AFRICA SALON is a global contemporary African arts festival
Founder + Chief Curator Ifeanyi Awachie created the AFRICA SALON brand as a student at Yale University. She went on to host two successful festivals as a Woodbridge Fellow and as Yale Africa Curator in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, Awachie partnered with the Brooklyn Museum to co-produce the event Creation as Ritual: Performing Disguise. In 2017, she curated ourselves + others: african feminist re-CREATIONS at SOAS. Equally dedicated to the intellectual prowling of the classroom and the collective, participatory experiences of the concert and dancefloor, AFRICA SALON has presented exhibitions, screenings of award-winning films, “unpanels,” interactive fashion shows, live performances, and sweaty afrobeats parties, all with an eye to promoting intellectual and personal engagement with African arts.
AFRICA SALON headliners have included Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, Zimbabwean music pioneer and activist Thomas Mapfumo, Kenyan house, funk, and disco collective Just A Band, South African American hip hop artist and producer Jean Grae, British Nigerian visual artist ruby onyinyechi amanze, Nigerian artist of Lemonade fame Laolu Senbanjo, and many more established and emerging stars from the continent and diaspora.
OUR PITCH FOR ARTS + culture
Discussions of African development consistently leave out arts and culture. While public health, education, and strong governance are all key to African progress, AFRICA SALON believes that photography, music, film, style, travel, and tech all have powerful roles to play in Africa’s economic growth, international relations, and—perhaps most importantly—our self-actualization. Artistic representation and cultural production have the (soft) power to effect positive change, from popular consciousness to foreign policy, in regards to people of African descent across the globe. As industries like Nigeria’s Nollywood become increasingly important forces in African economies and societies, AFRICA SALON insists that in addition to doctors, lawyers, and engineers, we need more Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies, Lynette Yiadom-Boakyes, and Babes Wodumos.
AFRICA SALON wants a world in which every person of African descent is preceded by positive, contemporary, and diverse images of Africa, Africans, and African cultures. To that end, we elevate African artists remaking literature, film, music, dance, and other art in the image of their own subjectivity; who demonstrate progressive approaches to owning and telling their stories; who honor, question, and remix tradition, giving us a glimpse into potential Afrofutures. We are committed to stimulating an overabundance of African representation in the intellectual and creative realms and beyond. AFRICA SALON is coming to explode your single story with post-azonto dance music, visual performance poetry, third cinema research, and the infinite possibilities for contemporary black and African existence.
Rethink your preconceptions of the continent, and forget what you know about African festivals. Welcome to AFRICA SALON.