Art X Talk Series Features Artist Yinka Shonibare.
The renowned talk series, Art X Talks will debut online next week featuring in-depth conversations with art enthusiasts and creatives in and around the world.
Join the conversation on Instagram Live on Thursday 21st May, at 5pm WAT, for a catch-up conversation with Yinka Shonibare CBE, moderated by Tayo Ogunbiyi, Artistic Director, ART X Lagos.
The conversation will be the first of a series of talks featuring leading artists, curators, and stakeholders who have impacted the African art ecosystem.
We are inviting young artists to apply for portfolio reviews, with Tayo Ogunbiyi, and artist, Modupeola Fadugba. These sessions will also include career guidance, and tailored learnings to equip young artists to develop their practices. Follow @artxlagos on Instagram for more updates and how to apply.
Veteran Music Artiste, Faze Unveils ‘Rewind,’ An Indoor Music Session.
If you have successfully followed the trajectory of Nigerian Music, then you would have come across the music of the veteran called Faze.
From Faze Alone, Originality, Tattoo girls to his most recent release, Lovina; Faze has shown professional consistency in his creativity and delivery.
The R&B crooner will take us back in time in an Instagram live music session on Thursday 21 at of May titled, ‘Rewind With Faze.’ The indoor concert session which kicks off by 7pm WAT promises an influx of nostalgic songs that we enjoyed back in the days as fans of Faze.
In an Instagram post the Faze explained.
“Let’s rewind again but this time around to my R&B side.”
See you on Thursday for the session.
An African Literary Festival for the Age of Coronavirus.
Book events worldwide are on hold, but Afrolit Sans Frontieres uses social media to host frank discussions around writing, creativity, sex and violence.
For the novelist Maaza Mengiste, the coronavirus lockdowns and stay-at-home measures that have taken hold around the world have brought back the sense of exile she felt when she and her family fled Ethiopia in the 1970s.
So it was a welcome reprieve when she was asked to participate in and help curate a virtual literary festival focused on connection — specifically, between writers of African origin and readers throughout the continent and globe.
“I jumped at the chance,” she said in a phone interview from Zurich. “Doing this online breaks a lot of boundaries that felt insurmountable.”
Alton Mason & Amarachi Nwosu Debut Their Short Film “Rise In Light.”
It is an undeniable fact that people around the world are dealing with the crushing effects of coronavirus. Though some might have it easier than others but those living in developing countries will most likely be the hardest hit.
In Lagos’ sprawling slums, families are struggling to make ends meet as the government imposed curfews, closed markets, and shut down schools, despite kids not having the ability to participate in virtual classes thanks to a lack of affordable internet or gadgets.
In response to this, top American model Alton Mason in partnership with Melanin Unscripted founder Amarachi Nwosu, and filmmaker Soof Light, has come together to debut a short, uplifting, coming-of-age film titled “Rise In Light“, which seeks to raise awareness and funds for those most in need.
Also serving as an introduction to the model’s first single “Gimme Gimme”, the film follows him as he makes his way through the Lagos’s vibrant streets, before heading to the beach at dusk. There, he is seen dancing in the shimmering, shallow waves with young members of local dance troupe Dayours.
Speaking on the project, Alton wrote on his Instagram:
This season has humbled & made us realize how a health crisis can affect our world; however many communities have been suffering from a crisis like this for generations. – the intentions of this video are purely to create something that could be of help right now. –
our collaborative film evolved into an effort to shape creativity towards service, regardless of how small or large. the #RiseinLight impact campaign aims to raise $10,000, feeding 300+ families for a month. –
providing sustainability for the @KhanfoundationNG and their ongoing efforts towards children’s education and now relief towards COVID-19, partnered with @melaninunscripted. – “Rise in Light” is a call for change, evidence of freedom and the expression of love and joy. Created to inspire, uplift, and bring awareness to the communities in Lagos being affected by this pandemic.
Text excluding title courtesy Bellanaija
American Academy Awards The 2020-21 Class of Berlin Prize Fellows.
