AFROPUNK LONDON is back ! : 5 acts you do not want to miss out

It’s that time of the year already! Afropunk London second edition is back and we can’t wait to start celebrating blackness, culture, happiness, and life !  

If you’ve never been to Afropunk before, know that this is not your typical festival. Afropunk is a family reunion to praise multiculturalism and diversity for people of all races, genders, colours, creeds and tastes. If you share those values and are ready to be bold, vibrant and carefree, join the AFROPUNK LONDON FESTIVAL this July 22nd – 23rd at PRINTWORKS ! Here are 5 acts you do not want to miss this year : 

Bassist and songwriter Thundercat returned this year with a magical third album blending fresh jazz beats and soul music. We are looking forward to hearing live his 70s funk, R&B with a twist of punk spirit taking over PRINTWORKS.

Can we just all agree that « Girl » feat. Kaytranada is a classic ? The band from California proved with their third album that they could bring something fresh and new to the hip hop neo soul scene . « Ego Death » was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Just enough to give a reason to the world that they weren’t just another alt-rnb band from Soundcloud. 

Big Freedia is for the people and that’s why we are all for it. Expect the Queen to bring New Orleans spicy flavor and sassiness in London with an aggressive flow rapped over glitchy lo-fi electronic music.

Do we really have to present JME ? A UK legend, founding father of grime and BBK original repping for London talent. An artist who has driven grime from London basements to the forefront of UK music. We can’t wait for him to turn up the stage and show to all the youngins how it is supposed to be done !

Freshly signed to Relentless Records, Nadia Rose is part of the new UK rapper wave. Repping South London Croydon, she will be ready to engage the AFROPUNK stage with some damage control, razor-sharp, sardonic bars, grime-ish swagger and a bit of dancehall flavor.

AFROPUNK London also unites the best DJs to step up; including West-London turned global collective, JAZZ RE:FRESHED, party crews BLACKTRONICA and FAM, plus selectors from NTS Radio crew BORN N BRED, and pioneering all-female collective GAL-DEM. Soulection member HANNAH FAITH returns to AP for the second time, plus Radio 1’s CLARA AMFO and 1xtra’s JAMZ SUPERNOVA.

Outside of all of this, there’s a lot more to find and do. Printworks London will play host to a vibrant space filled with artists, creatives, designers, exhibitions and food vendors. Attendees are encouraged to become a part of the AFROPUNK community through the marketplace, with pop-ups, art and stalls – it’s about creating an extended family of AFROPUNK, with a united voice to be heard and celebrated. Partners for this year include i-D Magazine, gal-dem, and CRACK, who’ll each play a role in crafting your AFROPUNK experience.
Learn more at the AFROPUNK website:
22nd July – 23rd July 2017

Palm Wine Beats – Live!


Following on from the hugely successful Icons of Wu-Tang event in March, Soul Labels is presenting its next one-day festival, PALM WINE BEATS LIVE! An exploration into the genius of Africa and her diaspora. Will be also previewed Lo-Fi Odysseys polyrhythmic saga, Palm Wine Beats Volume 3.

Last year, Lo-Fi produced the first two volumes of his five-part series Palm Wine Beats (PWB), supported by the likes of OkayafricaSunday Service LondonDynamic Africa and Jusi I Love. These mixtapes were unique in their cinematic feel and historical depth, a way for him to “crate dig his heritage”. You could almost see them play out before your eyes. The next step was obvious: bring these tapes to life!

palm wine beats1


Studio Fedora will be supporting the event. Join Soul Label at the Total Refreshment Centre on the 20th of August for #PalmWineBeatsLive It’s going to be uplifting, educational and a inspiring day, we promise. Everyone is welcome. Grab your ticket now, it’s going to be like Lagos ‘74/’84 in there so don’t sleep.


A few highlights:

House band transforming PWB into a live polyrhythm shakedown featuring the Nigerian soul/fusion legend Blackman Akeeb Kareem OFFICIAL FAN PAGE, MeaKoom, Chongo and other guests
The Akano Rhythm Brothers leading a Jùjú music workshop for music enthusiasts who like to get between the notes
✷ Panel discussion [From the Root to the Fruit] – Is Africa Benefiting from its Cultural Archive? featuring Kwaku (British Black Music), Quinton Scott (Strut Records), Bekke Popoola (Black British Girlhood), We Need To Talk About: and more
✷ A/V rescoring of PWB VOL 1 and audio preview of VOL 3 by Lo-Fi Odysseys
✷ DJ sets by Chief Commander Yaaba, Volta45, Duncan Brooker B2B with Amar Patel (Soul Labels)

£10 early bird
£13 second run
£15 third run

Kids aged 12 and under go free (when accompanied by a paying adult)

A portion of the profits will be donated to MUSIC FUND, a humanitarian project that supports musicians and music schools in conflict areas and developing countries.

