Tag: culture

West African Textiles – then and now


west african textiles2

Despite it’s struggle to survive on the continent, West African textiles are growing in popularity in the diaspora, especially Europe. However, if African textiles are to become a staple across the world, it’s heritage needs to be maintained and strengthened in Africa.

This is an interesting video on the history and current state of West African textiles, which is more than just wax prints.

 

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Good African Coffee


Empowering Ugandan farmers, without charity or handouts – An entrepreneur’s dream has become a reality.

The founder and CEO, economist Andrew Rugasira , says it’s about trade, not aid – Africa doesn’t need handouts.

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Black model survival kit


The Fashion industry is definitely being called to account on its failings in providing an environment where all models are provided with the services required to do their jobs. These failings are chronic; the only reason they’re coming to light is because of social media and the fact that black models are just fed up!

It seems like, black models can’t just turn up to work and expect a makeup artist to have products that complement their skin, oh no no no! They need to be prepare just in case… This isn’t an issue 100% of the time, but it’s more prevalent than it should be, especially as it occurs at international shows.

If you’re a stylist / make up artist / hairdresser on an international model show, you need to be prepared. Just like any other job, in any other industry – be prepared/ equipped to do your job. Some argue it’s laziness but I also think it’s ignorance. Part of a solution to the problem is to just have more ethnic make up artists, who understand skin of colour and different hair textures. We don’t just need diversity on the runway but behind the scenes too!

 

Leomie Anderson
The (Victoria) secret’s out! Leomie Anderson walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (Photo by Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)

Discovered while she was at school, twenty-something model from London, Leomie Anderson, modelled for Victoria secret, Tom Ford, Chloe, Moschino, and Vivienne Westwood.  Leomie has been very vocal about her black model experiences in the fashion industry and felt compelled to help her fellow models out, buy laying down what’s in her ‘model survival kit’.

Hairdresser at fashion show: “Why do you think you need different products from everyone else?”

Leomie Anderson: “Babes, ’cause I’m a totally different race, of course I need different products!”

 

Pictures: Premier Model Management

After modelling for around six years, Leomie dishes out what she believes are the top 5 products every black model needs to survive at fashion shows.

 

 

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Eritrean food making waves in London


“Do not despise these small beginnings” – a modest Ethiopian / Eritrean café in Woolwich, London may be a small fish (at the moment) in a big pond, but it’s getting noticed!

The Blue Nile Café has had good reviews on travel website TripAdvisor.com and other restaurant review sites; its owner Hagos (who came to London in the 80’s as a refugee), opened the establishment in 2014 with the help of her sons.

As a former Italian colony, Eritrean food also has Italian influences.

vegan food, injera flatbread
Blue Nile Cafe, serving the fermented injera flatbread – a staple in Eritrean / Ethiopian cuisine. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

East African food is still trying to make its way onto the London food scene, but this Eritrean restaurant in London is going full stream ahead!

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Strolling through colourism & class in Jamaica


Jamaica is a beautiful island, tourism is one of its biggest industries. Like most Caribbean islands, there is more to Jamaica than sunshine, white sandy beaches and good rum!

Despite all her beauty, there is an ugly which lurks beneath. Colourism, a negative racial construct is endemic within ethnic communities globally and Jamaica hasn’t escaped. Earlier this year, the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper reported sprinting legend Usain Bolt, discussing being discriminated against by his fellow ‘upper class’ Jamaicans, at the start of his rise to success, due to his humble beginnings.

“Especially when I started out. It was more shocking than anything else. That was how I ended up buying my house..I was living in a complex and I had issues with a few of the lighter-skinned people. I used to live near a lawyer and when I moved in, he said to me ‘be careful, they don’t like to see young people strive’.”

 Strolling, is an online documentary series by  director Cecile Emeke from London – “connecting the scattered stories of the black diaspora”. One episode follows two Jamaicans, recounting their experiences of Jamaica’s class/colour divide.

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What do you call it… urban?


During the hottest weekend in London this year (13th-14th July) so far, Josephine Avenue in South London was the canvas for numerous artists during the annual alfresco Urban Art Fair 2013. I went on day one and was first greeted by street artists spray painting a train and later by an eclectic mix of paintings, photography, mixed media and sculptures. Despite running for over a decade, this was actually the first time I heard of the Urban Art Fair; one of the exhibiting artists, Merley Okine invited me. I guess it’s called urban art because of the location in the heart of Brixton, but walking along the winding road of Josephine Avenue surrounded by dense foliage, it was easy to believe I was out somewhere in suburbia; it was nice to see different interpretations of personal creativity. Freshly prepared by a French crêpe maker from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, I continued strolling along eating my Belgian chocolate crêpe, I shared with a friend and just admired the creations. There were gaps during my admiration where I remembered my traumatic artistic teenage years. Yes, memories of my school art lessons came back to haunt me. I’ll admit that I am not the best drawer but I tried, however I never got that elusive ‘A’ or ‘B’ for effort! Anyway, as I have forgiven my art teacher :-), let’s have a look at people who probably did get A’s for art at school:

Photos: All pictures taken on my mobile (Artist details below)

On arrival – Street Artists http://www.urbanart.co.uk
On arrival – Street Artists
http://www.urbanart.co.uk

Continue reading “What do you call it… urban?”