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Nubiart Diary


NUBIART: Focus on arts, business, education, health, political developments and the media.

~ ‘FANGNAWA EXPERIENCE’ - Fanga & Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa [Strut – Out Now] This six-track album of extended workouts links the Gnawa ritual and ceremonial music and West African Highlife and Afrobeat through a cross-cultural musical fusion undertaken by French collective Fanga and Moroccan master musician Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa. The album grew out of a collaboration at the Détours du Monde festival in Montpelier in 2011 and here Fanga’s Burkinabe-born singer Korbo and Guinéa share lead vocal duties, with Guinéa building his trademark ‘Fusion Trance’ through spiritual evocations, and rolling, hypnotic rhythms on the gimbri (three-stringed lute) on tracks such as ‘Noble Tree’, ‘Gnawi’, and ‘Dounya’. Korbo’s lyrics serve up food for reflection, touching on the right to be different and promoting harmony between man and nature whilst denouncing the social injustices that result from an economic system out of control and designed to benefit the few. ‘Kelen’ has a groove straight out of The Shrine.

We will only review books we have read and DVDs we have seen and that are available at reasonable prices online or in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing and film production there may be books and films on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down.

~ ‘THE MORALITY OF CHINA IN AFRICA: THE MIDDLE KINGDOM AND THE DARK CONTINENT’ - Edited by Prof Stephen Chan [Zed Books. ISBN: 978-1-78032-566-8]

“Western colonialism appropriates both land and labour for the material benefit of the metropole at the expense of the colony, while setting up a cultural and institutional hierarchy of race, gender and regime. And if Others fail to ‘comply’ with conversion to this ‘universal standard’, then they are subject to the ‘discipline’ from the ‘international community’.” (p74-75)

The reason for this book is that much has been said in the West and there have been many scare stories about China moving into trade with Afrika. Little has been widely reported of the views of either the Afrikan or Chinese and this dearth is redressed here as all of the contributors are Afrikan or Chinese, even if they are currently living or working outside China. The book analyses the relationship through the Confucian values of reciprocity. Afrika provides 25% of China’s oil needs and 15% of the US’s. There are 800,000 Chinese working, living and running businesses in Africa and 800 businesses that are involved in manufacturing and construction at competitive prices with cheaper labour costs than anything that can be achieved in the West.

“Deng’s idea was to purchase foreign industrial plant and machinery.” (p10). Former Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping’s four great economic modernisations of 1978 is based on the Chinese Three World Theory originated with Zhou Enlai in his 1956 speech to the Bandung Afro-Asian summit and developed from Mao’s 1946 interview with Ann Louise Strong – US and USSR; other developed countries; China and other countries in Afrika, Asia and Latin America. Mao ascribed the final formulation of the theory to former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda during his visit to China in 1974.

Afrikans trained in guerrilla warfare carried Mao’s Little Red Book and Chinese-made AK-47s yet there were few Maoist movements in Afrika. Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere wore the Chinese-cut suit with Afrikan-style yet few Afrikans took up Chinese academic scholarships - they favoured the West and the US Peace Corps were able to heavily penetrate Afrika. There are prominent Chinese in Afrika such as Fay Chung, a Zimbabwean nationalist and Cabinet member while the father of Jean Ping, the former head of the African Union, moved from China to Gabon.

The Non-Aligned Movement was founded in 1961 and from those times the majority of Afrikan countries have stood by China over Tienanman Square, Taiwan and Tibet. China has dealt not with the AU but with individual states through the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) founded in 2000 to avoid embracing an organisation that also has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Only four Afrikan countries currently have direct relations with Taiwan - Swaziland, Sao Tome e Principe, The Gambia and Burkina Faso. Malawi had maintained links with Taiwan during Hastings Banda‘s rule. In 2007 they broke with Taiwan and received a ?subject=From Website'>260m concessionary loan from China. Trade rose to ?subject=From Website'>100m and a new parliament was built (cost ?subject=From Website'>41m) and a five-star hotel (cost ?subject=From Website'>90m).

