Young Contemporaries ‘International Women’s Day’ Edition; Envisioning Your Safe Space with Chidinma.
This edition will take place on International Women’s Day, themed IWD 2020; #EachforEqual, recognising all of the actions we can take as individuals to challenge stereotypes, fight prejudice and celebrate women’s achievements.
Chidinma’s work explores the complexities of societal structures like the equal pay gap and how they affect the human condition so we are really excited to explore the theme and share this form of expression that Chidinma has created with you.
It’s time to Sip and Paint! Learn how to translate your safe space from your mind to a canvas.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday the 8th of March from 3 pm – 6 pm!.
Thought Pyramid Art Centre Introduces Solo Exhibition by Amarachi Okafor
Thought Pyramid Art Centre Abuja opens up to art enthusiasts this weekend with a solo exhibition themed, ‘The Colour of Our Hearts Is the Colour of Our City.’
The concept of the solo exhibition by Amarachi Okafor, is wrapped around the philosophy that the attitude or colour of our hearts individually, influences the collective result that we ‘enjoy’ where we dwell and where we participate.
This is indeed the summation or the consequence of whom we essentially are as persons and as humans present in a given space.
This exhibition is participatory (with audiences) and performative (by the audience and the artist).
The exhibition which kicks off from the 23rd March –4th April 2020, features a line-up of activities to include:
VERBAL INTERACTION WITH THE ARTIST- Monday 23rd March 2020.
5.00 pm – 8.00 pm
The Thought Pyramid Art Centre is at 18, Libreville Street
Wuse 2, Abuja.
For enquiries and clarification, please reach out to:
+234 806 615 2226
The Bagus NG kicks off its 4th Anniversary With a Special Brunch Today.
The Bagus NG kicks off its 4th Year Anniversary with the second instalment of their annual Brunch hangout today with the theme, Author Branding; what’s your story?
This year’s brunch brings together an industry noted brand storyteller, an awardwinning author, writers, an influencer, literary publicists, curators and bookstagrammers, authors and aspiring authors, poets, artists e.t.c from Lagos. The 2020 brunch offers a multi-layered experience with something for everyone – masterclass, poetry and musical performances, panel discussions, raffle draws and the like.
Date is Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (WAT)
The Bagus NG is a literary platform dedicated to promoting African literature and the arts and in the process bring needed awareness to the work of African authors and artists. The Bagus NG is not your typical literary blog as we seek to bring colourful fun to the world of literature while keeping it literary-based and entertaining at the same time.
IT’S TODAY & YOU ARE INVITED | A Solo Exhibition by TEGA AKPOKONA
The Tega Akpokona exhibition, presented by BLOOM Art, will take place today at MILIKI, a private members’ lounge promoting knowledge and culture.
The exhibition which is open to Art lovers, collectors, enthusiasts, ‘culture vultures’ and the curious will kick off at 3pm -7 pm today.
About Tega Akpokona
Tega Akpokona (b.1991) is an outstanding and talented young Nigerian emerging artist. He graduated with a BA in Fine and Applied Art, from the University of Benin, Nigeria, in 2011.
Akpokona’s practice aims to allure the viewer to experience the creative use of light interplayed with rich subtle, colours, capturing the depth of human emotions.
Using a colour language reminiscent of the Dutch Baroque period, his work seeks to address socio-economic issues, and interrogate everyday realities of living in Nigeria. Akpokona’s works can be found in prestigious private collections in Nigeria and abroad.
He held his first solo exhibition, Timeless, in 2016 at Terra Kulture in Lagos, Nigeria, and was among the artists selected for TAFETA London’s summer 2018 exhibition. He lives and works in Lagos.
MILIKI, the venue of the exhibition is located at 7b Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
For pricing and other information (including access after the opening day) please feel free to contact the curator and exhibition organiser, Ugoma Adegoke at email@example.com or +2347034030683.
John Singleton Short Film Competition Winners
The Pan African Film Festival and the Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb J. Wesson, Jr. announces the winners of the John Singleton Short Film Competition.
Jennifer J. Scott and Brandon Hammond for their script “Amaru”
Chelsea Hicks and Mitchell Brandon Rodgers for their script “Contraband”
Kemiyondo Coutinho and York Walker for their script “The Séance”
In his remarks at the announcement, LA City Council President Emeritus Herb J. Wesson, Jr. said that each winner will receive $20,000 to produce a short film with their scripts. This competition was funded by the city of Los Angeles through the embRACE LA Initiative.
Source: The Sentinel
OJ Returns with ‘Our Jesus Story’
After a five-year hiatus from Nollywood to concentrate on his other businesses, front-line filmmaker, Ojiofor Ezeanyanche is returning to the scene with a new movie entitled ‘Our Jesus Story’.
The veteran filmmaker popularly known as OJ described the faith-based movie as the perfect comeback for him.
