All-African line-up of music, film, art and books

The African Arts Institute kicks off a unique series of events featuring an all-Africa line-up at popular Cape Town venues from 29 July to December.

Titled Learn Africa, Love Africa, the programme consists of monthly music parties, film nights, art talks and book chats, hosted at the Kimberley Hotel on Roeland Street, the Labia on Orange Street, 6 Spin Street and the Book Lounge, also on Roeland Street. Despite South Africa being recognised by the world as an important gateway to the continent, South African audiences are often under-informed and not exposed to the continental and global achievements of arts and culture practitioners born in Africa. In an effort to grow local markets for their work, Learn Africa, Love Africa aims to expose and promote the creative products of these contemporary musicians, filmmakers, artists and writers. Learn Africa, Love Africa provides Capetonians with a host of opportunities to engage with creative content from the continent, covering music, film, art and literature, in events ranging from parties to lectures, spread over a five-month period. Music Kick-off is at the Kimberley Hotel on Friday 29 July 2011, with the first in a series of all-African month-end music parties. From Cairo, Dakar and Dar es Salaam, urban Africa will converge on Cape Town through the talents of a selection of the city’s best DJs. Featured at the first Learn Africa, Love Africa Music Party on 29 July is DJ Jubu, with afro-pop, afro-house, world and traditional sounds. Jubu aka Daniel Eppel has an impressive history in composing original music for film, international commercials, documentaries for national and international television and animation. He works in Cape Town as composer and producer and heads the World Music label, Eppelsauce Music. He has worked alongside Freshly Ground’s Zolani Mahola and for ZA News with Nick Rabinowitz, Zapiro, David Kramer and Thierry Cassuto. Music starts from 8pm onwards, upstairs at the Kimberley Hotel on Roeland Street, for an entry fee of R30. Booking is advised due to the venue’s limited capacity. Putumayo’s Oliver Barnett will follow suit on 26 August; Toby2shoes on Friday 30 September; Patrick Vee on Friday 28 October and Boeta G on Friday 25 November 2011. Film From 9 August 2011, and on every second Tuesday of the month until December, the Labia Theatre on Orange Street will host a series of screenings of contemporary African film titles, representing various genres by a selection of the continent’s best film directors. Learn Africa, Love Africa Film Nights are presented in collaboration with M-Net’s African Film Library and will coincide with M-Net and DSTV’s launch of the African Film Library Video On Demand facility, www.africanfilmlibrary.co.za Film Nights will launch with a tribute to Senegal’s Ousmane Sembene, often referred to as the father of African cinema. Sembene’s award-winning Borom Sarret (The Wagoner, 1963) and La Noire de (Black Girl, 1966) will be screened consecutively, from 6.15pm on Tuesday 9 August. While Borom Sarret is widely acknowledged as the first all-African film to be made, La Noir de was the first full-length African film. The screenings will be preceded by an informal presentation on Sembene’s work, impact and legacy. The programme then returns to recent, contemporary titles with Nha Fala (My Voice), a musical by Flora Gomes from Guinea/France (2002) on 13 September; Ezra, a drama by Newton I Aduaka from Nigeria (2007) on Tuesday 11 October; Kini and Adams, filmed in Zimbabwe by Idrissa Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso (1997) on Tuesday 8 November; and on Tuesday 13 December the comedy A la Recherche du Mari de Ma Femme (Searching for my wife’s husband) by Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi from Morocco (1995). All screenings will take place at 6.15pm at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street. Each will be preceded by a presentation exploring the film’s origin, context, material, genre, title and director. Tickets are R30 and inclusive of the pre-screening presentations. Booking is essential due to the venue’s limited capacity. Art The 2010 Dakar Biennale and African pavilions at the current Venice Biennale, are two of five topics to be covered in a series of informal and illustrated presentations on contemporary African visual arts, by a diverse group of popular and well-known Cape Town art critics, curators and commentators. The presentations will be hosted at 6 Spin Street’s Cape Town Democracy Centre. The Learn Africa, Love Africa Art Talks will open on Tuesday 16 August with an overview of the origins, history and significance of Dak’Art, or the Dakar Biennale, conceived in 1989 and focused on visual arts since 1992. Leading the presentation will be independent writer, curator and academic, Marilyn Martin, one of five African curators for the retrospective hosted as part of the 20th Dakar Biennale last year. On Tuesday 20 September, Kathy Coates, Arts Educator at the Iziko South African National Gallery and former lecturer at UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, will present Influences on Contemporary Nigerian artists following extensive research in the region earlier this year. On Tuesday 18 October, Richard Mudariki, a Zimbabwean artist living and working in Cape Town, will host a presentation titled The visual Arts in Zimbabwe: Creators, Context and Contents. Mudariki has a background in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies and was recently included in an exhibit titled Hope and Despair, at the Zimbabwean National Gallery in Harare. Author, journalist and former editor of Art South Africa, Sean O’ Toole, will take to the stage on Tuesday 15 November for an overview of his African experience at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Four African countries are represented at the current 54th Biennale, and not without controversy: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe. On Tuesday 6 December, Mario Pissarra, Managing Director of Africa South Art Initiative www.asai.co.za will present Decolonisation as a theme in the work of contemporary African artists, incorporating examples from Morocco, Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique. Pissarra is also an honorary research associate in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. Presentations will start at 6.30pm at the lecture room of the Cape Town Centre for Democracy at 6 Spin Street, next to the offices of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa. Tickets are R30 and booking is essential due to the venue’s limited capacity. Learn Africa, Love Africa Book Chats, to be hosted at the popular Book Lounge on Roeland Street, is currently being finalized. For up to date information on all events as part of Learn Africa, Love Africa, visit www.afai.org.za and Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/African-Arts-Institute/132801366800406 Book for all events at or 021 465 9027. Tickets for film screenings are available from the Labia Theatre only. Tickets to all events are R30. Book for four events in a series (Music Parties, Art Talks or Film Nights) and receive a ticket to the fifth free of charge.