling? Is there today less resistance than 20 years ago towards meaningful Black theme films or are we still limited to making violent films and lame comedies?

Panelist include: filmmakers: Joe Brewster (The Keeper), Bridgett M. Davis (Naked Acts), Windell Williams (Murder Magic), and Darien Sills-Evans (X-Patriots); ADFF Director: Diarah N'Daw Spech; film distributor: Reinaldo Barroso-Spech; filmmaker and blogger Tambey Obenson

Monday, 20 July 2009


30th, 31st July & 1st* August, 7.30pm
* signed performance

Director: Amani Naphtali, Designer: Rajha Shakiry, Lighting designer: Ian Saunders, Soundtrack: DJ Matman, Film-maker: Collin Hills, Movement: Kymberlee Jay

Take the raw skills of 12 young performers. Mix with multi award-winning turntablist DJ Matman, digital artist Collin Hills and Krump Junkies’ Kymberlee Jay. Put in a bare studio for 4 weeks under the watchful eye of forward-thinking director, Amani Naphtali and the result? KRUNCH.

Watch the temperature rise as voices find expression, energy collides, boundaries are pushed and new styles are formed.

This is the changing face of London. Go with the flow!

"This is our London, our voices, our stage."
TYPT: 09 performer

Box Office: 0208 365 5450 www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk
Tickets: £6/£4 concessions (students, senior citizens, jobseekers, people with disabilities, U16s, groups of 10 or more)

Town Hall Approach Road, London N15 4RX
Nearest tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line)


The 419Positive Project

The many negative experiences of Nigerians at home and abroad have resulted in a detachment, mentally and emotionally from their homeland..

The 419Positive Project is an umbrella for a series of ‘Celebrating Nigeria’ projects strategically designed in response to the negative perceptions of Nigerians & Nigeria, internally and externally..

Our mission is to unearth and spotlight verifiable positive or unique attributes of Nigerians & Nigeria in an attempt to explore what it means ‘to be Nigerian’ and to reorient Nigerians’ mindsets on issues relating to self image, national loyalty and civic pride..

In July 2009, The 419Positive Project will unveil the first phase of her flagship project; a search for positive and unique attributes of Nigerians & Nigeria.. And we’re inviting all Nigerians and all friends of Nigeria to say something positive about Nigerians or Nigeria at http://www.419positive.org

All the attributes you submit will be entered in a vote for the nation’s favourites.. This will serve as a road map for the film team as they travel across Nigeria and Nigerian communities in the Diaspora.. And the best part is this; you may be selected to appear in the documentary with the opportunity to personally introduce your favourite attribute..

We'll be announcing lots of little surprises along the way..

Say Something Positive...

Re-imagine America

Newark Museum Unveils Installation by Yinka Shonibare MBE

The Newark Museum, located in Newark, New Jersey, has commissioned a major site-specific installation by the internationally acclaimed artist Yinka Shonibare MBE to commemorate the Museum's Centennial. One of Shonibare's most ambitious works to date, Party Time: Re-imagine America is set in the mahogany-paneled dining room of the Ballantine House, the 1885 mansion and National Historic Landmark that is part of the Newark Museum campus, where it will be on view through January 3, 2010.

The Newark Museum's Christa Clarke, Curator of the Arts of Africa and Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, and Ulysses Grant Dietz, Senior Curator and Curator of the Decorative Arts are the co-curators of Party Time: Re-imagine America.

Shonibare's longtime exploration of Victorian-era culture finds full expression in this theatrical sculptural tableau, which imagines the scene of a late 19th century dinner party midway through a multi-course feast. Eight headless figures, dressed in period costume made from the artist's signature "Dutch wax" fabric, are seated around an elaborately set table as a servant appears bearing the main course, a large peacock with gilded beak served on a silver platter. The animated body language of the guests suggests a moment in which proper Victorian etiquette has begun to disintegrate, as an indulgent celebration of prosperity tips towards misbehavior and even debauchery. The scene references the rise of wealth and quest for refinement that accompanied industrialization in the United States, where the elaborate dinner party replaced the bare-minimum meal, becoming a celebratory "eating fest" for the social and economic ruling class.

Born in London, England, and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Yinka Shonibare MBE considers himself to be a "postcolonial hybrid," a product of Britain's colonial relationship with Africa. Shonibare's work is informed by his dual roots in Europe and Africa, and he has explored their intertwined histories through a range of media, including sculpture, painting, photography and film. He is best known for his use of vibrantly patterned "Dutch wax" textiles which have been produced in European factories for West African markets for over a century. Shonibare incorporates the colorful, richly patterned cloth – which looks "African" but has more complicated origins – as a visual symbol in his work, in part to subvert assumptions about cultural identity and authenticity.