The inspiration to make the film according to him came a decade ago but he couldn’t make the movie even after writing the script. The constant urge to make the film finally prompted him to return.
‘Our Jesus Story’, according to OJ, is an African expression of the story of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“It is a divine fulfillment of a burden that has been in my heart all these years. This is a very bold step on its own, considering the fact that the story is not fiction, a story everyone who has read the Bible or not, is familiar with.”
Some of Nollywood stars in the production include Eucharia Anunobi.
Long before his break, OJ amassed wealth from filmmaking during the early days of Nollywood. Some of his movies include ‘Ashes to Ashes’ , ‘Only Love’, ‘Egg of Life’, ‘My Love’, ‘Two Rats’ among others which his production outfit became known for.
“Stories of our Lives” or the Queer Kenyan Experience
In “Stories of our Lives,” the Nest Collective — an art collective based in Kenya — takes on an inspiring approach in narrating the experiences of the LGBTQ community in Kenya. What initially started as an oral project led to the production of a series of five short movies based on true stories, capturing the broad spectrum of the lives of those considered “marginal” in Kenyan society. The screening of the movie took place at the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia on Feb. 13 in collaboration with the School of Arts and Sciences’ African Film and Media Pedagogy Seminar at Penn. The award-winning anthology challenged the status quo of a country in which homosexuality is considered a crime, punishable by law.
The project started on June 30, 2013, when members of the Nest Collective undertook to collect and archive stories of Kenyan individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and intersex. Originally, their stories were meant only to be presented orally, but the Nest Collective decided to move to movie production as they felt words alone wouldn’t be enough to share the struggles of these individuals. The movie has been entirely shot using a DSLR camera, and despite the precarious nature of the means available, the cineastes were still able to bring forth the shame, fear, hustle and hopes of this unorthodox community within the bigger Kenyan community in a heartening and impassioned way.
Five vignettes make up the movie: “Ask Me Nicely,” “Run,” “Athman,” “Duet,” and “Each Night I Dream.”
All of the movies shown are entirely in black and white — a choice potentially aimed at emphasizing the duality of the lives of the characters. Based on true stories, each movie documents what it is like to be queer in a typical African country, where you not only have to battle against society’s witch hunt, but also fight against unjust constitutional laws in a comprehensive way. As a queer Black African from Cameroon (Central Africa), I related to these stories, and I am certain that others in my position would as well. It honestly felt inspiring and enlivening to see such representation in the industry.
For example, “Run” is about a man called Patrick, who faces a violent confrontation with his friend Kama after the latter sees him leaving a gay bar at night. Patrick is left with no choice but to run away to avoid the worst. The movie perfectly portrays the struggle of embracing “deviant” sexuality in a vastly homophobic society. At the same time, the film captures the thrill of discovering others who share the same “scandalous” secret as you in such proximity, and the desire to be with your newfound confidant. These feelings of excitement, however, exist against the constant fear of being unmasked. There is no choice but to embrace a false identity with those unlike you in order to maintain your coverage, because you know how violent the result will be if they ever found out, and the last resort will be to run.
In “Each Night I Dream,” following the threat of anti-gay laws enforcements, Liz visualizes dramatic escape plans for herself and her partner Achi. An escape from the nonsensical persecution the protagonists are victims of, to faraway places: wherever it might, no matter what it takes, as long as they are free to love.
“Stories of our Lives” is a beautiful compilation of stories that speak for not only the lived experiences of LGBTQ identifying individuals in Kenya, but also more broadly in the world. It is a smart production that is not afraid to state its goals in a conservative society to show the unjustly oppressed they are not alone and are visible. The medium shots bring us close to the characters’ intimacy, allowing us to better understand them and their feelings, leaving very little space for apathy. Despite the movie’s ban from Kenya, “Story of our Lives” remains a triumphant piece of art that proves how broad the concept of Africanness is.
This Year’s New African Film Festival is All About History
Now in its 16th year and bigger than ever, the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center’s showcase of contemporary cinema from Africa presents 39 films from 25 countries, with 40 percent of this year’s titles directed by women. Based on our limited cross-section, this year’s sprawling lineup has a particularly strong sense of history—film history. From a primer on sub-Saharan African cinema to one country’s endangered movie history, the festival offers a variety of rich perspectives from different cultures who face the 21st century with new and ongoing tensions between ancient traditions and the modern world.
Those well-versed in world cinema may be familiar with the work of Senegal’s Ousmane Sembène, whose 1966 film Black Girl is considered the very first feature to emerge from sub-Saharan Africa, or the surreal 1973 drama Touki Bouki, from Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty. These titles have been screened in the D.C. area in the past year, but what about the work of Mauritanian director Med Hondo, or the Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé? Originally released in 1983, this French-Tunisian documentary from director Férid Boughedir takes viewers through the difficult birth of African cinema. Early films from the continent were often easier to see overseas than in the restrictive nations from which they came forth. This wasn’t just a matter of oppressive government censors, although that was sometimes the case; distributors were often unwilling to screen these titles, instead opting for more lucrative films from India or the United States. Directors like Hondo, in his film Oh, Sun, addressed conditions of immigrant workers in Paris, while Nigerian director Ola Balogun, in his 1976 Yoruba-language musical Ajani Ogun, forged the groundwork of the now prolific Nollywood industry. A survey of films that are often hard to see outside of the festival circuit, Camera d’Afrique puts the struggles of today’s African filmmakers into a fascinating historical perspective. March 19 at 7 p.m.
Talking About Trees
While Camera d’Afrique is a primer on the history of African cinema, this Sudanese film demonstrates how much of this cultural legacy has already been lost, at least in Sudan. Director Suhaib Gasmelbari spent time with four veteran Sudanese filmmakers: Manar Al Hilo, Suleiman Ibrahim, Altayeb Mahdi, and Ibrahim Shaddad. The elders formed the Sudanese Film Club to bring movies back to a country that, after a 1989 coup, banned film production. Their own work, made primarily in the 1960s and ’70s, is hard to come by, and the film follows the aging artists as they dig into their dusty archives and find the vestiges of a once promising industry—and evidence of its destruction. Deep files uncover detailed production notes for a film called Crocodile that was ready for shooting until forces supported by the National Islamic Front overthrew the government and ordered movie theaters closed. With Shaddad gleefully performing an impression of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, these men never forgot the magic of cinema, and they try to get permission to take over an abandoned movie theater near Khartoum. Unfortunately, bureaucracy gets in the way. If contemporary African cinema is thriving, Talking About Trees, as it follows its subjects opening up boxes of dusty VHS tapes, is a cautionary tale: In order to preserve cinema for future generations, care must be taken to safeguard these cultural landmarks or they’ll disappear. March 10 at 7:15 p.m.
You Will Die At Twenty
Amjad Abu Alala’s evocative feature debut is a moody coming-of-age drama that again raises the question of Sudan’s endangered film history—this time as a reminder to the nation’s youth that there is a world beyond the village. Muzamil (played by Moatasem Rashid and Mustafa Shehata) is doomed by a fateful prediction: At his naming ceremony, an oracle said that the boy would die when he turned 20 years old. His father runs away, while his protective mother Sakina (Islam Mubark) enrolls him in a conservative Quran school. Most of the villagers still treat Muzamil as an outsider, condemned to die too young. One exception is the pretty Naima (Bonna Khalid), who falls in love with the boy. But he soon falls under the influence of Sulaiman (Mahmoud Elsaraj), an elder who has lived around the globe and has a collection of 16mm films that show Muzamil what life is like elsewhere. You Will Die at Twenty isn’t a story about being afraid to die, it’s a story about being afraid to live. The dust particles gathering in the beams of a film projector become a poignant metaphor of what the body eventually becomes. Yet, as Suleiman tells his young charge, there’s still time to get out there and dance in the light. March 7 at 5 p.m. and March 8 at 10 p.m.
Gold Coast Lounge
Call it Ghana noir: This black-and-white drama evokes hard-boiled thrillers as it charts the bitter rivalries in a crime family that runs a popular nightclub in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. John (Adjetey Anang) is the patriarch just released from prison and returning to an internal feud that threatens to put the lounge in jeopardy. Daniel (Alphonse Menyo) wants to run the business without the illegal activity that sent their leader to jail, but Wisdom (Pascal Aka, who also directed the film) is just fine with using the club to sell drugs and women. The family is not without its share of formidable women, like Akatua (Zynnell Zuh), who wields a vicious power within the organization. With ghosts, family secrets, and a bloodthirsty final act, the film comes across as a more modern Hamlet. But Aka’s allegiance to film noir is tempered by visions of tribal ancestors who watch over the modern proceedings with alarm. Gold Coast Lounge uses gangster movie tropes to address the nation’s history of civil war. And if the infighting doesn’t stop, Aka warns, outsiders just might take over. March 6 at 7 p.m.
The feature debut from Kenyan actor and screenwriter Mugambi Nthiga tells of class conflict in Nairobi. It’s also a harrowing ghost story. Lusala (Brian Ogola) was adopted by an affluent family after he and his sister fled their violent father when they were children. Now that he’s an adult, Lusala’s parents think he’s ready to live on his own, and he gets a job where he proves to be a gifted mechanic. But when he attends church with his parents, he learns that his adopted mother apparently took him in just so she’d look good in front of the congregation. Stressed out by life on his own, he begins seeing visions of his sister Bakhita (Stycie Waweru), a reminder of a guilty secret. Lusala packs a lot of complex emotions and drama into 65 minutes, and Ogola is perfect as the haunted young man who overcame a difficult childhood and has yet to find his footing in the world. March 14 at 1:30 p.m. and March 18 at 9:15 p.m.