China built the African Union HQ with its statue of Kwame Nkrumah which opened in Jan 2012. It was designed after a nationwide competition in architecture schools across China and cost about ?subject=From Website'>200m but was given as a gift on land donated by the Ethiopian government under Haile Selassie in 1963. This is a continuation of major Chinese infrastructure projects in Afrika such as the 550km Somali border road and the TAZARA railway between Zambia and Tanzania which allowed Zambia to bypass apartheid ports. For a short period in the mid-1970s China found itself on the same side as the US and South Africa in supporting UNITA in Angola while the countries of the OAU and Russia were supporting the MPLA. China soon abandoned its position and this was the template for its policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries in Afrika. However, the Three World Theory was further contradicted by the Chinese invasion of Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which the Chinese refused to aid despite their historic antagonism to Soviet expansionism.

The fall of apartheid in the 1990s was a bigger blow to the Western economies than many recognised at the time as it meant a source of resources previously considered secure was now open to trade with whoever it chose. It also meant that across Afrikan political efforts could move away from its focus on opposition to apartheid to growing their economies in a hoped-for period of unity and prosperity.

The Chinese are governed by concepts such as weizhing yide (to rule by virtue) and renzhi (rule of benevolence). Tienhsia is the Confucian ethos of benevolence, virtuous rule and non-aggressive Chinese internal / external relations. Confucius proposed five sets of binaries: emperor and subject; husband and wife; father and son; older and younger siblings; and friend with friend. Only in the last was there the possibility for horizontal reciprocation but all are natural and thus even the emperor had to engage in reciprocation. China is happy to front-load benefits to Afrikan countries with which it does business as ‘the older sibling’ – in this case the more economically developed - must provide. There is also the realpolitik that when China was a pariah state Sudan was the fourth country to grant it diplomatic recognition, Thus China ‘officially’ sees its role in Afrika as repaying a debt of loyalty. Chairman Mao proudly asserted, “It is our African brothers who carried us into the United Nations.” (p67)

“Four foreign-policy elements inform China’s African discourse: (1) the ‘three worlds’ theory; (2) ‘five principles of peaceful co-existence’; (3) ‘peace and development’; and (4) the Chinese view of a new world order.” (p62)

Indians started buying Zambian copper mines but tended to asset strip them whereas when the Chinese got involved they revived productivity to take advantage of a rise in commodity prices. However, In October 2010 Chinese supervisors shot 13 workers at the Collum coal mine. This went down badly in the country as Zambia is considered to have a good record of signing up to ILO legislation. The Chinese also engaged in cheating, late payment of salaries, unreasonable working practices and racism.

“The West is not providing aid to develop a competitor.” (p35) Reform of Bretton Woods institutions and the UN for more equitable exchange over global finance, trade and investment, is essential to enhance prospects for development and peace in Afrika. In 2008 China pledged ?subject=From Website'>9bn to DR Congo with Sinohydro Corp, Gecamines and Chinese railway Engineering Corp playing major roles. The Chinese were to get copper and cobalt and DR Congo was to get help with transport infrastructure, 32 hospitals, 145 health clinics, schools and two universities. Through the IMF the West reduced this to ?subject=From Website'>6bn meaning valuable much-needed infrastructure projects were lost. However, this highlighted the fact that the Chinese, like most Afrikans, recognised the prestige of university education whereas the West has always prioritised primary education eg the Millennium Development Goals make no reference to universities. The West prefers ‘Assured Subsistence’ for Afrika – clean water, housing, etc. The goals are a target but they have also become a ceiling so that Afrikan countries cannot challenge the West. The processing of coffee and cocoa would destabilize processing plants in Europe. While petroleum refineries and steel plants would require shared senior management. So China represents the right to manufacture products of a nation’s choosing.

