Africa Utopia 2015
Southbank Centre
10-13 Sept 2015

Fashion at Africa Utopia 2014. Credit Vic Frankowski Fashion at Africa Utopia 2014. Credit Vic Frankowski

Baaba Maal, Spoek Mathambo, Tendai Huchu, Bryony Rheam, Tosin Coker, Bawren Tavaziva, Maaza Mengiste, Jamal Mahjoub, and Irenosen Okojie confirmed to join Tony Allen, Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, Orchestra Baobab, Kassé Mady Diabaté, Chineke!, Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, Nimco Ali, Sunny Dolat, Blick Bassy, Afroquoi, Dineo Seshee Bopape & more for Africa Utopia 2015


Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia is back for a third time and explores what can be learnt and celebrated from modern Africa and the African diaspora. The festival investigates the arts and culture of one of the world's most dynamic and fast-changing continents and looks at how Africa can lead the way in thinking about society, community, business and technology, fashion, gender, power, politics, sustainability and activism.


This year’s festival features some of the greatest artists from the African diaspora across music, dance, literature, and the visual arts, alongside a three-day programme of talks, debates and workshops. Southbank Centre’s spaces will be transformed by a myriad of free art installations, a buzzing indoor marketplace, family events, a celebration of African-inspired fashion, Afrikan yoga, dance, singing, craft and story-telling workshops. Also, for the first time at Africa Utopia, Pop Up Africa presents The African Street Food Takeover, over 20 stalls serving authentic African cuisine from across the continent.


Highlights include:

  • Headline gigs from living legend of afrobeat Tony Allen with star guests including Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté (Sun 13 Sep); Senegal’s mighty Orchestra Baobab, giving their first London show in three years, supported by Blick Bassy (Fri 11 Sep); and one of West Africa’s greatest singers Kassé Mady Diabaté (Sat 12 Sep);

  • The launch concert of Chineke!Europe’s first Black and Minority Ethnic classical symphony orchestra founded by Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, including Elegy - in memoriam Stephen Lawrence by black British composer Philip Herbert and preceded by a participatory showcase from the Junior Chineke! Orchestra (Sun 13 Sep);

  • The Nest Collective presents the first readings outside Kenya of the true stories of the country’s LGBTQI community, The Stories of Our Lives, alongside a screening of the eponymous prize-winning film, banned in Kenya (Sat 12 Sep);

  • UK premiere of Star Boy Productions, an original performance about the migrant’s story of survival by acclaimed Belgium-based director Ahil Ratnamohan (Fri 11–Sat 12 Sep);

  • An extensive programme of talks and debates across the weekend curated by Hannah Pool, probing themes as wide-ranging as Aviation in Africa and Financing the Future to Migration, Being an African Man and Youth, Education & Power (Fri 11–Sun 13 Sep);

  • Speakers include Baaba Maal (co-founder of the first Africa Utopia), Nimco Ali (anti-FGM campaigner), Mariéme Jamme (technologist and founder of Africa Gathering), Victoria Moores (African Aerospace), Sunny Dolat (The Nest Collective), Feruz Werede (Network for Eritrean Women), Vanessa Iwowo and Awol Allo (LSE), Afua Hirsch (Sky), Joseph Harker (The Guardian), girls’ rights campaigner June Eric-Udorie, film-maker Mojereoma Egunjobi, visual artist Larry Achiampong, and more (Fri 11–Sun 13 Sep);

  • Contemporary African fiction explored, from talks on Afrofuturism, Sci-Fi and African Pulp/Genre, to Migrations of the Mind, featuring authors Tendai Huchu, Bryony Rheam, Nikhil Singh, Tosin Coker, Maaza Mengiste, Jamal Mahjoub, Irenosen Okojie, and more (Sat 12–Sun 13 Sep);