The American Academy in Berlin has awarded Berlin Prizes—semester-long residential fellowships—to twenty-one scholars, writers, and artists for fall 2020 and spring 2021.
Chosen by an independent selection committee, the 2020-21 class of fellows will explore a wide array of topics, including a first-hand journalistic account of the global refugee crisis, a monograph on the late Berlin-based filmmaker Harun Farocki, a study of African American “return literature,” a new translation of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg, historical investigations of urban life in late nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro, the African diaspora in modern Europe, the Roman Empire’s ethnic pluralism, the pilfering of German cultural property during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as two novels—one set in dystopic Los Angeles and one in 1980s Philadelphia—and artist projects on race and sociopolitical power in recent American history.
The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to US-based scholars, writers, composers, and artists who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields, from the humanities and social sciences to journalism, fiction, visual arts, and music composition. Fellows receive a monthly stipend, partial board, and comfortable accommodations for a semester at the American Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center, located in Berlin’s Wannsee district.
The Berlin Prize provides recipients with the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to engage in academic and artistic projects they might otherwise not pursue. Fellows work throughout the semester with Berlin peers and institutions in the American Academy’s well-established network, forging meaningful connections that lead to lasting transatlantic relationships. During their stay, fellows engage audiences through public lectures, readings, and performances, which form the core of the American Academy in Berlin’s public program.
The Fall 2020 Berlin Prize Fellows Matthieu Aikins Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine Matthieu Aikins has reported from Afghanistan and the Middle East since 2008. At the Academy, he will be working on a book about the global refugee crisis, based on his experience traveling with Afghans, to be published by Harper in 2021.
Laila Amine Assistant Professor of Global Black Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison Laila Amine will work on her monograph Return Literature, Affect, and the Black Diaspora, a comparative study that examines the ubiquitous though overlooked motif of return in black Anglophone literature since 1945. By “return literature,” Amine refers to literary works and critical discourses that have been cordoned off: the African diaspora returning to an ancestral homeland, immigrants or their descendants visiting familial home, and exiles rediscovering their country of origin. At the Academy, she will explore African American writers William G. Smith and Audre Lorde’s respective engagement with individuals of African descent in Berlin.
Lois Banner Professor Emerita of History, University of Southern California Combining biography with history and feminist theory, Lois W. Banner will continue her work on the history of beauty by examining the meanings of feminism, fashion, gender, and ethnicity in the life and times of the international film star Greta Garbo.
Susan Bernofsky Associate Professor of Writing, Columbia University Susan Bernofsky will be working on a new translation of Thomas Mann’s classic novel Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain, 1924), set in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Davos on the eve of World War I.
Alice Goff Assistant Professor of German History and the College, The University of Chicago Alice Goff will complete a monograph on the upheaval of cultural property in German states during and after the Napoleonic wars. Working at the hinge between intellectual and cultural history, the book follows the stories of royal and religious collections and their custodians to explore how the intimate and profane world of art objects challenged ideal visions of art’s transformative powers in the social and political order during an age of liberal revolution.
James N. Green Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History, Brown University James N. Green will be working on his new book project, “The Crossroads of Sin and the Collision of Cultures: Entertainment, Commerce, and Pleasure in Rio de Janeiro (1860-1930),” which examines the transformations in Brazil’s capital that reflected reconfigurations in Brazilian society and urban life at a time of transition from slavery to freedom, mass immigration from abroad, migration from the hinterland, and a revolution in gender norms.
Ralph Lemon Dancer, Choreographer, and Visual Artist; Artistic Director, Cross Performance Ralph Lemon will work on completing an art-book project that began in 2002 in collaboration with and around a black American centenarian named Walter Carter, who passed away in 2010. The project now continues with his wife, Edna Carter, and several family members and friends who live in the rural delta area of Little Yazoo and Bentonia, Mississippi. The work is part meta-ethnographic study, part speculative fiction—a retrospection, continuation, and evolutionary narrative.