There are many things Afrikans can learn from Asian countries: communist North Korea - treated as a basket-case pariah state in the West - has a cradle-to-grave welfare system that is state managed without the need for a civil society. Afrikans could also look at the role of India’s Green Revolution in boosting food security, IT and democratic politics to cope with internal strife. China has a two-decade strategy for growth as opposed to the short-termism of the West where a quarter’s figures are considered crucial. Chinese leadership visit Africa more regularly than Western leaders. However, China’s long-term time frames for loan repayment exposes them to volatilities, defaults and repudiations. Front-loading assumes a country’s absorptive and operational capacities. What about maintenance, upgrade, co-ordination, criminal or rebel damage? “…the entire Chinese expectation in Africa, repeated from country to country, is that either the governments with whom they deal will be sustained, or any successor government will sustain good relations with China. There seems to be no scenario plan that deals with being pre-emptorily asked to leave.” (p40)

Is Chinese non-intervention fostering and harbouring dictatorships and threatening Afrikan democracy? Does providing non-conditional aid and interest-free loans contradict Western efforts for the promotion of ‘good governance’ in Afrika? Chinese power plants, industry and construction neglect environmental standards and cause ecological damage and Chinese criminality are also being exported to Afrika.

Currently the Chinese economy is growing at 9% per annum. Trade with Afrika was ?subject=From Website'>122bn in 2011 – 4% of Chinese trade worldwide and 10% of Africa’s total trade while FDI totalled ?subject=From Website'>5.4bn. China does competes with Africa producing cheaper, processed goods – textiles, foods, refinery and timber products and one of the contributors, Patrick Mazimhaka, suggested Afrika should shift to automotive and aircraft manufacturing and maintenance and IT.

Stephen Chan was present as an adviser to the Afrikan governments at the Trilateral Dialogue meetings in Tswalu (South Africa), Beijing and Washington DC and the report from the Afrikan participants is included as a chapter here. NEPAD signalled the beginning of a new era in continental politics – a search for unity of action and a desire to seek principled strategic partnerships with the rest of the world. Major economies such as Brazil, India, Turkey, Canada, Cuba and Mexico all have diplomatic relations with the African Union. It is unlikely Afrikan development will come from high volume manufacturing. Afrikan development goals are underpinned by the following strategic tenets: access to technology and global markets, creation and maintenance of social peace, the establishment of environmental standards, transport bidding and institutions, promotions of governance and sound economic management, transparency in aid giving, the maximization of revenues for African governments and electorates, and maximising the effect of local conflict resolution and peacekeeping.

Afrika will need access to money markets as aid has no long-term place in the scheme of things as it stunts local initiative eg with food aid assisted families are reluctant to return to farming as long as the food aid remains available, Across Afrika governance is so lacking that even private sector investors seek government guarantees. Areas for improvements include: institution building and legal reforms, in relation to taxation, public markets and protection of investments. Afrika needs to protect the rights of women, children and minorities. There are also problems arising over the renting of Afrikan lands, displacement and the resettlement of peasants. Afrikan states are still vulnerable to violent change of regimes and therefore investment ratings are low. Tunisia was top of the World Bank ‘Doing Business’ indices immediately before the revolution of 2010-11. Corruption is costing Afrika ?subject=From Website'>150bn a year and around 40% of Afrikan capital has fled the continent giving foreign investors scant confidence.

Africa exports mainly energy to Asia while Asia exports manufacturing and consumer goods to Afrika. For Afrikan trade to grow it is essential for Asian countries to lower high mutual tariffs. Looking wider than China there is also a chapter on India’s investment in Afrika. There is a long history of Indian business in East Africa. Gandhi’s satyagraha movement emphasized the relationship between India and Afrika should not be based on conventional trade and exploitation but on human exchange – ideas and services. Sumit Roy claims the Indian’s have five mantras in dealing with Afrikan countries: of economic cooperation; engaging the persons of Indian origin; preventing and combating terrorism; preserving peace; and assisting the Afrikan defence forces.