  • Southbank Centre debuts from a new wave of African musicians including South African rapper, producer and film-maker Spoek Mathambo (Thu 10 Sep), Cameroonian Blick Bassy, currently making waves with his new album Akö, and Kenyan songstress Maia von Lekow (Fri 11 Sep);

  • The first UK solo exhibition of work by South African visual artist Dineo Seshee Bopape: slow -co- ruption (Hayward Gallery Project Space, 26 August – 27 September 2015);

  • New work by contemporary artists and designers presented across the site, including wall works from Phoebe Boswell and Lakwena Maciver, and a digital installation in partnership with Kenyan digital artist and founder of African Digital Art, Jepchumba (10–13 Sep);

  • A Hackathon for Gender Equality, led by Mariéme Jamme, of Africa Gathering (Fri 11–Sun 13 Sep);

  • Opportunities to party include African-influenced artists and DJs presented by Wormfood, featuring psychedelic Gnawa fusion from Electric Jalaba, a club night from African Head Charge, KOG and the Zongo Brigade and headliners Afriquoi - who launch their new album - and a late-night DJ set (Fri 11 Sep), plus an Afrobeats Club Night on the Clore Ballroom (Sat 12 Sep);

  • A day celebrating African-inspired fashion, featuring a fashion show curated by East London designer Samson Soboye and the return of the People’s Catwalk (Sat 12 Sep);

  • Performances across the weekend from Tiata Fahodzi Theatre, ADAD, Tavaziva Dance, Yomi Sode, Funmi Adewole, HomeBros, plus poet and women’s rights activist Jessica Horn presents The Love Mic with performance and dialogue from poets Amaal Said, Toni Stuart and Rich Blk and musician Matshidiso (Thu 10–Sun 13 Sep);

  • Free live music across the site, an African social dance, Afrikan yoga, dance, singing, storytelling and Afroretro craft workshops for all the family (Thu 10–Sun 13 Sep);

  • A buzzing indoor marketplace offering the latest in African inspired fashion, accessories, books, art and home-ware; and Pop Up Africa presents The African Street Food Takeover, over twenty stalls serving authentic African cuisine from across the continent (Fri 11–Sun 13 Sep).

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said, "Africa’s influence on the UK – and worldwide – is immense. Throughout Africa Utopia we explore what Africa can teach the West, by displaying fresh perspectives on contemporary Africa and shining a light on its rich tapestry of culture, politics, society, gender, business, and activism. I am delighted that this year’s Africa Utopia provides a platform for both legendary African artists and emerging, provocative voices from the continent and the diaspora. The festival culminates in the historic launch of Chi-chi Nwanoku’s visionary orchestra Chineke!. The project chimes with Southbank Centre’s vision that background, race and creed should be no barrier to arts for all.”


Info: Full listings below and at www.southbankcentre.co.uk | Southbank Centre Ticket Office – 0844 847 9910


Related links

Africa Utopia 2014


Africa Utopia 2014 Big Sing. Credit Vic Frankowski Africa Utopia 2014 Big Sing. Credit Vic Frankowski

THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
Phoebe Boswell
Transit Terminal
Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 September, 10am – 10pm, Level 2 Foyer Spaces, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Artist Phoebe Boswell combines traditional draughtsmanship with digital technology to create drawings, animations and installations that explore global, fragmented narratives such as her own. Born in Kenya to a Kikuyu mother and fourth generation British Kenyan father, Pheobe was brought up as an expatriate in the Middle East before coming to London, where she now lives and works, and explains "I have always had a delicate understanding of the meaning of 'home'." As such her history, identity and work is rooted in themes of migration and a personal exploration of home.

There are twelve figures featured in Transit Terminal. FNA-CKY-CDG-LHR – the title for the child figure, describes the child’s journey from Freetown, Conakry, Charles de Gaulle to London Heathrow airport.