Ayana Mathis Writer Ayana Mathis will work on her second novel, A Violent Woman, the story of a retired itinerant Blues singer in rural Alabama and her estranged daughter’s involvement in a radical political group 1000 miles away, in Philadelphia. The novel explores the complexities and heartbreak of familial love as well as South/North migration, women and rage, and the racial and political climate of 1980s Philadelphia. The political group in which the protagonist becomes involved is inspired by MOVE, a radical separatist group active in Philadelphia from the 1970s to the present day.
Saira Mohamed Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley Saira Mohamed’s project examines the military obligation to disobey illegal orders, focusing on the ways in which the law and cultural forces outside the law impede American service members’ capacity to identify and disobey orders to commit war crimes, and on the harms experienced by those subject to such orders. Mohamed uses this inquiry to explore the broader question of the treatment of combatants as “cannon fodder” and the fault lines and deficiencies in the relationship between superior and subordinate in the military.
Mosi Secret Writer; Investigative and Literary Journalist Mosi Secret will work on Teaching Them: The 1960s Experiment to Desegregate the Boarding Schools of the South, a narrative history a little-known group in North Carolina called the Stouffer Foundation, which in the late 1960s and early ’70s financed the racial integration of boarding schools. The foundation’s effort was an ambitious social experiment that sought to test whether elite white children would become more racially tolerant after being exposed to talented black scholarship students.
The Spring 2021 Berlin Prize Fellows Hakim Abderrezak Associate Professor of African Cultural Studies and Music, University of Minnesota In “Burning the Sea”: Clandestine Crossings in the Mediterranean Seametery, Hakim Abderrezak examines the global refugee crisis through the lens of ethics, aesthetics, poetics, and politics. With a focus on media, art, and literature, he teases out the deleterious implications of misnomers by analyzing dominant narratives and by integrating a crucial southern perspective in the study of migration and refugeeism. In Berlin, he will explore the productions of local German and Middle-Eastern artists proposing alternative narratives of tragic sea crossings.
Nora M. Alter Professor of Film and Media Arts, Temple University Nora M. Alter is completing her book Harun Farocki: Forms of Intelligence, which examines the work of the late Berlin-based artist, filmmaker, and writer. Alter will provide a conceptual lens through which to understand Farocki’s media production, from his early films of the late 1960s through his television work of the 1970s and ’80s to his recent contemporary art installations in the new millennium.
Allison Blakely Professor Emeritus of European and Comparative History, Boston University Allison Blakely’s project “The African Diaspora in Modern Europe: an Interpretive History” is a continuation of a book project treating the presence, status, and social agency of people of Black African descent in selected European societies, the prevalent attitudes toward them expressed by white Europeans, and the impact of the current wave of mainly Asian immigration on all of this.
Tony Cokes Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University Tony Cokes will produce a series of essays and quotations that will become the basis for his new video text and sound animations. The works will critically reflect on figurations of the artist, her/his creative activities, spatial contexts, and roles in relation to political, social, and economic power.
Lawrence Douglas James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, Amherst College Lawrence Douglas will work on Aggression, Atrocity, and the “Verbrecherstaat,” a book that offers a historical and conceptual look at how law has sought to gain dominion over the most extreme crimes. The book aims to show how these efforts have unmoored the law’s traditional anchors to time and place, altered the law’s relationship to victims and victim groups, and volatized the basic distinction between war and policing.
Alexandra Kleeman Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, The New School Writer and critic Alexandra Kleeman will continue working on Something New Under the Sun, a dystopian, pre-apocalyptic novel set in Los Angeles, which explores the effects of a new form of synthetic water upon an unsuspecting and unprepared population.
Erik Linstrum Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia Erik Linstrum, a historian of modern Britain in its imperial, European, and global contexts, will be working on his book manuscript, “Age of Emergency: Living with Violence at the End of Empire,” which explores how British society responded — and failed to respond — to the brutality of colonial wars after 1945. In mapping the networks of activists, soldiers, journalists, missionaries, and novelists who exposed the dark side of these conflicts, the book asks why the same mechanisms that eroded secrecy about violence also undermined action to stop it.