The India-Africa Delhi Summit in 2008 pledged to double trade to ?subject=From Website'>50bn by 2012. There was a second India-Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa in May 2011 where they aimed to boost trade from ?subject=From Website'>45bn in 2011 to ?subject=From Website'>70bn by 2015 and provide additional aid of ?subject=From Website'>500m alongside the ?subject=From Website'>5.4bn already promised. Also outlined were plans to enhance capacity-building through setting up regional centres of excellence, training centres and skills training over the next five years, discussions on curing piracy and terrorism and mutually supporting Indian and Afrikan seats on the UN Security Council.

ONCC Mittal Energy Ltd negotiated a ?subject=From Website'>6bn infrastructure contract with Nigeria in exchange for two offshore oil exploration rights. “India has also set up a pan-African e-network (IT). This links fifty-three African countries to Indian universities and hospitals to facilitate the development of critical human capital – health and education.” (p136)

Overall, this book makes for fascinating reading not least because it breaks out of the one-dimensional eurocentric analysis of Afrikan trade and development and highlights the importance of not just who wins but who’s story wins. “More intriguing is that Chinese stories about Africa do not reach the West any more than Western stories of Africa are told in China.” (p62)


- ‘Strange Fruit’. On Wed 19 June. ‘Strange Fruit’ is the first documentary exploring the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic. The song's evolution tells a dramatic story of America's radical past using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicentre. The saga examines the history of lynching, and the interplay of race, labour and the left, and popular culture as forces that would give rise to the Civil Rights Movement. The tale of ‘Strange Fruit’ - its genesis, impact and continuing relevance - is an amazingly complex one that weaves together the lives of African Americans, immigrant Jews, anticommunist government officials, civil rights leaders, radical Leftist teachers and organizers, music publishers, record company executives and jazz musicians.

- ‘Soundtrack For A Revolution’. On Wed 26 June. Free Screening. ‘Soundtrack for a Revolution’ tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music - the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. The freedom songs evolved from chants of enslaved Afrikans, the labour movement, and the Afrikan churches. The music enabled Afrikans to sing words they could not say, and it was crucial in helping the protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights. The film features performances of the freedom songs by top artists, including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots; riveting archival footage and interviews with civil rights activists, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, and Ambassador Andrew Young.

All events at 7-9pm at the PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction, London, SW11 2LN. Adm: £5 / U-16 – Free (unless otherwise stated). Tel / Fax: 020 8881 0660. Mobile: 07951 234 233. E-mail: info@blackhistorystudies.com

~ BLACK HISTORY WALKS WALKING TOUR - ST PAULS / BANK. On Sat 22 June at 3.30pm. For details of walk e-mail: info@blackhistorywalks.co.uk Web: www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk

~ SHANTI-CHI FAMILY PRESENT SECOND SESA WO SUBAN AFRAKAN STORYTELLING FESTIVAL!‏Based on an ancient full moon solstice ceremony, from dusk to dawn. A great place to share love, celebrate Afrakan culture, reconnect with Mother Earth through the healing power of storytelling.
On Sat 22 – Sun 23 June from dusk (9pm) until dawn (6am) at Oxleas Woods, Shooters Hill, London, SE18 3JA.Booking: Adults - £12; youth 8-17 years - £6; under 7 years – Free. Web: http://www.shanti-chi.com/#!__story-trail-blazer


- ‘Mama Africa’ (2012). On 23 June at 2.30pm. ‘Mama Africa’ is the biography of the South African singer, Miriam Makeba, who was the first Afrikan musician to win international stardom. Her music influenced artists across the globe, although her style stayed anchored in her South African roots. She sang and performed with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie. Makeba was also a vocal campaigner against apartheid, and always stood for truth and justice. This documentary traces her life and music through more than fifty years of performing. Friends and colleagues, some who knew her from the beginning in the dance halls of South Africa, together with her grandchildren, allow us to know the remarkable journey of 'Mama Africa'.