Lakwena Maciver
Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 September, 10am – 10pm

Riverside Terrace Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall & The Front Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Free

London-based artist Lakwena Maciver makes large-scale, kaleidoscopic street art and paintings. Lakwena takes her inspiration from designs and communication used in popular culture, street art and advertising that coexist in the urban environment. Using bright colours and bold geometric patterns she remixes these influences to create highly decorative paintings often with a powerful message that shift values around gender, worship and myths.


Africa Live Lounge – Warming Up
1pm, Festival Riverside Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Join us in the Africa Live Lounge for incredible free live music throughout Africa Utopia. Each day of the festival, the Africa Live Lounge offers a relaxed performance platform for new emerging artists and community groups, featuring real up and coming talent, showcasing the innovative musical forms and styles taking inspiration and influence from Africa. Full schedule of performances will follow.


African Social Dance
1.30pm – 4pm, The Front Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Free

Join us to learn traditional African dance styles at African Utopia Festival. Enjoy the rhythms of African music whilst dancing alongside others and making new friends. Everyone is welcome, beginners and experienced dancers alike. As part of Southbank Centre’s series of regular social dances.


Africa Live Lounge – Starting the Party
6pm, Festival Riverside Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free


Yomi Sode presents COAT
6.30pm, Spirit Level (Blue Room) at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £5

In COAT, Yomi Sode tackles migration and identity using the audience as his counsellor. An attack at his workplace uncovers various flash points in Yomi's upbringing that are confusing, at times humorous, and uncomfortable. Developed as part of Re:Play.


An evening with Spoek Mathambo
7pm, The Front Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £10

Spoek Mathambo is one of South Africa's most forward-thinking and renowned artists. His lengthy resume includes work as a musician, MC and documentary maker; his film Future Sounds of Mzansi delves into the various strands of South African electronic music. Join him for an evening of performance that reveals his restless creativity.


Africa Utopia Voicelab: Beyond The Bassline
Thursday 10 September 2015, 7pm – 8.30pm, Sunley Pavilion at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Southbank Centre’s Voicelab is back with popular singing workshops for all abilities – no experience necessary. The ever-popular men’s vocal initiative Beyond the Bassline is given the African treatment by singer, composer and band-leader Juwon Ogungbe. This open and inclusive workshop introduces men of all ages and singing abilities to music which feels good to sing. Just turn up on the day and join in. For more information, contact voicelab@southbankcentre.co.uk


Acts of Looking
Thursday 10–Sunday 13 September, after 8pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall External Wall

During Africa Utopia, Acts of Looking digital project space will be transformed into an online space that explores contemporary African culture and creativity. Working in partnership with Jepchumba, Kenyan digital artist and founder of African Digital Art, Southbank Centre will invite a range of female creatives and image makers to contribute to the online space. We will then curate a series of Africa Utopia projections on the Royal Festival Hall during the Festival weekend.

Acts of Looking is a digital project space that aims to curate online imagery that asks people to look again and think about the visual culture that surrounds them. Our focus is to celebrate digital creative culture and present a diverse range of imagery, ideas and cultures by collaborating with a range of established and emerging creatives.


FRIDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
DAY PASS
Explore African politics, technology, education and trade with a day of talks and debates.

Panel discussions, keynotes and workshops examine everything from disruptive innovation to the power and politics of data in Africa. The day includes talks on the joys and challenges of doing business in Africa, the future of digital journalism and what really happens when diaspora Africans return home to set up a business.

Speakers include Baaba Maal (co-founder of the first Africa Utopia), Victoria Moores (African Aerospace), Feruz Werede (Network for Eritrean Women), Vanessa Iwowo and Awol Allo (LSE), Afua Hirsch (Sky), and Mariéme Jamme (technologist and founder of Africa Gathering) who also leads a Hackathon for Gender Equality.


Africa Utopia Market Place
12pm – 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Level 2 Foyers, Free

Celebrating all things African, this buzzing market hosts stalls featuring art, homeware, fashion and accessories, in the style of an African trading market. Keep an eye on the website for updates and details of market stallholders, soon to be announced.