Nandini Pandey Associate Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison Nandini Pandey’s project explores ancient Roman ways of envisioning and practicing ethnic pluralism, with particular interest in the spaces where consumers collected tokens of their empire’s variety. By tracing historical links between imperial exploitation and the commodification of difference, her project seeks to write a new chapter in the history of diversity with relevance to modern social thought.
Naghmeh Sohrabi Charles (Corky) Goodman Professor of Middle East History; Director for Research, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University Naghmeh Sohrabi will be working on her next book project, entitled The Intimate Lives of a Revolution: Iran 1979. Based on several years of ethnographic interviews with former revolutionaries, her book is a reconstruction of the intimate lives that were folded into the vastness of the 1979 Iranian revolution. In doing so, it illuminates the small-scale experiences that together—and after the fact—came to define “revolutionary experience.”
Bertrall Ross Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley Bertrall Ross will trace competing conceptions of self-government that evolved over two centuries of English and American political thought, culminating in the US Constitution’s Fifteenth Amendment, which protects against racially discriminatory infringements on the right to vote. He does so to pose a question: Does this Amendment protect only individuals’ narrow right to cast a ballot without discrimination, or does it reach further to bar impediments to racially inclusive governing bodies? The answer could have far-reaching implications for subsequent amendments that protect the nondiscriminatory voting rights for women, the poor, and the young.
Anna Webber Composer, Flutist, and Saxophonist Anna Webber is a flutist, saxophonist, and composer whose interests and work lie in the overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music. At the Academy, she will be working on a new project focused on a study of just intonation and tuning theory.
8 free Writing Competitions To Participate In.
Writing with no goal or purpose (other than to enjoy writing) is a wonderful feeling. But if you’re particularly proud of a piece you’ve created, why not enter a writing competition?
Competitions can also be helpful in getting pieces finished, because they offer a deadline, sometimes a theme, and an incentive (often cash prizes, mentorship or even publication). Some require an entry fee, but there are plenty of great competitions and prizes that are completely free to enter. What do you have to lose? Here are some of our favourites.
Scottish Book Trust 50 Word Fiction
Write a story of up to 50 words using the given prompt in this free monthly competition. We love this one at Converge. You can win a mug!
Litro Flash Fiction Competition
Submit up to 400 words or a spoken word performance around the theme of lockdown. Deadline: 22nd May.
Creative Future Writer’s Award
A prize dedicated to celebrating the work of writers from under-represented backgrounds. Submit a maximum of 42 lines for poetry or 2,000 words for fiction. Courses, cash and mentorship to be won! Deadline: 31st May.
Penguin Random House WriteNow
Another programme aiming to find undiscovered writers who identify as coming from under-represented communities. Submit 1,000 words for the chance to win workshops, feedback and more. Deadline: 31st May.
Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Writing Competition
Your story could be recorded as an audiobook! Write between 1,000 and 2,000 words around the theme of ‘inspiration’ to enter (your story doesn’t need to be related to Jane Austen in any way). Deadline: 20th May.
BBC National Short Story Award
The deadline for this one passed in March, but it’s definitely one to pop in your calendars for next year. Enter up to 8,000 words for a chance to win a massive £15,000. Deadline: March.
Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction Competition
A monthly flash fiction competition for stories of up to 1000 words. Deadline is the last day of every month.
Nature Writing Prize for working class writers
Best-selling writer Natasha Carthew has established a Nature Writing Prize for writers who ‘self-identify as working class’. Submit 1000 words of poetry, fiction, non-fiction or hybrid writing. Prizes include publication in the Countryman magazine and a mentoring session with Natasha. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: 7th June.
Do you have any free writing competitions to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Converge Creative Writing
Africa Day Virtual Event Preps For a Big Showing.
The event will feature a colossal line-up of more than 100 acts and broadcast for free in prime time on various African national channels and a number private channels, with the technical support of the African Union (AU) of Broadcasting, Thomson Broadcast (France) and Radio Afrika (Mali).
Some of the confirmed acts include Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara, Salif Keita and Oumou Sangaré. They will be joined by Dobet Gnahore, Meiway, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Asalfo from Ivory Coast as well as Youssou N’dour, Baaba Maal and Coumba Gawlo from Senegal.
