• An air of nostalgia at Cape Town’s Grand Parade

    If you walk down Darling Street in Cape Town towards the City Hall, you will come across the Grand Parade. This square is a rough-fitting assemblage of informal trade, passers-by, security guards, littered plastic and pigeons, but also a national monument since 1962, deemed to be South Africa’s most historic public open square. Up until […]

  • Arts switch on in Harare

    Last week Harare was the scene of one of the largest, most prestigious urban festivals in Africa. The city hosted the 15th edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts, better known by its acronym HIFA, and considered by many as the Glastonbury of southern Africa, under the theme “switch on.” During this six-day multidisciplinary festival, which has […]

  • Graffiti festival connects artists, cultures and ideas in Dakar

    (Article republished from africanurbanism.net). For 10 days in April, graffiti artists from around the world gathered in Dakar, Senegal for the fifth annual Festigraff, the Festival international de Graffiti en Afrique/Senegal. While the term “graffiti” can carry a negative connotation, spray can art is Dakar’s most ubiquitous urban art expression, ranging from vandalism to approved […]

  • Sex and the city meets Accra

    Ngozi, Zainab, Nana Yaa, Sade and Makena are five Ghanaian friends who, after living in the USA and UK for several years, return to Accra. This is the plot story of An African City, the online web series which premiered on YouTube in March and already has thousands of fans. Think Sex and the City […]

  • Cape Town’s eastern fast food scene

    “How are you?” I ask the man behind the counter, who wears a smile as wide as his belly, at the Eastern Food Bazaar, a fast food joint in a corridor between Longmarket and Darling Street in the heart of Cape Town. “Ey, I’m tired!” is his response. “Tell me you at least get a […]

  • Wainaina on afropolitanism

    In 2005, the Nigerian/Ghanaian writer Taiye Selasi penned an article, Bye-Bye Barbar, that introduced the world to a term that described a new generation of young, urban, multilingual and globally projected Africans: ‘Afropolitans.’ Since the term was coined its use has been controversial. Be that as it may, today Afropolitanism has been used in discussions about […]

  • Public art infects Cape Town

    Infecting the City hit Cape Town last week. Christy Zinn reports on how the public art festival raises questions about citizenship and belonging in the mother city.

  • Africa is Now

    The presence of some of the world’s most established designers, architects, innovators and artists was a highlight for exhibitors at Cape Town’s 2014 Design Indaba Expo that took place over the weekend at the city’s International Conference Centre. With over 200 new exhibitors taking part, among them selected local “emerging creatives” and African international innovators, […]

  • Saving Swahili urban landscapes

    There is more to East African coastal cities than the typical honeymoon pictures of white sand beaches they produce. The cobbled streets of Lamu Old Town (Kenya), Zanzibar’s Stone Town (Tanzania) and Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique) are lined with Swahili architecture, including former stately homes of Swahili Sultans.

  • Making electronic connections with Ten Cities

    Club culture has not been widely researched, especially in Africa. And with electronic music taking off with increasing force in Africa from the nightclubs of Nairobi to Johannesburg, the Ten Cities project is presented as an innovative and original project on the front line of the latest urban sounds, able to locate the most groundbreaking […]