Encompassing policy, business, and culture, The Africa Center operates locally and globally to transform our understanding of contemporary Africa.


The Africa Center Portal

Photo: Anita Ng, FRAME Studios. Art: Victor Ekpuk

The Africa Center Portal


Created by artist Amar C. Bakshi in 2014, Portals are a network of interconnected, immersive audiovisual environments. When you enter one, you are met by someone in a distant Portal and can speak to each other as if in the same room. They are placed in environments as diverse as cultural centers, schools, refugee sites, conferences, and public parks, and have been applied in dozens of contexts, including distance learning, policy discussions, business meetings, musical collaborations, and open dialogues.

Portals is what happens when we are intentional about building communication technology for the public good. Despite incredible advancements, few of us use social media to communicate authentically with people different from ourselves. Portals create space for intimate, genuine moments that bring the world to local communities — an Internet you can walk through.

Over the coming year, Shared_Studios is working in partnership with The Africa Center to develop content and programming that connects African diaspora communities in New York with the world, live and full-body. From digital salon pop-ups to theatrical performances, artist talks, innovation pitch-offs, and Shared_Meals, communities across the global African diaspora will connect for meaningful dialogue, performance, and exchange.

Sign-up for Portal sessions will be coming soon via our Shared_Studios page – in the meantime, please drop in for any of the scheduled connections below. For more information or to propose programming, reach out to the Portal Curator at neema@sharedstudios.com.


May Programming in The Africa Center Portal – from Mexico City to Nairobi, Lagos to Honduras


Below is a list of upcoming Portal connections by theme, date, time, and the location of the Portal we will be connecting to. Join us!


Symbolism & Celebration: Cinco de Mayo


5/5       1:30PM-3PM         Mexico City


Decolonizing Nutrition Series


5/11       12PM–1PM           Lagos

5/11     1PM–2:30PM          Los Angeles (includes 30-min yoga session & dialogue on Holistic Motherhood)

5/11     2:45PM–3:45PM     Honduras

5/18    12PM-1PM               Nairobi

5/18     1PM-2PM                Kigali


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