December 2, 2009 · Leave a Comment
By Heather Bent Tamir
Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a mold breaker, a musical innovator, and political firebrand. He didn’t just march to his own beat; he invented it. That beat was Afrobeat, a beguiling blend of jazz, funk, pop, and African rhythms that is now jolting Broadway like a thunderclap. Big, bold, and African but with no cinematic bloodlines (like Lion King), no well-known musical score, and no celebrities on the marquee, ‘Fela!’ on Broadway is proof that there is no pat formula for first-rate entertainment. Read more
September 1, 2009 · Leave a Comment
By Patricia Spears Jones
In this mid-career retrospective, Shonibare, the London-based Nigerian artist, examines Victorian dress forms and culture as a way to explore imperialism, globalization, and African identity. In the magnificent Scramble for Africa (2003), he recreates a meeting at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85: European nationals, clothed in well appointed suits made from colorful Dutch wax fabrics that were originally designed for an African market, decide how to carve up Africa. The portrayal is an ironic commentary on the indifference of these historic figures to the African nations and peoples they were about to alter in terrible ways.