- ‘Max and Mona’ (2004). On 23 June at 4.30pm. Some traditional South African beliefs say that the souls of the dead will not join their ancestors until the mourners cry at their graves. Max Bua, 19, from a South African farm community, has inherited his grandfather’s talent for mourning. Despite this heaven-sent gift, Max has his sights set on becoming a doctor and must travel to Johannesburg to begin his studies. With money the villagers collected for his tuition fees, and a wedding gift, he sets off to the city. Director Teddy Mattera has constructed a slapstick comedy about a young boy coming-of-age and his wild adventure with a most unlikely partner-in-crime.

- ‘Black Power Mixtape’ (2011). On 30 June at 2.30pm. ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975’ mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement including Bobby Seale, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver, the filmmakers have captured intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. With music by Questlove and Om'Mas Keith, and commentary from prominent Afrikan-American artists and activists who were influenced by the struggle - including Erykah Badu, Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli, and Melvin Van Peebles - the historical footage is given a fresh, contemporary resonance and the film has been described by many as an exhilarating, unprecedented account of an American revolution.

- ‘Hollow City’ (2004). On 30 June at 4.30pm.’Hollow City’ directed by Maria Joao Ganga is set in Angola at the height of its civil war with the disintegrating city under curfew. Shown from the point of view of a young and inexperienced boy, 11-year-old N'dala (Roldan Pinto João), who sees his family massacred by soldiers, is rescued by a missionary nun (Ana Bustorff) and flown to the capital, Luanda. He runs away and journeys into the heart of the giant city where his wanderings expose some of the ravages of Luanda's physical and social fabric. The film is viewed as part of a new wave of Angolan cinema and is excellently acted by a cast of non-professionals.

All films at The Africa Centre, 38 King Street, London, WC2. Adm: Free. Web: www.africacentre.org.uk

~ SENEGALESE SABAR DRUMMING WITH MODOU DIOUF. The Sabar drums (also known as djembe) produce the explosive rhythm section behind almost all modern Mbalax artists in Senegal today, including Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal and Cheihk Lo. Sabar drums are conga shaped instruments that are played with stick and palm technique. Master drummer Modou Diouf comes from a long lineage of griot musicians from the Serre people of northern Senegal, and he will teach students a number of traditional compositions taking time to explain the culture, history and playing technique of this powerful family of drums. On 24 June at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London.

~ NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK SATURDAY SCHOOLS AND BLACK HISTORY WALKS PRESENT QUEEN NZINGHA LECTURES. Queen Nzinga was an Afrikan Queen who fought against the European invasion of southern Afrika (Congo / Angola). The Queen Nzingha lecture series will feature Afrikan female academics / holders of expert knowledge, speaking on topics of their choice on a monthly basis. The Nzingha lecture series will provide a regular platform for women of Afrikan descent to highlight important issues in an academic setting. As a result of these lectures a Black Women in Academia Support Group has been set up.

- ‘African Women Resistance Leaders: UK 1970's / 80's.’ On Fri 28 June at 6.30-9.15pm at The Blue Room at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1. Part of ‘Black Power Sisters Weekend’. In preparation for the Angela Davis film premiere Black History Walks present visual biographical details of Afrikan women from the UK and around the world who have resisted colonialism and racism. Women do not get the historical credit they deserve and quite often there is a focus on Afrikan Americans to the exclusion of local heroes. This event will give the audience video and documentary evidence of the who, what and why of 30 female fighters who used guns, pens or placards to fight for equality in modern Britain. Bring notepad and pen and be on time, latecomers will end up standing. Women include: Queen Nzingha, May Jemison, Dora Akunyili, Dame Jocelyn Barrow, Una Marson, Edna Ismail, Lieutentant Sanite Belair, Althea Gibson, Mavis Best, Fawzia Hashim, Dr Beryl Gilroy, Leyla Hussein, Gerlin Bean, Althea Lecointe, Stella Dadzie, Dr Patrica Bath, Professor Elizabeth Anionwu and many more.