Africa Utopia Food Market
12pm – 8pm, Southbank Centre Square, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Pop Up Africa presents The African Street Food Takeover, over twenty stalls serving authentic African cuisine from across the continent featuring Zoe's Ghana Kitchen, Baba Ganoush, Ethiopique, Shocka's Coconut Hub, Chale Let's Eat, Massi Ma,Ethiopian Coffee Company, Big Mamma's Kitchen, Sal's Shack, Kato Enterprises, Mama's Jerk Station, Mr Spicy, Chishuru, Moyo London, Makalini's, Ije Shop, RedGreenandBlack, Gidi Sharwama and more.


Maia Von Lekow
Friday Lunch with Mastercard
1pm, Central Bar at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free
Maia Von Lekow's music combines afro-jazz, folk and soul with Swahili spice. The Kenyan musician has supported artists including James Blunt, Habib Koité, Thandiswa and Mafikizolo, and performed at festivals across Africa. Maia's debut album ‘Drift’ was released in 2013. 'Uko Wapi', from her self-titled EP, received two African Academy Awards for best soundtrack.


Electric Jalaba
Friday Tonic with Mastercard
6pm, The Front Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Free,
Electric Jalaba brings together members of Soundspecies and Moroccan musician Simo Lagnawi, a singer, dancer and the leading UK player of the Guembri – a traditional lute-like stringed instrument made from camel skin. Their collaboration combines Simo's mesmerising Gnawa music with Soundspecies' multifaceted musical background, influenced by jazz, techno, funk, psychedelic rock and desert blues.


Africa Live Lounge – Bringing the Rhythm
6pm, Festival Riverside Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free


Orchestra Baobab
+ Blick Bassy
7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £20, £25

Senegal's mighty Orchestra Baobab perform their first London show in three years. One of the best known groups in Africa, Orchestra Baobab formed in 1970, taking their name from the Dakar night-club where they were resident. They drew musicians from all over Senegal as well as Togo and Nigeria, playing multi-lingual, multi-ethnic music with a strong Cuban flavour. Orchestra Baobab released dozens of recordings until they split in 1987, before reforming in 2001 with the encouragement of Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour. Since then, they have toured worldwide, released their first new recordings in nearly thirty years and received two BBC Radio 3 awards and a Grammy nomination.

Support comes from singer-songwriter Blick Bassy, who performs in Bassa, one of 260 languages spoken in Cameroon. His latest album, ‘Akö’, is influenced by bluesman Skip James and the itinerant musicians he encountered during his rural childhood.


Wormfood Presents
7.30pm, The Front Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £12.50, £15, £17.50

London-based promoters Wormfood showcase a new generation of home-grown artists who have been inspired by African sounds. Headliners Afriquoi combine the virtuosic kora of Jally Kebba Suso and the guitar of Fiston Lusambo with percussion, vocals and live electronics, marrying traditional African music with an uplifting, contemporary UK style. KOG and the Zongo Brigade – Glastonbuy Emerging Talent runners-up 2015 – deliver infectious West African vibes from Ghana via Sheffield, blending afrobeat, soul, funk and reggae. Pioneering dub-reggae ensemble African Head Charge – led by co-founder and percussionist Bonjo Iyabhinghi Noah – fuse primal drumbeats with psychedelic dub, roots reggae and modern electronica. The night ends with DJs who take African music in new directions. Nubiyan Twist play some of the tracks that have influenced them as a band, including afro-funk, afro-Brazilian and afrobeat favourites.


Star Boy Productions
7.45pm, Purcell Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15

This UK premiere is a sideways look at the migrant’s story of survival by acclaimed Belgium-based director Ahil Ratnamohan. Star Boy Productions invites audiences to learn the clandestine tricks required by African migrants to remain legal in the EU and examines the psyche of those attempting to create a better future for themselves. Presented by three African migrants (West African footballers based in Antwerp making contemporary performance about Europe, visas, and azonto), this searingly truthful play invites an audience into their world of survival, explaining the lengths one can and must go to in order to remain in Europe – the illegal things people do in order to become ‘legal’.
Created by Etuwe Bright Junior, Lateef Babatunde, Aloys Kwaakum, Ahilan Ratnamohan and Kristof Persyn. Lighting by Wouter Dupon. Co-produced by Monty and CC Luchtbal. Supported by the Flemish Government, City of Antwerp and the Australia Council for the Arts.


