Africa Utopia Returns To Southbank

Art & Culture

For the third time Africa Utopia returns to the Southbank centre from the 10th – 13th September to showcase the varied music, art and literature of Africa and its diaspora, as well as giving a platform for debate on how the continent can lead the way for the rest of the world in terms of activism, sustainable living, community and technology. 

Amongst the musical highlights of the festival will be:

Tony Allen, celebrating his hugely impressive career that has seen him collaborate with artists including Damon Albarn (the Good the Bad and the Queen, Rocket Juice and the Moon), Air, and Grace Jones (Sun 13 Sep). Crucially, Allen was a key collaborator with Fela Kuti in the 1960s and 1970s and one of the creators of afrobeat. Alright!

Orchestra Baobab who formed in 1970; the group has toured worldwide and received two BBC Radio 3 awards and a Grammy nomination for their recordings. Nice!

Chineke!, Europe’s first professional classical symphony orchestra made up of Black and Minority Ethnic musicians, performing music by black British composer Philip Herbert and Beethoven. Yeah!

The transforming on Friday night of the Queen Elizabeth Hall into a club night of homegrown music from pioneering dub-reggae ensemble African Head Charge led by original co-founder, master percussionist and royal rastaman, Bonjo Iyabhinghi Noah, and underground sensation Afriquoi. Get Down!

There will also be talks and a debate, led by Hannah Pool looking at how Africa is leading the way in thinking about culture, community, business, technology, fashion, gender, power, politics, sustainability and activism. Right on!

The weekend will also host dance events, fashion shows, African Yoga workshops, and visual art from Dineo Seshee Bopape, whose dense sculptural installation with kaleidoscopic video montages engage viewers with powerful socio-political notions of memory, narration and representation (Hmm, thought provoking!)

Anyway, this weekend of activities looks mint, as you might say in the north, and a fascinating glimpse into the culture of Africa's enormous diaspora, much of which has very strong ties with our capital. 

This event takes place between the 10th and 13th September. Find a lot more info here