Thank you for joining us at Royal Ontario Museum earlier this February as we programmed and activated some spaces for their #FNLROM Black History Month Special. We converted the Rotunda into “The Afro Lounge” and Bronfman Hall became “SUPAFRIK Central”.
The Afro Lounge: Designer Chinedu Ukabam invited FNLROM guests to the coolest new spot in town, “The Afro Lounge” where they could order Suya, grab a drink, and play the African strategy game Oware(also called Ayo or Mancala). There was also a dressing room in the back to try on exclusive pieces from ILU, his unreleased Chinedesign summer collection inspired by Igbo proverbs from Nigeria and the ROM exhibition Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana. Photographer Jalani Morgan was on hand to capture images for an interactive lookbook edited by Maz Osman. You can find the look-book we created on our page.
SUPAFRIK Central: To bring the #SUPAFRIK effect to the ROM,we assembled an art-dance-food party. It featured some new talent like ADL dance crew as well as frequent collaborators like Golden Stool Restaurant (whose Jollof rice was sold out before 10pm!), DJ Revy B and DJ Deemaks, who debuted a live Afrobeats video mix. By the time the spontaneous electric slide broke out in the middle of an Afro house set, it was clear that this was one of the best FNLROMs yet!
Two weeks ago we went down to New Orleans, Louisiana to set up shop for the eight edition of SUPAFRIK. It was an amazing experience worthy of a few thousand words. Instead here’s a hundred or so pictures instead of New Orleanians experiencing SUPAFRIK and us experiencing New Orleans. SUPAFRIK Weekend was a blast and we are already planning to do it again (join the FB page and stay tuned). To the beautiful people of New Orleans and the village that it took to make this happen: Thank you!
Words by Chinedu Ukabam | Photos by Aden Abebe
The beautiful Joan Mitchell Center where we lived, worked and played for the duration of our trip
Thanks to the students from State University New Orlean’s Museum Studies program. They were the best install we could have asked for. Erika Evans, Maya Mathews and Kazim Oyewuwo
We passed through a cool event put on by DOPEciety called “Couches”. It’s like bringing the coolest cutting edge bands into your living room to jam just for you. They transformed the space at PORT beautifully to fit with the theme. A few days later we used this same space to throw our GUMBO dance party.
We are taking the SUPAFRIK pop-up back on the road again! In less than two weeks we will be touching down in New Orleans for a 4 day food, fashion, art extravaganza! From November 12 – 15, SUPAFRIK will serve as a space and destination event where creative expressions from all over the African continent and communities in the diaspora will meet the rich and multilayered cultural milieux that New Orleans is world famous for.
We are pulling out all the stops for NOLA! The festivities kick off from 7PM on Thursday with an art exhibit titled “Nesting: The Makings of Home” at The Joan Mitchell Foundation (2275 Bayou Rd) featuring a selection of works by Shoshanna Weinberger (Newark, New Jersey), Shannon Lewis (Berlin, Germany), Heather Hart(Brooklyn, New York), photographer Patrick Melon (New Orleans) and a performance art piece by Rebecca Mwasse(New Orleans via Zimbabwe) drawn from her latest play Looking At a Broad. Complementary catering will be provided by local Afro-fusion pop-up foodies the Black Swan Food Experience. The SUPAFRIK pop-up shop will also be open for the duration of the four days selling a selection of cutting edge fashion from Osei Duro (Made in Ghana), New Orleans based DopeCiety, a new collection from Chinedesign (Toronto) and top sellers from Blkkangaroo. The shop will also a curated selection of art and art objects from Material Life Nola (including coveted limited edition pieces by Kehinde Wiley and Chris Ofili)
Other events in the line-up include a runway and live-mannequin fashion show, a theatrical production, an art panel discussion on creativity, a movie and an African-themed masquerade ball featuring Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band (Friday). Not to mention a “Gumbo” party featuring a first time historical collaboration between Toronto and New Orleans DJs connecting the dots by mixing musical flavors from NOLA, Africa and the Caribbean.
It is all as exciting as it sounds. Check back often as we reveal more details over the next few days. We don’t want to overwhelm you with too much goodness at one time!
Moments captured by Taiwo Bah Words by Chinedu Ukabam
“Yesterday was the hottest day of the Toronto summer so far. Humidity so thick, the city issued a heat warning that sent people scampering to the nearest air conditioned enclosure. It was the type of heat that would make someone want to throw a trash can through the front window of a pizza parlor. Continue reading →
We’re excited to be collaborating with the ROM‘s Kitchen Conversation series for our next Palattes Of Africa pop-up restaurant featuring Chef Pierre Thiam this Friday! Tickets are already sold out! More on what we have in store in a future post…But first a little trip down memory lane to last summer when we had a Brazilian Brunch in the midst of the world cup fever.
Our featured chef was Nigerian food blogger and epicurean extraordinaire Lohi who presented a menu that incorporated elements of a Brazilian breakfast, street food from Ghana and drinks from Senegal. We had #tamarind – tinged champagne, ginger-flavored bissap, sorrel, abacha and kale salad and stuffed plantains with suya-seasoned chicken. The biggest hit though was the crunchy Akara balls served with a delicious tomato sauce (Nigerian “stew”) followed by the sweet#tapioca pudding with mango and roasted peanuts.
Visual artist Komi Olaf lent us his Afro-futuristic artwork to transform the Edward Day Gallery and also surprised us with an impromptu spoken word performance. A mini supafrik pop-up was also open for shopping and all attendants received a property of africa tote bag containing complementary gifts from our sponsors #senseappeal coffee roasters and Mike and Mike’s organic food wholesalers.
This third installation of Palattes Of Africa was featured as the pop-up of the week in Toronto Life and received rave reviews from #GlobeandMail ’s Lucy Waverman, staff from#MonocleMagazine and Toronto food bloggers. All in all it was a great success! How in the world can we top that? See you on Friday!
Click here for more photos on our facebook page which has become infinitely more up to date than this blog
Team for Palattes 3
Concept and Branding: Chinedu Ukabam Sponsorships and Outreach: Angelina Williams Featured Chef: Lohi Ogolo Featured Artist: Komi Olaf Photography: Justin Morris Chef Assistant: Rufaro Event Planning Assistant: Aryanne Browne
Special shout out to Douglas Stewart and Imara Ajani-Rolston for their assistance as well. Thanks to our sponsors Mike and Mike’s organic food wholesalers and Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters.