A Pan African Human Rights Organisation challenging the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history in the British media.
Mon 5 March 2012
Nubiart Diary - Tiwani Contemporary
A different perspective on the Afrikan world
Submitted By: Kubara Zamani
A new contemporary Afrikan art gallery has opened in central London and is now showcasing its second exhibition. After visiting we welcome any views people have about the exhibition, staff and gallery.
TIWANI CONTEMPORARY presents Synchronicity II, curated by the collective On The Roof and in partnership with Baudoin Lebon, Paris.
Synchronicity II presents work by artists from Africa and its diaspora which is rooted in contemporary creativity in a global context. Like the experience of synchronicity in psychoanalysis, their artistic practices capture the spirit of the moment, connected on one hand yet individual on the other. A version of facts in one place also has its principle of equivalence on the other side of the planet. In Swahili, DUNI NI MAPISHANO means ‘The World is Made of Differences’ invoking a situation in which translations are not only possible but respectful of difference and specificities. Synchronicity attempts to make visible these interdependencies as much as its independences, allowing for multiple readings in which limits are difficult to perceive. These issues are implicit in the work presented and rendered across a variety of media including photography, video installation, and sound.
Malala Andrialavidrazana’s Ny Any Aminay (2011) reveals people’s intimate spaces in Madagascar. James Barnor’s extraordinary photographic archives (1950’s-70’s) plunge us back to the period of post-independence in Ghana as well as to the multicultural London of the 1960’s. Martiniquian Steeve Bauras integrates his black and white photographs into a three-dimensional construction: beyond P, Chile, (2006-2009). François-Xavier Gbré manifests a formal and pictorial approach in the work Tracks (2010) which focuses on the imprint of time on architecture. In the form of parodies, Em’Kal’s photographic series Rio dos Camarões (2009) and Grace Ndiritu’s video To Africanize Is to Civilize (2003) manipulates symbols of colonial past. Kapwani Kiwanga presents Tongue, (2007) a sound piece that documents a Swahili lesson between a brother and a sister. Unkempt moments dedicated to martyrs and political commemoration steles in public spaces in Algeria are recordings with a dose of irony by
Amina Menia in her installation Chrysanthemums (2010-2011). In Ecstatics (2009-2010), Abraham Oghobase’s performative photographic series, questions the place of an individual in a metropolis like Lagos.
Synchronicity I was co-curated by Elise Atangana, Nathalie Belayche, Yves Chatap and Caroline Hancock at the galerie baudoin lebon in Paris (September - November 2011) in parallel of Photoquai Biennale. www.baudoin-lebon.com (or bellow at the end with an asterisk)
Synchronicity II will run from 3 February 2012 - 17 March 2012 at Tiwani Contemporary. The Directors Ayo Adeyinka, Jude Cesar and Maria Varnava as well as members of the curatorial collective On the Roof, Elise Atangana, Yves Chatap and Caroline Hancock and curatorial advisor Bisi Silva invite you to join them at the opening of Synchronicity II in the presence of some of the participating artists.
At Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP. Contact: Maria Varnava or Stephanie Baptist, Tiwani Contemporary. Tel: 020 7631 3808. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
Tiwani Contemporary will focus principally on contemporary artists from Nigeria, from across Africa and its Diaspora as well from the Global South. The gallery’s aim is to present the works of emerging and established artists to a London institutional, corporate and collector base. In addition to its commercial activities, Tiwani Contemporary intends to present a dynamic and innovative public programme that will
include publications, talks, panel discussions, curated projects and events within the gallery space as well as in collaboration with other partners in London and across the UK.
On the Roof
On The Roof is a platform for a community of freelance curators, art professionals and artists of different nationalities who share a vision for debate, excitement and production. On The Roof strives for new interpretations of contemporary art, and experiments with the medium of the exhibition as a space for intellectual resource and artistic investigation. On The Roof came about with the will to face the lack of diversity and openness vis à vis the presentation of African arts and extensions in the Diaspora on the international scene and in France in particular.
ON THE ROOF CURATORS:
Elise Atangana is an independent producer and curator based in Paris. She has worked as an assistant on projects as diverse as Luanda Triennale, The Havana Biennale and The African pavilion in Venice Biennale. She is currently developing and promoting alternative art projects and works as a PR manager at SNCF Foundation (French Railway).
Yves Chatap is a curator and critic based in Paris. With a focus on contemporary African photography his research and curatorial focus is on the artistic, social and political context for images in the contemporary world. He has co-curated project at Brighton Photo Fringe, Arles, Addis fotofest and Bamako Encounters. Chatap is the founder of www.vusdafrique.com a website interrogating the image in contemporary African artistic practice.
Caroline Hancock is an independent curator and writer, based in Paris. Between 1998 and 2010, Hancock worked at the Centre Pompidou and MAMVP / ARC in Paris, Tate Modern and The Hayward in London, and Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin. While based at IMMA, she curated a Lynda Benglis retrospective and its international tour, co-editing the accompanying Les Presses du Reel monograph.
FORTHCOMING NUBIART PROFILES
NUBIART: Focus on arts, business, education, health, political developments and the media.
~ CONGO BOLINGO - Kevin Mfinka [Air Mail – Out Now] Kevin M’finka, who hails from Congo-Brazzaville, mixes tradition and modernity. All of the beautifully-crafted tracks here are self-composed and reflect M’finka’s worldly experiences and influences. The album kicks off with the percussive ‘Okeyi Wapi Bolingo’ followed by the West Afrikan vibes of ‘Bana Na Nga’. The berimbau comes to the fore on ‘Mio Mia Ngana’ making the link with the Kongo diaspora on both sides of the Atlantic where it is a primary instrument. ‘Esclavage’ is an anti-slavery song. Other powerful tracks ‘Sala Bi Sala’, ‘He Dia Bwila’ and ‘Ile’. We love the cover picture of the Congo River as well.
~ ‘JOHN ARMSTRONG PRESENTS NUYORICAN FUNK EXPERIENCE’ – Various [Nascente – Out Now] It must be near impossible to put out a bad compilation of Nuyorican Funk when you have the archives of labels such as Seeco and Coco to draw from. Play this straight after Kevin Mfinka and the Afrikan musical links become clear as this album kicks in with Chico Alvarez’s ‘La Confianza’, a percussion-led workout that bookends the collection with Celia Cruz’s Santeria-infused ‘Chango’ as the outro. In between is the whole spectrum of styles from the ‘lounge-bar’ salsa of The Joe Cuba Sextet’s ‘Mambo Of The Times’ through the boogaloo of Ricardo Ray & Bobby Cruz’s ‘El Maton’ to the big band styles of Orquesta Broadway’s ‘A Milo Mismo Me Da’ and ‘Joe Quijano & Su Orquesta’s ‘Tema De Broadway’, the jazzy styles of Eddie Palmieri’s ‘Condiciones Que Existen’, the Coco All Stars’ ‘Macho’, the Barrio Band’s driving salsa funk of the classic ‘Cucaraca Macara’ and their Latin Rock and aptly named wah-wah-infused ‘Heavy Duty. Lalo Rodriguez turns up on two tracks with the great Machito Orchestra on ‘Mi Ritmo Llego’ and with Eddie Palmieri on ‘Kinkamache’. Eddie’s brother Charlie Palmieri drops ‘No Esta En Na’. Other powerful tracks include Cortijo’s call-and-response ‘Carnaval’, Chocolate’s ‘Gozando El Guaguanco’, Chuito Velez Con Su Orquesta & Adalberto Santiago ‘A Kilo Traigo’ and Rene Granda Con Su Combo New York Y Frankie Rodri ‘Jugo De Mango’. Faultess.
NUBIART LIBRARY – MAR MEDIA
We will only review books we have read and DVDs we have seen and that are available at reasonable prices online or in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing and production there may be books and films on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down.
~ ‘BATUQUE: THE SOUL OF THE PEOPLE’. Dir: Julio Silvão Tavares [HB Films Notes from Cinema] In 1462, the first enslaved Afrikans were deported by the Portuguese to Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 uninhabited islands off the west coast of Afrika. They brought with them the rhythms and the roots of what became the batuque (batuko) a fertility music performed mainly by women and a few men. The batuque was originally performed on holy days, ceremonial occasions, feasts and weddings. During the colonial era batuque was banned and suppressed but remained alive clandestinely. In the run-up to independence and after there has been a revival of batuque. The female singers repeat lyrics while sitting in a circle and beating the rhythms with their hands on a piece of cloth between their legs while one woman performs a very sensual dance with her hips in the middle of the circle. Cloth tied around the hips helps to emphasise the shape. Finason is a slower version of a batuque that lasts for longer. This DVD mainly focuses on the lives of the members of Raiz de Tambarina, one of the first batuque groups from Santiago island. There is also footage of the finest exponents of batuque such as the batukadera Antonio Golden Tooth and Nacia Gomes, who was the first person to officially have batuque played at her wedding.
~ ‘THE STORY OF LOVERS ROCK’. Dir: Menelik Shabazz. Dur: 96 mins. [Verve Pictures] It looks like all this month’s reviews come from the dancing school. With ‘The Story of Lovers Rock’ Menelik has put together a really powerful exploration of the music that was created in Britain by a fusion of reggae and soul in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Live performance, comedy sketches, dance, interviews and archive shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it. The DVD features live footage of our favourite female Lovers Rock singers such as the originator Louisa ‘Markswoman’ Mark, Jean Adebambo, Sandra Cross and the powerful voice of Sylvia Tella. Dennis Bovell and John Kpiaye from the Dub Band explain how the Lovers Rock title was started
This is an essential documentary for anybody interested not just in music history but the politics of music. There is also a selection where the differences between British Lovers Rock and the roles that Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Junior Reid and especially Sugar Minott played in making it possible for a music that was initially considered ‘soft’ to get respectability among some of Jamaica’s notoriously hard-to-please reggae crowd (like the militant rockers and dub-freaks we at Nubiart grew up around). The film is still showing in cinemas for venues across check: http://www.loversrockthefilm.com
~ THE PETRIE MUSEUM
- Tues 6 Mar: ‘Getting To The Root Of Egyptian Hair: African Style And Dressing’. Ancient and modern hair meet at the Petrie Museum in this workshop linked to research for a forthcoming exhibition ‘African Combs: 5,000 years of culture, politics and identity’ at Cambridge. Sandra Gittens, a specialist and author on African hair, will explore the types of North, West and East African hair types/braids worn today with a practical demo of braiding by a specialist.
- Thurs 8 Mar: ‘Wandering Wombs And Wicked Water: Women’s Medical Complaints And Treatment’ How did the Egyptians deal with period pains, contraception, cystitis, ‘terrors of the womb’, or determine a woman’s fertility? The Kahun Gyn ecological Papyrus is the oldest known medical text dating from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom (2025-1700 BC). The fragments that survive offer an intriguing insight into ideas about women and their bodies in ancient Egypt and also suggest that ideas previously thought to have originated in Greek medicine are actually much older. Carole Reeves (UCL Wellcome Fellow History of Medicine) gives a special talk for International Women’s Day.
Both events at 6.30-7.30pm at Petrie Museum, Malet Place, Camden, London, WC1E 6BT. Tel: 020 7679 2884. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ CENTRE OF AFRICAN STUDIES present Lilian Nabulime, Senior Lecturer in Sculpture, Makerere University, Kampala (Uganda) & Commonwealth Fellow, Durham, speaking on ‘Developing an Art Practice. Chair: Elsbeth Court, World Art_Africa, SOAS & BBK-BM. On Thurs 8th March 2012 5–7pm at
Room B102, Brunei Gallery Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London, WC2E. E-mail: cas @soas.ac.uk or Web: www.soas.ac.uk/cas/events
~ “WE’RE INDIAN AND AFRICAN”: SIDIS OF INDIA LECTURE AND FILMS. With Dr Shihan de Silva (Senior Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Member of the Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project). Chair: Dr David Taylor (SOAS & Institute of Commonwealth Studies). The Lecture will be followed by the screening of two documentaries produced by Beheroze Shroff (University of California, Irvine, USA).
“We’re Indian and African”: Voices of the Sidis (22 mins). This film explores the lives of the Sidis in Gujarat. Sidi men and women speak about the challenges they face as caretakers of the shrine of their ancestral saint Bava Gor. The Sidis also discuss their sacred Goma-Dhammal dance performed for devotees and spectators. The film also gives a glimpse into the spiritual legacy of the Sidis through the Parsi devotees of Bava Gor in Bombay.
And ‘Voices of the Sidis: Ancestral Links (26 mins). In this engaging portrait of an urban Sidi family in Bombay (Maharashtra), Babubhai traces his ancestry to Zanzibar. He also reminisces about his work as a stuntman in Bollywood films. Babubhai’s wife, Fatimaben, narrates her grandmother’s work in a Hindu royal court. Their daughter, Heena, speaks about issues of identity in contemporary India.
On Fri 9 Mar at 5.30-7.30pm at College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London, WC2E. Tel: 020 7898 4892 / 3. E-mail: email@example.com
~ TIWANI CONTEMPORARY present ‘Synchronicity’ II. Curated by the On The Roof collective and Gallery Baudoin Lebon, Paris. Synchronicity II presents work by nine artists from Afrika and its diaspora, whose work is rooted in contemporary creativity in a global context across a variety of media including photography, video installation and sound. Artists represented: Malala Andrialavidrazana, James Barnor, Steeve Bauras, François-Xavier Gbré, Em’Kal, Grace Ndiritu, Kapwani Kiwanga, Amina Menia and Abraham Oghobase. Until 17 Mar at 11am-6pm (Wed-Sat) at Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7631 3808. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.tiwani.co.uk /
~ CARDBOARD CITIZENS PRESENT ‘A FEW MAN FRIDAYS’. Written and directed by Adrian Jackson, designed by Fred Meller, music and soundtrack by David Baird. ‘A Few Man Fridays’ is about the expulsion of the entire population of the Chagos Archipelago. It is seen through the eyes of Prosper in Crawley, Stu in the US State Department, Conservationist Teddy, and the recently deceased Chagossian Madame Lisette Talate. The play reveals the shocking chronicle of who lied, who believed them, who colluded and who suffered in the expulsion from their homes of a people described by the Foreign Office in 1966 as ‘a few Tarzans and Man Fridays’. Until 10 Mar at the Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London, SW6. Booking: 020 8237 1000. Web: www.riversidestudios.co.uk/
~ BLACK DOLLY DAY. Exhibition, lectures & Workshop - Bring Your Dolly! On Sun 11 Mar at 2-7pm at Navarino Mansions Community Hall, Dalston Lane, London, E8 8LZ. Adm: £5 / £1 (U-16). Tel: 07956 134 370 / 07947 838 729.
~ THE GEORGE PADMORE INSTITUTE present ‘Paul Robeson: This Little Light of Mine’, a talk on the life, ideas and songs of Paul Robeson with musical illustrations by Tayo Aluko. Paul Robeson’s (1898-1976) international achievements as a singer and actor in starring roles on stage and screen made him the most celebrated Afrikan-American of his day. However, his outspoken criticism of racism in the United States, his strong support of Afrikan independence, and his links with the Soviet Union placed him under the debilitating scrutiny of McCarthyism. On Mon 12 Mar at 7pm at George Padmore Institute, 76 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EN Adm: £5. Tel. 020 7272 4889. E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.georgepadmoreinstitute.org
~ PASCF 2012 WORKSHOPS: Marcus Garvey & Garveyism UK @100 Celebrations & Jamaica and Trinidad @ 50 – Self-Determination Now!
- Fri 9 Mar: Reclaiming the Queenly Status of Afrikan Women & Sisterhood. Speaker Sis Ankh Amunet
Circles of 9 Ether.
- Fri 16 Mar: Challenging the State’s Oppressive Power - Janet Alder v Crown Prosecution Service (17/03/2011). Speaker: Janet Alder Pioneer of Civil Anti-Discrimination Case
- Fri 23 Mar: Garvey’s Acknowledgement of the Importance of Infrastructure In Sustaining Political Mobilisation. Speaker: Bro Devon Thomas
- Fri 30 Mar: 2011 – Declared by the UN as ‘The Year of People of Afrikan Descent’; What of 2012 and Beyond? Speaker: Bro Glen, GAC
All meetings at 6.30-9.30pm at 365 Brixton Road, Brixton, London, SW9 7DA. Adm: Free. Tel: 07944 204 955. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pascf.org.uk;
~ AFRICAN ODYSSEYS:
- ‘The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success’. On Sa17 Mar at 11am at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, SE1. Adm: £3. Tel: 020 7928 3232. Web: www.bfi.org.uk
- ‘Mark of the Hawk’. Filmed in 1957 just two years after the Rosa Parks-inspired bus boycott. This is a blockbuster film with two of the biggest stars of that decade Eartha Kitt and Sidney Poitier. Mightier than all the forces on earth is an idea whose time has come. In this case it’s Afrikan liberation. Poitier plays rising nationalist leader, Obam, who struggles for his people’s freedom in the face of bloodthirsty colonials, disorganised Africans and a hot-headed brother. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, its preachiness and opposition to ‘godless communism’ fail to conceal the timeliness of its message. Introduced by actor Tim Reid, with a short from his Legacy Media Institute. On Sat 17 Mar 2-5pm at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, SE1. Adm: £5. Tel: 020 7928 3232. Web: www.bfi.org.uk
~ BLACK HISTORY STUDIES IN ASSOCIATION WITH PHOENIX CINEMA present a free Mother’s Day screening of ‘Imitation of Life’ (1959) a legendary Hollywood melodrama about racial identity. Lora Meredith is a young widow chasing dreams of Broadway stardom while her stoic Afrikan-American housekeeper, Annie, rears Lora’s daughter alongside her own ‘light-skinned’ child whose desire to pass as white leads her to move to the big city, abandoning values and eventually her mother. This film is a remake of an earlier 1934 film and based on a novel of the same title by Fannie Hurst. The film’s treatment of race, considered daring in its day, provides a powerful view of liberal sentiments at the birth of the civil rights movement. Dir: Douglas Sirk. Starring Susan Kohner, Juanita Moore, Lana Turner and Sandra Dee. On Sun 18 Mar at 2-4pm at Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Street, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ. Adm: Free
~ ‘THIN BLACK LINE(S): THE LEGACY OF BLACK WOMEN ARTISTS’
Put together by Tate curator Paul Goodwin and artist Lubaina Himid, MBE, ‘Thin Black Line(s)’ presents a selection of pieces drawn from three major exhibitions of Afrikan and Asian women artists curated by Himid in the early 1980s: ‘Five Black Women’ at the Africa Centre (1983); ‘Black Women Time Now’ at the Battersea Arts Centre (1983-84); and ‘The Thin Black Line’ at the Institute for Contemporary Art (1985). The display includes works by Sutapa Biswas, Sonia Boyce, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan and Maud Sulter. Drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs are showcased alongside a video documentary on the ‘Black Art’ scene and archival documents comprising of exhibition posters, invitations, letters, etc. In Britain, the Caribbean Artists Movement (1966-72) and the Black Art (1980s) have enabled Afrikan artists and intellectuals to retain ownership of the discourse on their arts and cultures. Until 18 Mar 2012 at Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7887 8888.
~ AXIS OF AFRO present ‘African Screen Contest’. This documentary shows the amazing Maambena Fest, a three-day festival celebrated in Kamakwie in Sierra Leone, organised by the Sella Limba people to encourage and promote literary and cultural expression, including the dreaded and respected Matoma masquerade and gbondokali rites-of-passage dance. DJ Africathy on the decks and an acoustic performance from Usifu Jalloh after the screening. On Wed 21 Mar at 7-11pm at Hackney Attic, Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London, E8 1HE. Adm: £6 / £5 concs / £4 members. Box Office: 0871 902 5734. Web: www.picturehouses.co.uk
~ PECKHAM SPACE PRESENTS THE SOUTH LONDON BLACK MUSIC ARCHIVE. An exhibition by Barby Asante that aims to celebrate and preserve South Londoners’ personal relationships with seminal moments in music history. Peckham Space will be transformed into an ‘open archive’ and will include books, magazines, concert tickets, posters, stories, records and CDs gathered and displayed with the reverence of museum pieces. One of the founding items of the South London Black Music Archive will be a ‘limited edition’ vinyl specially produced for the project as a result of the artist’s collaboration with young people from the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) mentoring programme with an exclusive record sleeve by graphic design collective Åbäke. Copies will be available from record shops across South London and at Peckham Space for the duration of the exhibition. Until March 24 at Peckham Space, Peckham High Street, London, SE15. Visit www.peckhamspace.com.
~ REEL TRINI fortnightly screenings. The new rendezvous for local film aficionados on Sundays at 5pm at Trevor’s Edge in St Augustine, Trinidad. Tel: 744-4956. E-mail: email@example.com
Kubara Zamani, Afrikan Quest International, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU. Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.southwark.tv/quest/aqhome.asp
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