The Afropeans are Coming

Image Credit: Johnny Pitts, 2013.

Over the next three days, a  group of artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural commentators will meet at Afropea Now!, a a symposium of film screenings, concerts, a workshop and an exhibition taking place at the cultural institution Stadtwerkstatt in Linz, Austria. I am the curator. Last week Africa is a Country asked me to get some of the participants to reflect on what an Afropean is. Here’s the result (edited by Dylan Valley):

The symposium creates an intellectual and emancipatory space for African-European transcultural realities in a society where the public consensus among the Austrian majority is shaped by a strong eurocentristic world view, which is also reflected in the mass media, where Africa often still is treated as a country and the whole continent and its population degraded to an unsolvable problem with reports about starvation, catastrophes and incurable diseases. People of African descent living in Austria (no matter if they are born here or recently migrated) have to fight many stereotypes and daily confronted with prejudice and rank racism.

So, Afropea Now! aims to form a counterpart to these preconceived ideas and prejudices, to promote a change in perceptions and to show an other, modern image of “Africa” and its Diaspora. It further encourages global African-European co-operations and networks in art and culture. With contributions from across Europe and Africa (Austria, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Ghana, Senegal and the DR Congo, among others), Afropea Now! will concentrate on the social, cultural and artistic interaction of African and European cultures in a global world regardless of national boundaries.

Some highlights include: photographer Johny Pitts (he founded the site on “On Afropean Culture;” curator and producer Nadia Denton on “Why the best of the Nigerian Filmindustry is Yet to Come!‘” Teddy Goitom on Afripedia, a new 5-part series of shorts about a new generation of African creatives challenging all preconceptions and stereotypes; Austrian Abdallah Salisou on “The Black Victim Complex And The White Savior Complex;” and the journalist Hannah Pool revisits her biography.

A number of films will also be screened. Like ‘Oya,’ directed by Nosa Igbinedion:

‘Robots of Brixton and ‘Jonah’ by Kibwe Tavares. Here’s the trailer for Jonah:

‘Drexiciya’ directed by Simon Rittmeier:

The full program is available here. Image Credit: Afropean Culture.

Further Reading

A power crisis

Andre De Ruyter, the former CEO of Eskom, has presented himself as a simple hero trying to save South Africa’s struggling power utility against corrupt forces. But this racially charged narrative is ultimately self-serving.

Cinematic universality

Fatou Cissé’s directorial debut meditates on the uncertain fate and importance of Malian cinema amidst the growing dismissiveness towards the humanities across the world.

The meanings of Heath Streak

Zimbabwean cricketing legend Heath Streak’s career mirrors many of the unresolved tensions of race and class in Zimbabwe. Yet few white Zimbabwean sporting figures are able to stir interest and conversation across the nation’s many divides.


After winning Italy’s Serie A with Napoli, Victor Osimhen has cemented his claim to being Africa’s biggest footballing icon. But is the trend of individual stardom good for sports and politics?

The magic man

Chris Blackwell’s long-awaited autobiography shows him as a romantic rogue; a risk taker whose life compass has been an open mind and gift to hear and see slightly into the future.

How to think about colonialism

Contemporary approaches to the legacy of colonialism tend to narrowly emphasize political agency as the solution to Africa’s problems. But agency is configured through historically particular relations of which we are not sole authors.

More than just a flag

South Africa’s apartheid flag has been declared hate speech by a top court. But while courts are important and their judgments matter, racism is a long and internationally entrenched social phenomenon that cannot be undone via judicial processes.