"What I find so magical about Yinka's work and this piece in particular is its synchronicity," says Newark Museum director Mary Sue Sweeney Price. "It resonates with the Newark Museum collection on two levels – the Ballantine House offers the ideal setting given Yinka's interest in Victorian themes, and his use of Dutch Wax textile complements our African Art collection, because Newark had a ground-breaking role in collecting and exhibiting these fabrics."

Shonibare's site-specific installation is the second in a series of four artist commissions in honor of the Museum's Centennial presented in 2009 and 2010. The Centennial Commissions respond to the Museum's history and diverse collections, finding points of intersection and connection between seemingly divergent areas of study and display within the Newark Museum.

Concurrent to the Newark Museum commission, The Brooklyn Museum presents the first major survey of the work of Yinka Shonibare MBE on view through September 20, 2009

Watch the podcast for Party Time: Re-imagine America on YouTube, iTunes
and on the Newark Museum Web site.

The Newark Centennial Celebration is made possible through the generous support of Prudential.

Contact Information:
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102


Date: Saturday 25th July 2009, 2pm – 4pm

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos has initiated a dynamic platform for visual art and culture since opening its doors in December 2007 engaging with artists, critics, writers, curators and art mangers. CCA,Lagos continues with its aims to build a strong discursive platform by actively encouraging debate and critical discourse that highlights topical issues that affect our society and the world in general. We achieve this by inviting local, African and international guest speakers to talk on a wide range of themes and issues concerning contemporary art and culture. In July 2009 CCA, Lagos continues its public programme with a talk by South African artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo originally schedule for the Like A Virgin... programme.

Transition has its own constraints, life forms, threatening dynamics and consequences. During transition, the questions “who are we?” alongside “which options among the available ones are the right ones?” tend to figure a lot. In this talk Gabi Ngcobo will underline such questions by focusing on the work of a younger generation of South African artists whose work addresses the shortcomings of sexual identities more especially black South African masculinities. The aim of the talk is to create a dialogue about history (or its absence) that is often troubled, to differing degrees, by the search to find the holy grail of African masculinity.

Gabi Ngcobo is an independent curator, writer and artist from Durban, South Africa. She has worked as Assistant Curator at the South African Gallery and curated Cape Africa Platform’s CAPE 07 bi-annual exhibition where she also worked as Head of Research and was instrumental in initiating Cape’s Young Curator’s Programme. Other exhibitions include Olvida quen soy/ Erase me from who I am co-curated with Elvira Dyangani Ose for CAAM, Canary Islands, Las Palmas 2006, Titled/Untitled, a curatorial collaboration with Cape Town collective Gugulective. She is the co-founder of collaborative platform manje-manje projects (m-mp) whose first project, a group exhibition titled Scratching the Surface Vol.1 took place in Cape Town in 2008. Her writings have been featured in various publications and catalogues including Art South Africa, Art Throb and n.paradoxa.

Ngcobo is the recipient of the Ampersand Foundation (New York) 2007 and Kingston University Curatorial Fellowship (London) 2008. She is a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York.

This talk is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.


Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street, Off Queen Street, Sabo,
Opp Methodist Church, Herbert Macaulay St, Lagos.

Telephone 0702 8367106

Saturday, 11 July 2009

What exactly is an "Afropolitan"?

by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu

culled from http://afropolitans.typepad.com/

It’s moments to midnight on Thursday night at Medicine Bar in London. Zak,
boy-genius DJ, is spinning a Fela Kuti remix. The little downstairs
dancefloor swells with smiling, sweating men and women fusing hip-hop
dance moves with a funky sort of djembe. The women show off enormous
afros, tiny t-shirts, gaps in teeth; the men those incredible torsos
unique to and common on African coastlines. The whole scene speaks of
the Cultural Hybrid: kente cloth worn over low-waisted jeans; ‘African
Lady’ over Ludacris bass lines; London meets Lagos meets Durban meets
Dakar. Even the DJ is an ethnic fusion: Nigerian and Romanian; fair,
fearless leader; bobbing his head as the crowd reacts to a sample of
‘Sweet Mother’.

Were you to ask any of these beautiful, brown-skinned people that
basic question – ‘where are you from?’ – you’d get no single answer
from a single smiling dancer. This one lives in London but was raised
in Toronto and born in Accra; that one works in Lagos but grew up in
Houston, Texas. ‘Home’ for this lot is many things: where their parents
are from; where they go for vacation; where they went to school; where
they see old friends; where they live (or live this year). Like so many
African young people working and living in cities around the globe,
they belong to no single geography, but feel at home in many.

They (read: we) are Afropolitans – the newest generation of African
emigrants, coming soon or collected already at a law firm/chem lab/jazz
lounge near you. You’ll know us by our funny blend of London fashion,
New York jargon, African ethics, and academic successes. Some of us are
ethnic mixes, e.g. Ghanaian and Canadian, Nigerian and Swiss; others
merely cultural mutts: American accent, European affect, African ethos.
Most of us are multilingual: in addition to English and a Romantic or
two, we understand some indigenous tongue and speak a few urban
vernaculars. There is at least one place on The African Continent to
which we tie our sense of self: be it a nation-state (Ethiopia), a city
(Ibadan), or an auntie’s kitchen. Then there’s the G8 city or two (or
three) that we know like the backs of our hands, and the various
institutions that know us for our famed focus. We are Afropolitans: not
citizens, but Africans of the world.

It isn’t hard to trace our genealogy. Starting in the 60’s, the
young, gifted and broke left Africa in pursuit of higher education and
happiness abroad. A study conducted in 1999 estimated that between 1960
and 1975 around 27,000 highly skilled Africans left the Continent for
the West. Between 1975 and 1984, the number shot to 40,000 and then
doubled again by 1987, representing about 30% of Africa’s highly
skilled manpower. Unsurprisingly, the most popular destinations for
these emigrants included Canada, Britain, and the United States; but
Cold War politics produced unlikely scholarship opportunities in
Eastern Bloc countries like Poland, as well.

Some three decades later this scattered tribe of pharmacists,
physicists, physicians (and the odd polygamist) has set up camp around
the globe. The caricatures are familiar. The Nigerian physics professor
with faux-Coogi sweater; the Kenyan marathonist with long legs and
rolled r’s; the heavyset Gambian braiding hair in a house that smells
of burnt Kanekalon. Even those unacquainted with synthetic extensions
can conjure an image of the African immigrant with only the slightest
of pop culture promptings: Eddie Murphy’s ‘Hello, Barbar.’ But
somewhere between the 1988 release of Coming to America and the 2001
crowning of a Nigerian Miss World, the general image of young Africans
in the West transmorphed from goofy to gorgeous. Leaving off the
painful question of cultural condescenscion in that beloved film, one
wonders what happened in the years between Prince Akeem and Queen

One answer is: adolescence. The Africans that left Africa between
1960 and 1975 had children, and most overseas. Some of us were bred on
African shores then shipped to the West for higher education; others
born in much colder climates and sent home for cultural
re-indoctrination. Either way, we spent the 80’s chasing after
accolades, eating fufu at family parties, and listening to adults argue
politics. By the turn of the century (the recent one), we were matching
our parents in number of degrees, and/or achieving things our ‘people’
in the grand sense only dreamed of. This new demographic – dispersed
across Brixton, Bethesda, Boston, Berlin – has come of age in the 21st
century, redefining what it means to be African. Where our parents
sought safety in traditional professions like doctoring, lawyering,
banking, engineering, we are branching into fields like media,
politics, music, venture capital, design. Nor are we shy about
expressing our African influences (such as they are) in our work.
Artists such as Keziah Jones, Trace founder and editor Claude
Gruzintsky, architect David Adjaye, novelist Chimamanda Achidie – all
exemplify what Gruzintsky calls the ‘21st century African.’

What distinguishes this lot and its like (in the West and at home) is a
willingness to complicate Africa – namely, to engage with, critique,
and celebrate the parts of Africa that mean most to them. Perhaps what
most typifies the Afropolitan consciousness is the refusal to
oversimplify; the effort to understand what is ailing in Africa
alongside the desire to honor what is wonderful, unique. Rather than
essentialising the geographical entity, we seek to comprehend the
cultural complexity; to honor the intellectual and spiritual legacy;
and to sustain our parents’ cultures.

For us, being African must mean something. The media’s portrayals
(war, hunger) won’t do. Neither will the New World trope of bumbling,
blue-black doctor. Most of us grew up aware of ‘being from’ a blighted
place, of having last names from to countries which are linked to lack,
corruption. Few of us escaped those nasty ‘booty-scratcher’ epithets,
and fewer still that sense of shame when visting paternal villages.
Whether we were ashamed of ourselves for not knowing more about our
parents’ culture, or ashamed of that culture for not being more
‘advanced’ can be unclear. What is manifest is the extent to which the
modern adolescent African is tasked to forge a sense of self from
wildly disparate sources. You’d never know it looking at those dapper
lawyers in global firms, but most were once supremely self-conscious of
being so ‘in between’. Brown-skinned without a bedrock sense of
‘blackness,’ on the one hand; and often teased by African family
members for ‘acting white’ on the other – the baby-Afropolitan can get
what I call ‘lost in transnation’.

Ultimately, the Afropolitan must form an identity along at least
three dimensions: national, racial, cultural – with subtle tensions in
between. While our parents can claim one country as home, we must
define our relationship to the places we live; how British or American
we are (or act) is in part a matter of affect. Often unconsciously, and
over time, we choose which bits of a national identity (from passport
to pronunciation) we internalize as central to our personalities. So,
too, the way we see our race – whether black or biracial or none of the
above – is a question of politics, rather than pigment; not all of us
claim to be black. Often this relates to the way we were raised,
whether proximate to other brown people (e.g. black Americans) or
removed. Finally, how we conceive of race will accord with where we
locate ourselves in the history that produced ‘blackness’ and the
political processes that continue to shape it.

Then there is that deep abyss of Culture, ill-defined at best. One
must decide what comprises ‘African culture’ beyond pepper soup and
filial piety. The project can be utterly baffling – whether one lives
in an African country or not. But the process is enriching, in that it
expands one’s basic perspective on nation and selfhood. If nothing
else, the Afropolitan knows that nothing is neatly black or white; that
to ‘be’ anything is a matter of being sure of who you are uniquely. To
‘be’ Nigerian is to belong to a passionate nation; to be Yoruba, to be
heir to a spiritual depth; to be American, to ascribe to a cultural
breadth; to be British, to pass customs quickly. That is, this is what
it means for me – and that is the Afropolitan privilege. The acceptance
of complexity common to most African cultures is not lost on her
prodigals. Without that intrinsically multi-dimensional thinking, we
could not make sense of ourselves.

And if it all sounds a little self-congratulatory, a little
‘aren’t-we-the-coolest-damn-people-on-earth?’ – I say: yes it is,
necessarily. It is high time the African stood up. There is nothing
perfect in this formulation; for all our Adjayes and Achidies, there is
a brain drain back home. Most Afropolitans could serve Africa better in
Africa than at Medicine Bar on Thursdays. To be fair, a fair number of
African professionals are returning; and there is consciousness among
the ones who remain, an acute awareness among this brood of
too-cool-for-schools that there’s work to be done. There are those
among us who wonder to the point of weeping: where next, Africa? When
will the scattered tribes return? When will the talent repatriate? What
lifestyles await young professionals at home? How to invest in Africa’s
future? The prospects can seem grim at times. The answers aren’t
forthcoming. But if there was ever a group who could figure it out, it
is this one, unafraid of the questions.

Friday, 10 July 2009


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be in Nigeria in July to promote her new book,The Thing Around Your Neck. Published locally by Farafina Books, The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories exploring the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature wisdom, the collision of cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.Award-winning author ofPurple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been described as “the 21st century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her much-anticipated public presentation ofThe Thing Around Your Neck will hold on


I have to confess I havent read for pleasure in a while, I will however be investing in this, Chimamanda is fantastic author!

More on the author:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel,Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (BaltimoreSun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe);The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winningHalf of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts—graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts—on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.

When You’re a Boy: Men’s Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton

Hey There Fancy Pants, photographed by Jason Evans, styled by Simon Foxton

Following on from last year’s successful Fashion in the Mirror exhibition, The Photographer’s Gallery next week continues it’s annual exploration of fashion photography with an exhibition of shoots created by celebrated British menswear stylist, Simon Foxton. Following a career that spans the last three decades, When You’re a Boy is a presentation of some of Foxton’s greatest work photographed by the likes of Nick Knight, Jason Evans and Alasdair McLellan displaying some of his most fascinating displays of masculine fashion.

When You’re a Boy: Men’s Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton
July 17 – 4 October
The Photographer’s Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies St

Friday, 3 July 2009

Urban Dynamik

Want to know how to make you own videos and use them on your
YouTube or Facebook? Got a story to tell? Need to film your next
music video? Urban Dynamik can help!

FREE - Only 10 places on each day- book fast. Free lunch.

Friday 17th July 2009
Friday 31st July 2009

TV and Mobile Media Taster days
To book a place contact programme producer Jim on:
jim@spacestudios.org.uk or 020 8525 4339

Taster days show how to use your mobile technologies and make
and share great videos. Taster days can move you onto further media
training, qualifications and work experience in the media industries.