Africa Utopia. Credit Vic Frankowski Africa Utopia. Credit Vic Frankowski

SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER
DAY PASS
Saturday's talks look at the how the arts across the continent are affecting social change.

Who is shaping African design? What varies between different regions? How are the arts challenging stereotypes and existing narratives about the continent?

Hear from leading African and diaspora designers, writers, performers and creators. Speakers include Nimco Ali (anti-FGM campaigner), Sunny Dolat (The Nest Collective), Zimbabwean author Tendai Huchu, Afrofuturist author Tosin Coker, Ade Adenji (co-founder of The Quest), actor, director and feminist activist Abraham Popoola, writer, musician and activist Chardine Taylor-Stone, Irish Nigerian visual sociologist and writer Emma Dabiri, plus poet and women’s rights activist Jessica Horn presenting The Love Mic with performance and dialogue from poets Amaal Said, Toni Stuart and Rich Blk and musician Matshidiso.

The Nest Collective presents the first readings outside Kenya of the true stories of the country’s LGBTQI community, The Stories of Our Lives, alongside a screening of the eponymous prize-winning film, banned in Kenya.


Africa Utopia Food Market
11am – 8pm, Southbank Centre Square, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall


Afrikan Yoga
Saturday 12 September 2015, 11am, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £5

This form of yoga is known for its use of rhythmic movements, helping to warm up the body in order to perform postures. The practice focuses on elemental body awareness and breath. The development of flexibility, mobility strength, and endurance are emphasised, uniting the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. The morning session will be led by experienced teachers Lenea Herew and Pablo Imani.


Africa Utopia Market Place
12pm - 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Level 2 Foyers, Free


Dance and Storytelling Workshop
The Boy and The Strange Animal
11am and 2pm, Blue Room at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £5

An interactive storytelling and dance performance with Funmi Adewole telling the adventure story of a boy who loves to drum and dance as he is sent to a forest to pick fruit for his Aunty. Along the way he meets a strange animal who has the head of a lion and the legs of an elephant. Participants will listen, dance and feel the rhythms of the forest.


Africa Live Lounge – Feeling the Groove
12pm, Festival Riverside Cafe, Free

Aunty Aunty Let Me Do Your Hair
Level 2 Foyers at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free
12pm; 1.30pm; 3.30pm; 4.30pm; 5.30pm; 6.30pm

Join Tiata Fahodzi Theatre for a style consultation and help them shape their new play. Meditating on beauty, blackness, femininity, society and community, the actors invite participants to take a seat in the salon chair and indulge in conversation between hairdresser and client, as part of their research and development for a play set in a black hair salon.


Africa Utopia Fashion
Saturday 12 September 2015, 12pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

An afternoon of contemporary African fashion and style, created by dozens of designers and stallholders descending on the Southbank Centre for Africa Utopia, including Market Stories, a series of moments on The Clore Ballroom where traders are invited to explain their crafts, their ideas, themes and how they source materials. The afternoon culminates with special show curated by Samson Soboye featuring five exciting African fashion designers.


Afroretro Printing and Accessories Workshops
12.15 – 1.15pm (Printing)
2.30 – 3.45pm (Pendant necklaces)
Clore Ballroom / Level 2 Foyers at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Monoprint your life or make necklace pendants with Afroretro. Sisters Lilly and Anna bring their Ugandan-British heritage to the Clore Ballroom for craft design workshops where you can be creative with the tools, techniques and materials of their trade. For adults and children ages 6+


People's Catwalk
1.30pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Join us for the People's Catwalk, showcasing African influences on London fashion.
Members of the public are invited to send images of how they wear their heritage and what it means to them; with the best entries picked to walk the catwalk as part of the show.

