jewelry inspired by maasai…

February 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Interesting bracelets made from recycled aluminum (from an airplane wing!) and maasai beading, all inspired by a visit to Kenya…

Not the first time the maasai have inspired designers and artists. Read more about this here

Urban Africa & David Adjaye at the London Design Museum

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m coming in late on this as the exhibit started March 31 and ends soon – September 5. As an urban planner with a specific interest in African urbanism I couldn’t pass up on blogging on this. If you happen to be in London you should check it out. See Details.

David Adjaye is a respected Architect working in London who has traveled throughout Africa for the specific purpose of photographing urban Africa. He is interested in showing this side of Africa because most people are familiar with the African rural/country landscapes as well the wildlife aspect of it but this often surprises people. I like that he views it from a professional perspective in that it’s also about us not just hearing from one aspect of ‘modernity’ in the sense of what we can gain from Europe and how we should strive to be that way but importantly the interactions within urban africa itself, urban africa & rural africa etc and how these inform the way the urban space in Africa looks. His photography includes civic architecture, commercial, residential, as well as market places. I am definitely buying the book whenever it comes out…

Below are some of the pictures (I think he exhibited about 2,500):

1) Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2) Nouakchott, Mauritania

3) Cairo, Egypt

4) Antananarivo, Madagascar

5) Bamako, Mali

With his rich body of built work David Adjaye won the prestigious  commission to design the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC which will open in 2015. You can also check out his website here.

More African influences in fashion….

January 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

I love the clothing in this collection and would absolutely wear all the above looks. The (warmer) colors and styling are really appealing to the African sensibilities !

Paul Smith’s 2010 RTW is inspired by a book I came across and wanted to mention on this blog ‘Gentlemen of Bakongo’ – paying a nod to a group of well dressed Congolese men through great photography by a Daniele Tamagni. I should get a copy…

Book - Gentlemen of Bakongo

I love the fearlessness in these men – it’s fierce ! But I am troubled by the fact that while doing online research on this book, I found a lot of articles both Euro and African frowning upon this whole culture they have created. The claim – Africans are suffering from abject poverty and war. I am so sick and tired of reviews that have this opinion. It’s like – Give me a break!! Africans like to have fun too…they like clothes…they like dressing…and as a matter of fact they have always had flair for dressing and body art which for them is a form of expression. This is almost an excuse to preserve some stereotypical image of Africa if I may say so.

Plus, I highly doubt that these men are spending as much money as one would on ‘Savile row’ as some articles have tried to claim this is where their suits belong…my suspicion is they are turning used clothing into these fabulous ensembles you see. Anyway, this book is a real source of inspiration for real artists who care about art and joy and living amidst all else.

Paul Sika – Ivorien Photographer

June 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

Paul Sika is a photographer based in Cote d’Ivoire who stages vibrant colorful scenes using actors to create sets that convey an African social narrative in his work. Check out his website.

paul-silka-2

paul-silka-1

African Digital Art

June 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

I came across this website really interesting definitely worth taking a moment to check it out. I didn’t even realize there was this much digital art coming out of Africa. The ‘poster’ below is for a TV show in Kenya – the XYZ show. There’s lots more on the African Digital site with Africans artists from all over…

The new XYZ show in Kenya (Kibaki - pres on left and Raila - PM on right)

The new XYZ show in Kenya (Kibaki - pres on left and Raila - PM on right)

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