- Queen Nzingha Lecture 8: ‘The Impact of Hip Hop on White Masculinities’. On Sat 29 June at 6.30-9pm at The Blue Room at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1. In the 1970's Hip Hop music represented the voice of Afrikan-American youth in regards to racism, oppression, poverty and Afrikan urban life experiences. It also gave Afrikan youth a platform to address and celebrate Afrikan history, and challenge mainstream thinking. Today hip hop has changed somewhat. This lecture will explore the ways that hip hop has influenced white masculinities and will question whether hip hop encourages cultural diversity or reinforces racist stereotypical thinking. Veronica Mason is a Senior Lecturer and the Degree Course Leader for the BSc Youth Studies Programme at London Metropolitan University. As a professionally qualified Youth and Community Worker with over 10 years youth work experience, she holds a MA Degree in Applied Anthropology, Community and Youth Work, a BSc Degree in Sociology and Psychology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. Veronica has taught on modules across social science subjects but her specialist subjects include professional youth work practice, youth sub-cultures, ethnic & gendered youth identities (including hip hop masculinities) and the complexities around racism, discrimination and anti-oppressive practice. Veronica plans to start a PhD this year focusing on whether hip hop is still a source of empowerment for Afrikan young people.

Adm: Free to all events if booked via eventbrite. Web: www.nabss.org.uk / www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk

~ THE NOMMO SESSIONS PRESENTS ‘WHO KILLED 'DRUMMER RIGBY'?’ Did Adebolajo & Adebowale kill drummer Rigby?; Why was the MI5 trying to recruit Adebolajo?; Is the media trying to stir up race hate?; Who are the real terrorists?; Is the word 'conspiracy!' ringing in your ears? On Fri 28 June at 7pm at Mama Afrika Kulcha Shap, 282 High Road Leyton, London, E10 5PW. Adm: £3 / U-21's – Free. Tel: 020 8539 2154 / 07908 814 152.

~ AJAMU PRESENT ‘POWER OF MUSIC PART 3: HAS BRITAIN GOT REAL TALENT?’ Special live performances by Kimba (www.kingkimba.com) and Silas Zephania (www.silaszephania.bandcamp.com/) and more. Panel and audience Q&A with guest panel will discuss topics including: Has Britain got real talent? Can you beat the competition? Why aren’t unsigned artists on TV more? Come & find out and share what skillz are needed to own, promote and earn from y/our talent. On Sat 29 June at 3-6pm at Johmard Community Centre, 67 High Street, Colliers Wood, London, SW19 2JF. E-mail: Ajamumembership@hotmail.com / ajamualerts@hotmail.co.uk

~ THE SOUTH LONDON AFRICAN CARIBBEAN FREE LEGAL AND WELFARE ADVICE SURGERY AND THE CPGB PRESENT ‘JOINT ENTERPRISE & CONSPIRACY LAWS’. It is time to stand up & protect our youth; Stop police state frame-up & harassment; Stop indiscriminate use of joint enterprise & conspiracy laws; Drop the charges now! Afrikan youths continue to be harassed by the state to a far greater extent than any other group. They are more likely to be failed by the state school system, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be stopped and searched, more likely to have their DNA profile on the police database, more likely to be imprisoned, more likely to end up in the mental health system. We say this is the result of racism. We say this has got to STOP!

On the most flimsy of evidence, young Jamal has been framed up on conspiracy charges. This case highlights the institutional racism faced by young Black men. We call on the community to support the demand to drop the charges on Jamal and oppose the police state attacks. Only mass mobilization with a clear understanding of the state can do this. Speakers: Jamal’s Father; Garry Green, Barrister, Joint Enterprise & Conspiracy Laws; PASCF; Twilight Bey on Drugs & the Political / Prison Economy; CPGB–ML on Austerity, Capitalism & the Police State; and ROAD on Young people’s organization perspective on Stop & Search and policing. On Sun 30 June at 2.30-5.30pm at Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, London, SW9 7PH. Adm: Free, donations welcome. Tel: 07507 995 485.

