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 Yale Africa Salon 2015 and Yale Africa Salon 2016 as a Woodbridge Fellow and as Yale Africa Curator. In 2016, Ifeanyi partnered with the Brooklyn Museum to co-program the event Creation as Ritual: Performing Disguise. In 2017, she curated ourselves + others: african feminist re-CREATIONS at SOAS. She registered AFRICA SALON UK as a company in 2018. 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 toward 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
Public discourse on Africa in academia and beyond often excludes contemporary arts and culture. While public health, education, and strong governance are all key to African progress, AFRICA SALON UK believes that photography, music, film, fashion, and tech all have powerful roles to play in the growth of Africa and the diaspora, from our economies to international relations to, most importantly, our self-actualization. Artistic and cultural production has the soft power to make a progessive impact on both popular consciousness and foreign policy relating to people of African descent across the globe. As industries like Nigerian music become increasingly important forces in African economic and cultural life, AFRICA SALON UK insists that in addition to doctors, lawyers, and engineers, we need more musicians, poets, and visual artists.
AFRICA SALON UK 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 their own image; who demonstrate progressive approaches to owning and telling their stories; and who honor, question, and remix tradition, giving us a glimpse into potential African futures. We are committed to stimulating an overabundance of African representation in the intellectual and creative realms and beyond. AFRICA SALON UK is coming to explode your single story with post-afrobeats music, interdisciplinary poetry, avant-garde screen media, and the infinite possibilities for contemporary African and diasporic existence.