For information on how to get involved, email africautopiafashion@southbankcentre.co.uk


Diaspora Calling: A Fashion Showcase
Curated by Samson Soboye
4pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Designer and stylist Samson Soboye has enticed shoppers in Shoreditch for over ten years with his eye for the new and fabulous. He brings together a team of leading designers from the African diaspora to present inspiring women's wear, menswear and accessories, in an interactive fashion showcase.


Voicelab: Zambian Song with Namvula Rennie
2pm, Sunley Pavilion at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £6

Southbank Centre’s Voicelab is back with popular singing workshops for all abilities – no experience necessary. Singer Namvula Rennie leads an open and inclusive creative vocal workshop using South African and Zambian traditional song. This workshop for singers of all abilities is taught entirely by ear. An informal pop-up performance concludes the workshop, to showcase the reworked songs.


Africa Live Lounge – Feeling the Groove Part 2
5.30pm, Festival Riverside Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free


Kassé Mady Diabaté
7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15, £20, £25

Kassé Mady is one of Mali's greatest singers, a griot of the Diabaté family. For this concert, he is accompanied by three musicians who represent different areas of Manding-speaking West Africa. Ballaké Sissoko plays kora, from the Casamance region, Lansiné Kouyaté performs on balafon, from the central zone, and Makan Tounkara plays the bitter-sounding ngoni of the northern deserts of Mali. The different instruments are drawn together by Kassé Mady's soft baritone voice, singing in Bambara. Kassé Mady's latest album is ‘Kiriké’, which means 'horse's saddle' – an important symbol of griot culture. It was produced by French cellist Vincent Segal.


Star Boy Productions
7.45pm, Purcell Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15

This UK premiere is a sideways look at the migrant’s story of survival by acclaimed Belgium-based director Ahil Ratnamohan. Star Boy Productions invites audiences to learn the clandestine tricks required by African migrants to remain legal in the EU and examines the psyche of those attempting to create a better future for themselves. Presented by three African migrants (West African footballers based in Antwerp making contemporary performance about Europe, visas, and azonto), this searingly truthful play invites an audience into their world of survival, explaining the lengths one can and must go to in order to remain in Europe – the illegal things people do in order to become ‘legal’.
Created by Etuwe Bright Junior, Lateef Babatunde, Aloys Kwaakum, Ahilan Ratnamohan and Kristof Persyn. Lighting by Wouter Dupon. Co-produced by Monty and CC Luchtbal. Supported by the Flemish Government, City of Antwerp and the Australia Council for the Arts.


Afrobeats Club Night
Featuring HomeBros and DJs
6.30pm – 10.30pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

A night of dancing, free dance workshops and DJs. HomeBros, a diverse dance duo specialising in various styles such as Afrobeats, AfroHouse, Hip Hop, Krump, Breakin' and more will kick the evening off with a workshop to teach you their hottest dance moves. Then spend the rest of the night showing off your new moves on the dancefloor. No experience required.


SUNDAY 13 SEPTEMBER
DAY PASS
How do arts, culture and activism affect contemporary Africa?

Start your day with the Africa Utopia newspaper review for a snapshot of the biggest Africa-related headlines and stories. This is followed by talks and debates with leading activists, makers and artists. They are showcasing their work and highlighting how art and ideas from Africa are changing the world.
Speakers include journalist and curator Hannah Pool, Sunny Dolat (The Nest Collective), Zimbabwean author Bryony Rheam, award-winning literary novelist turned crime-writer Jamal Majoub, girls’ rights campaigner June Eric-Udorie, Southbank Centre Youth Amabassador and film-maker Mojereoma Egunjobi, and visual artist Larry Achiampong.


