Africa Salon festival to highlight art and culture of the black diaspora

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 12:00am
Africa Salon Banner

Africa Salon, Yale’s contemporary African arts and culture festival, returns to New Haven Thursday-Saturday, April 5-8.

The fourth annual Africa Salon festival will bring artists, poets, dancers, comedians, writers, and photographers to Yale and New Haven to celebrate the diversity of art and culture throughout the African diaspora.

Across the African continent and beyond its borders, African creatives continue to search for the history, reality, and future of the black diaspora. As they wrestle with the deeply political nature of the intersectional African body, question the global tradition of the “single story”, and push the boundaries that define “art”, their voices and contributions subvert narrow notions of Africa. Through performances, discussions, creative workshops and exhibits, AFRICA SALON invites attendees to peel back these complex layers of contemporary African culture, introduces listeners to the disruptive and defiant discourse of contemporary Africans, and encourages all communities to sample the vast and rich beauty of Africa’s artistic and cultural contributions.

This year, spoken word shows like My Tongue. My Noose reckon with the complexity of life in an intersectional body. An African Lens, this year’s mixed media exhibition, will encourage viewers to see how Africans see themselves and their continent. Amongst the panels, (Re)Presenting Heroes will consider the importance of representation in superpower for black children, and Detangling Our Roots will interrogate the historical and cultural legacy of politicizing black hair. Culture will also feature prominently during the weekend. Danse! will introduce dancers and nondancers alike to popular afrobeats dances, and Taste of Africa will bring people on a journey around the continent through food, sampling a variety of dishes while learning their history and significance. 

The 2018 lineup represents the leading and emerging creatives from across the diaspora, including Botswana-born TransARTivist Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile, Nigerian writer and author Chuma Nwokolo, Kenyan entrepreneur Mukami Kimotho, and Ghanaian comedian Clifford Owusu. All events are free and open to the public.

For details about this year’s event, visit the AFRICA SALON website or register to receive updates on the lineup and schedule. AFRICA SALON is organized by The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, and curated by Ewurama Okai, Woodbridge Fellow at the Yale Office of International Affairs.