~ ROBIN WALKER PRESENTS BOOK LAUNCH OF FARI SUPIYA’S ‘BLACK SUMER AND THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF CIVILISATION PTS 1 & 2’. Revolutionary new research on the Ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. This research on the Middle East is just as important and revolutionary as the work of Diop and Obenga on Ancient Egypt. It even involved using some of the same forensic techniques that the US police force uses to identify human remains! On 3 July at 7pm at Role Models and Mentor Centre, 227 All Souls Avenue, Willesden, London, NW10 3AE. Adm: £5.

~ ‘THE UNFINISHED CONVERSATION: JOHN AKOMFRAH’ In this multi-layered three-screen installation created by acclaimed film-maker John Akomfrah, ‘The Unfinished Conversation’ examines the nature of the visual as triggered across an individual’s memory landscape. With particular reference to identity and race, the film presents academic Stuart Hall’s memories and personal archives, extracted and relocated in an imagined and different time to reflect on the questionable nature of memory itself. Until 14 July on Mon-Sat at 9am–5pm at New Art Exchange, 39–41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 6BE. Tel: 0115 924 8630. E-mail: info@nae.org.uk

~ THE GEORGE PADMORE INSTITUTE AND FRIENDS OF JLR PRESENT A TRIBUTE TO JAYNE CORTEZ (1934-2012). An Evening of Poetry Music and Memories, Artists appearing will include: John Agard, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Denardo Coleman, Zena Edwards, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Grace Nichols, Deirdre Pascall, Keith Waithe. On Fri 19 July at 7pm at Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL. Adm: £20. Contact New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EN. Tel: 020 7272 4889. E-mail: newbeaconbooks@btconnect.com

~ FOYA 2013: 4TH YORUBA ARTS FESTIVAL. The Yoruba Arts Festival is an open air celebration of the rich, vibrant and colourful arts and culture of the Yorubas. The Festival was created to develop and maintain a unifying social, cultural and educational platform for Yoruba's in the United Kingdom, from around the world and for people of Afrikan origin through a lasting and self-sustaining platform. On Sat 27 & Sun 28 July at 10am-8pm at Clissold Park, Green Lanes, Hackney, London, N16 9EJ. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7249 1222. E-mail: info@yorubaarts.org

~ YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK PRESENTS ‘FABRIC-ATION’. Retrospective exhibition of Afrikan print fabrics and designs by Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Until Sat 1 Sep at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG. Web: ysp.co.uk

~ NOH BUDGET FILMS PRESENT ACTIVE INQUIRY. Do you like being creative? Would you like to be part of a group who solve community problems through performing? ACTive Inquiry are inviting you to join our weekly participatory performance workshops exploring Current Affairs. The AI group carries out sketches, scenes, skits and other social commentary performances to raise awareness about problematic social issues. The stated goal of these performances is to make the public ‘think and ask questions’ and expose the lies around these injustices. Every Thurs at 6.30-9.30pm at Stockwell Park Community Trust, Crowhurst House, 21 Aytoun Place, Stockwell, London, SW9 0TE. Adm: £5. (Suggested donation to help cover room hire costs and refreshments but we would hate cost to be a barrier to participation so please pay what you can afford). Web: http://activeinquiry2013.eventbrite.com

Contact: Kubara Zamani, Afrikan Quest International, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU. Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: afrikanquest@hotmail.com Web: www.southwark.tv/quest/aqhome.asp
NB: Nubiart Diary can also be read at www.ligali.org and on the Afrikan Quest website. For security reasons Nubiart Diary and Afrikan Quest do not join or promote Facebook-related sites.