Talented Burundian musicians Khadja Nin, Yvan Buravan and Christelle Kabagire are also on the bill. Eddy Kenzo and Bobi Wine will represent Uganda while Nigeria will be represented by superstars Wizkid and Burna Boy.
Others include Rex Omar (Ghana), Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Sam Fan Thomas (Cameroon), and DRC artists Lokua Kanza, Fally Ipupa and Hiro. There will also be performances by artists from Guinea, Gabon, France, Brazil, Togo, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Madagascar.
The event will also see thought leaders and innovators from Africa and the diaspora engage in an inclusive discussion on social media.
WAN is the brainchild of Camroonian journalist and producer Amobé Mévégué, tech entrepreneur Haweya Mohamed, and musicians Youssou N’dour and Khadja Nin.
The event would seek to raise awareness about the risks of COVID-19 and to engage in a collective reflection on post-crisis Africa.
“I thought to myself that before anyone came up with any initiative, we as Africans should put our heads together and do something,” he said. “So I called Youssou N’dour, Salif Keita and artists in the Caribbean and Jamaican community to create content for our people and spread messages of hope and solidarity during these troubled times.
“I also spoke to the AU and they have endorsed us and promised to take the content and broadcast it for free on public and private TV channels on the continent. With the online discussion, we want people to think about how to reshape Africa and about the new Africa behind this pandemic. What about health, education, governance and job creation?”
For more information about the #IAmWAN event, visit the Worldwide Afro Network official website.
Ayushi Chhabra lands role in Star Trek
FIVE years ago, with just two suitcases and her dreams, actress and model Ayushi Chhabra left South Africa for Los Angeles, in the US, to pursue her passion. Little did she know she would later find herself on set as a cast member of the TV series franchise Star Trek.
Earlier this year, Chhabra, 29, landed the role of Pel on Star Trek.
When Chhabra was 14, the family moved to Bedfordview, in Johannesburg, after her father got a job in the recycling industry. After matriculating at Bishop Bavin School, she studied broadcast journalism at Rhodes University where she graduated with honour’s in 2011.
That was also when her career in entertainment started. She was cast as a TV host on the lifestyle and entertainment shows Sizzle and East ‘N’ Style on ANN7. Both were produced by Shalandra Bunseelal, a film and TV promoter who also reviews movies for the POST.
“I was fresh out of college, but Shalandra saw a spark in me and gave me a chance. And sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you and your talent.”
While working as a TV host, she featured in a short film, Tender, for the 48 Hour Film Project.
“That was my first acting job and since then, there has been no stopping,” said Chhabra, who won Miss India Gauteng in 2009.
Recalling her move to LA, Chhabra said her life changed overnight. She studied at the New York Film Academy and due to her acting background was granted an entertainment visa to work in the country.
Since 2015, she has appeared in more than 50 adverts for brands including Apple, Emirates, GAP, Google Pixel, Target, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Samsung. She said she had been auditioning for film and TV roles for the past five years when she landed her role on the TV series.
“While I booked roles in films and web series, I got my breakthrough role this year as Pel. I didn’t know I was auditioning for such a huge franchise when I got the call from my agent to go for this audition. Due to NDA (non-disclosure agreement) reasons, the project’s name was different and the role was called something else.
“So I thought it was just another audition and I didn’t think too much about it. I just went in, read for the part and left the audition. The next day, I got a call from my agent and my life changed. All I heard was her screaming on the phone saying ‘You booked Star Trek’.”
On the same day, she had a prosthetics, hair and make-up test. “That’s how quickly things move in LA.”
She said her character was a pregnant Romulan (alien).
“The hair and make-up process was elaborate. From wearing a wig to getting prosthetic ears, a forehead and new brows to a different textured skin tone and a belly, it was a truly transformative experience.”
The process, she said, took four hours.
Chhabra said that despite not watching Star Trek as a child, she now considered herself part of the Trek family.
“I enjoy catching up on all the Trek stories I have missed It’s beyond fascinating.”