In honour of Africa Day, usually celebrated annually on May 25, the British Council will host a series of live panel discussions with creatives celebrating African film, poetry, storytelling, and film amongst other forms of art to mark the special day.
The live stream which will be hosted on the British Council YouTube channel will begin at midday on Thursday in Kenya.
Here’s what to expect.
The panel discussions will be divided into three distinct categories:
- Uncovering Hidden Narratives: Decolonizing art and amplifying underrepresented voices Time – 12 PM EAT
The discussion will focus on freeing art from the cultural and social effects of colonisation and amplifying voices not well represented within that sphere.
Azola Krweqe is a South African-based curator, researcher, and writer who is deeply passionate about everyday black stories and black life. Her work considers the multiplicities that black women embody and hopes to contribute towards dismantling exclusionary white supremacist patriarchal thinking that is deeply ingrained in systems within our society.
Cat Dunn is a curator and researcher. Underpinning all Dunn’s projects is the pressing need to create dialogue about social identity. Her work, therefore, engages potentially divisive subjects such as colonialism, slavery, racism and feminism, with openness and clarity. Dunn’s research is based on elements of Identity, Care and creating Black Space.
Martha Galavu is the founder and creative director of Tuzi Consultancy Limited, a creative design company based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is an artist and curator of the Shujaa Stories exhibitions and also curated a set of digital montage illustrations of Missing Objects in the exhibition Invisible Inventories Programme (IIP) under the National Museums of Kenya in May 2021 Martha has a major interest in African literature and cultural heritage and enjoys painting in her artist studio in Nairobi.
Martin Senkubuge is a visual artist, researcher, and curator whose practice focuses on vitiligo skin conditions. He creates charcoal drawings on paper inspired by vitiligo to visually amplify the voices of people living with the skin condition. His work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions, including The Art of Africa Exhibition 2022 at the Ven at Embassy Row Washington DC. He organized a solo show Part of Us exhibition in 2021 and participated in the Collective Memories Curatorial Training Workshop 2021 hosted by the Uganda National Gallery.
- Shining a Spotlight on African Cinema: Uncovering the diversity and creativity of the continent’s Film Industry Time – 4 PM EAT
The discussion will focus on the continent’s film industry and its potential for growth.
Fadhili is a social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Watch-Africa, a creative agency involved in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors. He is well-known for organizing the Watch Africa Film Festival, Wales’ prominent African film festival, which he started in 2013. Fadhili is also the CEO of the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP), a network of African communities in Wales dedicated to international development. Additionally, he serves as a board member for Cardiff Community Housing Association and The National Community Lotter Fund Wales and sits on the steering board of Creative Wales. Furthermore, he works as a consultant for Arts Council Wales.
Wambui Gathee is a Kenyan director, producer, film curator, and freelance photographer. She currently holds the position of Screenings Manager at Docubox, where she curates and programs award-winning documentaries for monthly screenings in Nairobi at the Alliance Francaise. Wambui has an extensive background in curating short fiction films for the quarterly event called Shorts, Shorts & Shots. Her short film, Love Zawadi, has received multiple awards, establishing her as an acclaimed director. Wambui has also produced other films that have gained international recognition, such as Blurred. She actively participates in impact work through the Sema Stori campaign, which is funded by Comic Relief, where she serves as the Regional Impact Producer for ten short documentary films. #cultureconnects
- Beyond Words: The power of poetry and storytelling in shaping culture, identity and social change in Africa Time – 8 PM EAT
The discussion will revolve around how poetry can shape and inform and effect social change within Africa.
Godess Bvukutwa is a published writer and feminist development practitioner. She has received recognition for her short stories, winning awards such as the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Best Short Story Award and the Zimbabwe Women Writers Norma Kitson Short Story Award. Goddess is actively involved in projects promoting women’s writing and serves as the Zimbabwean project lead for the ‘When Women Write’ series funded by the British Council under the Go Digital Fund. Additionally, she is the editor of The Defender, the ZimRights magazine, and has had her poems featured in Stanzas Poetry magazine.
Salma Abdulatif Yusuf is an accomplished personal development trainer and writer. Salma’s literary achievements include being shortlisted for the Griots Well Programme for BAME Writers and shortlisted for the Alpine Poetry Fellowship and the Short Story Day Africa Incubator Programme. Catalyst Press and Karavan Press are set to publish three of her short stories. Her work has been featured in various publications, including Lolwe, Ink, Sweat & Tears,
Arts against Extremism, Kalahari Review, and Doek. Salma has showcased her poetry at events such as Toast Poetry UK and the Sainsbury Center, where her work was broadcasted live on BBC Look East. She is one of the artists for the “Africa/UKincubator” – a project funded by the British Council under the Culture Connects project. #cultureconnects.