Afrikan Yoga
Sunday 13 September 2015, 11am, Weston Roof Pavilion at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £5

This form of yoga is known for its use of rhythmic movements, helping to warm up the body in order to perform postures. The session will be led by experienced teachers Lenea Herew and Pablo Imani.


Afro Dance Xplosion
Drop in Masterclasses in partnership with ADAD’s Bloom Festival
Between 11am and 4pm, Blue Room at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Limited Capacity
Drop in to an eclectic range of dance workshops focusing on different styles from across the African Diaspora presented in collaboration with ADAD’s Bloom Festival. Suitable for dancers with some previous dance experience but who are keen to learn a new style. Workshop times vary; check website for details.


Afro Dance Xplosion
Open Workshops in partnership with ADAD’s Bloom Festival
12.45 – 1.45pm; 5 – 6pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Presented in collaboration with ADAD’s Bloom Festival Afro Dance Xplosion gives you the chance to try something new, learn dance from across the African Diaspora, experience African rhythms and have fun. No previous dance experience required.


Africa Utopia Food Market
12pm – 6pm, Southbank Centre Square at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall


Africa Utopia Market Place
12pm – 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Level 2 Foyers, Free

Passenger Seats with Chineke! Youth Orchestra
12pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Ever wondered what it feels like to be inside an orchestra? This performance is the perfect opportunity to feel the incomparable buzz of being amid the exotic machinery of a real life working orchestra as you take your 'passenger seat' right in the middle of the action! Africa Utopia hosts the historic launch of Chineke!, the UK's first professional classical orchestra made up of black musicians. Chineke! means 'spirit of creation' in Igbo, and the orchestra is the brainchild of the leading double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku who aims both to celebrate the creative energy of musicians of colour and to inspire new generations. Chineke! Youth Orchestra brings together the most talented young musicians of African heritage from around the UK in this special Passenger Seats performance, inviting the audience to get up close to the performers and experience the thrill of being in the heart of an orchestra themselves. There are limited places to be in one of the passenger seats but audience members are also up close and involved. Seats are offered on a first come first served basis.


Aunty Aunty Let Me Do Your Hair
Level 2 Foyers at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free
12pm; 1pm; 2pm; 3pm; 5pm; 7pm

Join Tiata Fahodzi Theatre for a style consultation and help them shape their new play.
Meditating on beauty, blackness, femininity, society and community, the actors invite participants to take a seat in the salon chair and indulge in conversation between hairdresser and client, as part of their research and development for a play set in a black hair salon.


Tavaziva Dance: When King Gogo Met The Chameleon
14.00-15.00 including half hour workshop
16.00-17.00 including half hour workshop
The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

When King Gogo met the Chameleon has been inspired by traditional African tales and created by Bawren Tavaziva in collaboration with his dancers and dramaturge and writer Chris Fogg. Each performance is following by a half hour drumming and dance workshop for all ages. For 4-7 years.


Chineke! Junior Orchestra
3.00-3.30pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

Africa Utopia hosts the historic launch of Chineke!, the UK's first professional classical orchestra made up of black and minority ethnic musicians. Chineke! is the brainchild of the leading double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku who aims both to celebrate the creative energy of musicians of colour and to inspire new generations.

As part of this radical new project, Chi-chi Nwanoku has brought together the most talented young musicians of African heritage from around the UK presented here in this special event. Chineke! Junior Orchestra perform two movements from Schubert’s Symphony No 5 alongside an informal discussion with Chi-chi Nwanoku, and conductor Wayne Marshall, about the foundation of the new orchestra.


Chineke! Pre Concert Event
3pm – 4pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free

As part of the Chineke! Foundation’s launch celebrations, Africa Utopia is pleased to present this free, pre-concert public event, featuring a Q&A session with Chineke! musicians, and including performances by emerging musical talent of tomorrow: the young players of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra.