Tickets/Info –



#LONDON EXHIBITION Utopian Voices Here & Now

Do not miss out on what is expected to be an exciting cultural experience. Somerset House is hosting a new series of displays, installations and performances, which showcase the utopian visions of young UK-based artists and give voice to the issues most affecting them today, including the body, gender, sexuality and race.



Curator Shonagh Marshall has brought together a group of cutting-edge, contemporary artists who each explore prevalent issues in today’s society to present their individual ideas about Utopia now. This complex and challenging concept has resulted in a dynamic range of works, which will be on show across the site as part of UTOPIA 2016, Somerset House’s year-long programme to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s seminal work.


We invite you all come on july 6th to visit on of the work presented called 2026. A cross cultural exchange between British Stylist/Photographer Ibrahim Kamara and South African Photographer/Film-Maker Kristine Lee-Moorman. 2026 explores the concept of menswear 10 years into the future taking influences and ideas from London and combining it with South African culture to push ideas of masculinity on the black body.
The objective is to send a message : allow our subjects to define who they want to be with the clothing regardless of their sexuality.


#LONDON EXHIBITION Raphael Albert: Miss Black and Beautiful

Join the Autograph APB for the opening of Raphael Albert: Miss Black and Beautiful. Autograph APB is proud to present the first major solo exhibition of photographs by the late Raphael Albert – cultural promoter, entrepreneur and photographer. For more than three decades from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, Albert organised and documented numerous black beauty pageants and other cultural events in London, while building up a portfolio of photographs of aspiring models. His long and successful career as a promoter and chronicler of pageants included the establishment of Miss Black and BeautifulMiss West Indies in Great Britain, and Miss Grenada.


These competitions celebrated the global ‘Black is Beautiful’ aesthetic of the 1970s in a local west London context: paired with the obligatory bathing costumes and high heels, Albert’s contestants often sported large Afro hairstyles, inventing and reinventing themselves on stage while articulating a particular and multifaceted black femininity as part of a widely contested and ambiguous cultural performance.


Not only did the pageants offer the opportunity to create a distinct space for Afro-Caribbean self-fashioning – a wager against invisibility in response to contemporaneous mainstream fashion and life-style platforms where black women were largely absent or at best marginal – they also represented a site to challenge conventional notions of beauty implicated in the social, cultural, and political contexts of the time. Albert’s photographs serve as testament to this profound moment of self-articulation and collective celebration in London’s pan Afro-Caribbean communities.

Raphael Albert, Miss Black and Beautiful, Hammersmith, London 1970s


Rainbow Film Society is a local charity who have worked with the community since 1991. They organise regular film screenings, annual film festivals and training for local people. This year they celebrate 25 years of the Rainbow Film Festival in London. 

3rd Person Singular Number_0

The focus of this year’s festival is films from Bangladesh. Enjoy vintage classic Simana Perye or recent films from upcoming directors such as Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s 3rd Person Singular Number, which explores love and freedom in modern Dhaka.

The festival is free to attend and family-friendly.




#PARIS Christine Spengler une artiste de guerre

La Maison Européenne de la Photographie présente une rétrospective inédite réunissant les deux facettes de l’œuvre de Christine Spengler, correspondante de guerre et artiste : ses photos noir & blanc emblématiques les plus célèbres, et ses créations en couleur plus récentes.


Le portrait en image d’une femme, photographe, qui a couvert plus de 30 ans de conflits mondiaux. Parmi ces photos les plus célèbres, on retient cette photographie en Irlande du Nord qui fait partie aujourd’hui des 100 photos du siècle. La photographie a été un réel moyen d’émancipation pour Spengler; et à la question éternelle  « Y’a-t-il une façon féminine de poser son regard sur la société ? », Spengler répond poétiquement, qu’appareil en main, elle se sent comme un être androgyne, homme et femme à la fois. Un métier qui pour elle requiert la résistance, le courage et l’endurance physique d’un homme mais une fois la photographie sortie, son cœur de femme prend place pour nous conter l’histoire d’un moment figé.


Ses photomontage en couleur représentent un exutoire pour exorciser la douleur de ce qu’elle a vu après chaque reportage de guerre. Des photographies sur des peuples qui souffrent avec une rigueur du noir et blanc pour témoigner de la douleur du monde  opposée aux couleurs flamboyantes  dominant sur ses montages où le sang des guerres brille et finit par nous charmer.

Deux salles pour les grandes photos de guerres et deux salles pour les photomontages, séparées par une chapelle intime, parsemée de fleurs et de bougies, où figurent les premiers photomontages réalisés en hommage à sa famille alsacienne, et plus particulièrement à son frère bien aimé Éric, disparu tragiquement à l’âge de 23 ans.

