28 April 2016

Warsan Shire, The British Poet Who Gave Poetry to Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’

Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire needs no introduction. "When the credits roll on Beyoncé’s new visual album, “Lemonade,” which had its premiere on Saturday on HBO, one of the first names to flash on screen doesn’t belong to a director, producer or songwriter. It belongs to a poet: Warsan Shire, a rising 27-year-old writer who was born in Kenya to Somali parents and raised in London," writes The New York Times.

25 April 2016

'Breach' - The Refugee Crisis in Calais Told Through Short Stories

Writers Olumide Popoola (right) and Annie Holmes (left). Picture: video still.
Breach tells the story of the refugee crisis through six voices based on interviews with refugees in Calais. These stories uncover realities of fleeing one’s country by any means necessary.

The stories are written by London-based Nigerian-German writer Olumide Popoola and London-based writer and filmmaker Annie Holmes (who is originally from Zimbabwe).  Read more about the book 'Breach' at website of Olumide Popoola.

17 April 2016

Afro-Russian Photographer Captures Images of Black People in Europe, US and Africa

Cover of photo book
This is the first monograph of Russian-Ghanian photographer, Liz Johnson-Artur. The self titled book is a substantial restrospective overview of 30 years of work. Both black and white and colour portraiture feature from a diverse range of locations, from Peckham to Russia, US to Africa, The West Indies to Europe. Her primarily black subjects are captured without the usual 'music', 'sport', 'ghetto', 'poverty' and 'protest' labels which are still the norm in contemporary photography." (publisher's note.) The places in the book include, GB, US, France, Zimbabwe, Russia, Germany and Jamaica

Quick links
Photo book on Antennebooks
Liz Johnson Artur on Facebook
Website: Liz Johnson-Artur

12 March 2016

Afro-German Poet May Ayim Performs Poem Against German Nationalism

May Ayim. Photo by Dagmar Schulz
Afro-German poet May Ayim (1960 - 1996) began the year 1990 with the poem Borderless and brazen: a poem against the German “u-not y” .  She discovered that the German reunification in 1990 excluded everyone who was not white and German, and was part of a minority. The poem was published after her death in the book ' Grenzenlos und unverschämt' (in English: 'Borderless and Brazen').

4 March 2016

Spoken Word Poetry by Norwegian Slam Poet Sarah Ramin Osmundsen

Sarah Ramin Osmundsen. Photo by Jan Tore Eriksen
A performance by Norwegian slam poet Sarah Ramin Osmundsen. She gets her inspiration from Bob Marley and Martin Luther King. She uses French, English and Creole to showcase her roots through spoken word.

Even if you don’t understand Norwegian, you can still hear and feel her spoken word poem. I just picked up a few words, but for the rest it was like listing to a piece of music, in words.

15 December 2015

Dutch Caribbean Writer Astrid Roemer Wins Prestigious Dutch Literary Award

Astrid Roemer. Photo by In de Knipscheer:
Surinamese-Dutch writer Astrid Roemer has been awarded one of the most prestigious Dutch Literary Awards, the P.C. Hooft-prijs. Roemer, 68, will receive the prize and 60.000 euro in 2016. She is the first black writer to win the award.

16 November 2015

Classic: Caryl Phillips - The European Tribe

Caryl Phillips
The European Tribe is the first book of essays by Caryl Phillips, published in 1987. Seeking personal definition within the parameters of growing up black in Europe, he discovers that the natural loneliness and confusion inherent in long journeys collide with the bigotry of the "European Tribe"—a global community of whites caught up in an unyielding, Eurocentric history.

11 October 2015

France: 'Exile According to Julia' ('L'Exil selon Julia') by Gisèle Pineau

Gisèle Pineau
Gisèle Pineau was born, and spent the first fourteen years of her life, in Paris. Her parents, originally from the island of Guadeloupe, were part of the massive transplantation of Antilleans to the métropole after World War II (Bumidom). Most had left their homeland hoping to improve their lives and their children’s prospects. Born French nationals, all theoretically enjoyed equal footing with the Parisian French. The color of their skin, however, meant a far different reality for Pineau’s family and their fellow émigrés.

'Some Kind of Black' by Diran Adebayo

Diran Adebayo
The publication of Some Kind of Black (1996), Adebayo's multi award winning debut novel signals the arrival of a significant new literary talent on the London scene. Adebayo's stylish, hedonistic prose is tempered by a sensitive, self-critical intelligence that stops it growing tired, or superficial.

6 October 2015

'Winter Shorts' by Clementine Burnley and Sharon Dodua Otoo

Sharon Dodua Otoo (l), Clementine Burnley and book Winter Shorts
“The stories in Winter Shorts depict characters who are displaced in many senses: geographically, socially, culturally, linguistically – and, most importantly of all, they are black people in a white world. The winter of the title clearly stands as a metaphor for the cold, alien environment of Germany and Austria in which the characters, and perhaps the authors themselves, are outsiders.