Chineke!
5pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15, £20, £30
Chineke! Orchestra; Wayne Marshall, conductor

Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade for orchestra, Op.33
Philip Herbert: Elegy – In memoriam Stephen Lawrence
Brahms: Variations on a theme by Haydn (St. Anthony)
Beethoven: Symphony No.7

Africa Utopia hosts the historic launch of Chineke!
Chineke! – which means ‘spirit of creation’ in Igbo – is the UK's first professional classical orchestra made up entirely of BME musicians. The orchestra is the brainchild of leading double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, who aims to both celebrate the creative energy of musicians of colour and inspire new generations of instrumentalists. The concert is conducted by Wayne Marshall, and includes Elegy-in memoriam Stephen Lawrence by black British composer Philip Herbert, as well as Beethoven's dramatic Symphony No.7.


Migrations of the Mind: Maaza Mengiste, Jamal Mahjoub and Irenosen Okojie
5.30pm, Weston Roof Pavilion at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £8

Often out of necessity, and sometimes because of a desire for a different life, migration has been a constant feature of human existence since literature began. But how does the fantasy of migration compare with reality? And do we inevitably circle back to where we came from? With images of boats crammed with migrants scarcely out of the media, a panel of writers with African roots explore migrations both real and imagined. Maaza Mengiste is an Ethiopian-American author ('Beneath the Lion’s Gaze', named one of the Ten Best Books on Africa by the Guardian), Jamal Mahjoub is a Caine Prize shortlisted British-Sudanese author ('The Drift Latitudes') and Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian-British debut author of 'Butterfly Fish', which spans modern day London and ancient Benin.


Africa Live Lounge – The Finale
5.30pm, Festival Riverside Cafe at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Free


Tony Allen
+ Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté and Oxmo
7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £15, £20, £25, £30

Afrobeat legend Tony Allen celebrates 75 years with a performance featuring some special guests. He is joined by Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté, and Oxmo with further special guests to be announced. Cited as the powerhouse behind the late Fela Kuti's afrobeat and highlife movement, Tony has been described by Brian Eno as ‘perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived’. He has spent the years following Fela deconstructing the sounds of dub, electronica, R&B and rap with afrobeat to create a hybrid genre he calls afrofunk. His latest album, ‘Film of Life’, features collaborations with Damon Albarn and cutting-edge producers The Jazzbastards and is an overview of his rich career, which brings together bebop, afrobeat, jazz and psychedelic pop. Tonight features a new collaboration between Tony and the master kora player Toumani Diabaté together with his son Sidiki Diabaté. French star rapper Oxmo contributes.


THROUGHOUT THE FESTVIAL


Dineo Seshee Bopape : 1st solo UK exhibition
26 August – 27 September 2015, Hayward Gallery Project Space, Free

Monday, 12pm – 6pm
Tuesday & Wednesday, 11am – 7pm
Thursday & Friday, 11am – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
This is the first UK solo exhibition of work by South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape. Combining dense sculptural installation with video montages, her artwork engages viewers with powerful socio-political notions of memory, narration and representation.

Flipping between an analogue and digital aesthetic, Bopape’s video works mix and re-mix sound and image into kaleidoscopic montages. Distinct locations and characters start to emerge, including the artist herself, only to give way to a cacophony of sampled music and sound and effects. Bopape’s videos are often incorporated into her sculptural installations. In these assemblages everyday materials – including timber, bricks, mirrors, and plants – form complex and precarious configurations, often across the walls and floor of the gallery. This exhibition presents a selection of Bopape’s video works alongside a new sculpture conceived specially for the Hayward Gallery.

Born in 1981 in Polokwane, Dineo Seshee Bopape studied at the Durban University of Technology, South Africa and earned her MFA from Columbia University, New York in 2010. Her work has been show in a number of prominent international exhibitions, including presentations at the New Museum, New York; ICA, Philadelphia; Mart House Gallery, Amsterdam, and the 12th Biennale de Lyon. Bopape lives and works in Johannesburg.






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