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#LONDON Exhibition Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers: Sound Systems

From dressing-up to dancehalls, Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers: Sound Systems Back in Da Day explores the golden era of African-Caribbean sound systems from the 1950s to the early 1980s in London.


Told from the perspective of local people, this vibrant exhibition curated by Michael McMillan in collaboration with Dubmorphology (Gary Stewart & Trevor Mathison), takes the form of an atmospheric audio-visual installation, conjuring a Blues party environment within the galleries. It brings to life an important cultural history, explored through a display of historical objects, personal accounts, film footage and photographs, reflecting upon how these dynamic cultural practices have had a significant impact on British music and dance ever since.



Sound systems (sounds) refer to custom-made high-powered mobile hi fi’s, and the equally important collective of ‘operators’, ‘box boys’, ‘engineers’, ‘selectors’, ‘toasters’ and DJs/MCs. As Caribbean migrants were often not welcome in pubs and clubs in the UK they created Shebeens, Blues and house parties in their homes where they could socialize in a racially mixed environment. Although sound systems originated in Jamaica, it would form its own expression and identity in Britain and with reggae as it’s cultural foundation it has since absorbed other black music genres: Soul, Funk, RnB, Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, House, Jungle, Garage, Drum & Bass, Dub Step, Grime.


The title, Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers, represents the diversity of subculture within sound system culture during the 1970s, from Reggae to Soul and Funk, to Lovers Rock, popular amongst many women and men. -video material, historical and contemporary. The exhibition functions as an archive, with photographs from personal collections, and objects and furniture of the moment, which come alive in the gallery.



Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers: Sound Systems Back in Da Day will be at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learing from Monday 21st March and will run until 21st May 2016.We went to their screening of the classic film Babylon. Directed by Franco Rosso and starring Brinsley Forde, Karl Howman and Trevor Laird this movie features music by Reggae greats including Aswad and Dennis Bovell.

Michael McMillan – Mike Urban (pictures) more on



#LYON YOKO ONO Lumière de L’aube

Tout l’espace du Musée d’Art contemporain de Lyon est consacré à l’oeuvre de Yoko Ono, artiste à la fois plasticienne, musicienne, vidéaste et engagée pour la paix.

Depuis les années 50, Yoko Ono crée une oeuvre expérimentale et interactive ancrée dans le quotidien. Ses textes et poèmes, véritables partitions, empruntent toutes les formes de la culture visuelle : spectacle vivant, pièces musicales, actions participatives, peintures, installations, films…accordant une place essentielle à l’imaginaire.


Des poèmes illustrés de 1952 jusqu’aux œuvres de 2016 : cette première rétrospective française est à voir, entendre et expérimenter. 
Du 9 mars au 10 juillet 2016, les trois étages du Mac LYON sont dédiés à son œuvre, conceptuelle dès l’origine et qui englobe tout à la fois la performance, les instructions, les films, la musique et l’écriture. 


Première rétrospective en France, cette exposition intitulée YOKO ONO Lumière de L’aube présente plus de cent œuvres, des poèmes illustrés de 1952 aux grandes installations de 2016, mais aussi des films, des performances…

Fidèle à l’esprit de l’œuvre de l’artiste, l’exposition est à voir bien sûr, mais aussi à entendre et surtout à expérimenter.



Du 9 mars au 10 juillet 2016

MAC LYON 81 Quai Charles de Gaulle, 69006 Lyon

11h à 18h
Samedi et dimanche, de 10h à 19h

#LONDON Photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz facing the water World crisis

After an important waterway was sabotaged by protesters to press demands for better treatment for their caste, New Delhi has been it with a major water crisis causing five million inhabitants to run out of safe water. This new event occurring couple weeks before the WORLD WATER DAY, reminds us that one person in five in the world has no access to safe drinking water. Safe drinking water is a problem for nearly 1 billion people. The majority counts women and young girls located in the developing world that must walk an average of 6 kilometers each day to collect often contaminated water for their families.


American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz has travelled to eight countries for his long-term photographic project on water and is showcasing next to the London Bridge at the London Riverside and exhibition facing the global water crisis in pictures. Water Stories, his first UK solo exhibition, include nearly 70 large-scale photographs and previously unexhibited images from Brazil and Nigeria. The open-air exhibition started in March 22nd 2016 to mark the UN World Water Day in collaboration with the HSBC Water Programme, a partnership between HSBC, Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF.



Visits the exhibition by nights. The narrative, the lights and the landscape with the London bridge will make you feel like you ran away from the city.

Water Stories – London from WaterAid on Vimeo.

The global water crisis in pictures

The Scoop, More London Riverside, London SE1 2AA

22 March – 10 April 2016