Programs

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. #TheAfricaCenterPortal

September Programming in The Africa Center Portal

 

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

 

Sunday, September 7, 12:30PM—2PM, connecting to Lagos

P96 Fashion Presentation

Petah Jay, founder of P96, invites members of his community in Lagos and New York for a Q&A on his latest FW19 Fashion Week presentation.

 

Wednesday, September 11, 12PM—1:30PM, connecting to Lagos

Wednesday Open Hours

We welcome students and local community members for our Wednesday Open Hours at The Africa Center Portal.  

 

Sunday, September 15, 2PM—4PM, connecting to Dallas

Dance Connection

We invite dancers in New York City for this connection with Dallas Black Dance Theater to unpack the art of performance. Participants exchange choreography notes and share a dance move, highlighting the importance of dance in their personal lives and communities. When did you first fall in love with dance? How do you see dance as a tool for communication and self-expression?

 

Sunday, September 15, 4PM—5PM, connecting to Mexico City

Open Hours with Mexico City

Drop in for open hours connecting to passersby in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park.

 

Tuesday, September 17, 12PM—2PM, connecting to San Juan

Shared_Meals: Spectrum of Latinidad: Boricuir

This meal will connect artists in East Harlem (referred to colloquially as Little Puerto Rico) to their peers in San Juan for a discussion around what it means to be “Boricuir”—at the intersection of Puerto Rican and queer. How do new media create space for new forms of identity expression?

 

Wednesday, September 18, 4PM—5:30PM, connecting to Mexico City

Wednesday Open Hours

We welcome students and local community members for our Wednesday Open Hours at The Africa Center Portal. 

 

Sunday, September 22, 12PM—2PM, connecting to Nairobi

Afropresentism: #NuNairobi Series

An Arts and Culture series profiling various artists in the NuNairobi movement. Each installation showcases a new creative sector within Nairobi’s burgeoning scene. 

Connection 1: “NuNairobi: The Historiography”. This connection traces the origins of #NuNairobi, and discusses how new media and #digitaldiaspora contributed to the birth of the movement. (See also event on 9/28)

 

Saturday, September 28, 12PM—2PM, connecting to Nairobi

Afropresentism: #NuNairobi Series

An Arts and Culture series profiling various artists in the NuNairobi movement. Each installation showcases a new creative sector within Nairobi’s burgeoning scene. 

Connection 2: “NuNairobi’s Femcees”. With music at the core of #NuNairobi, there are a number of talented femcees who have risen to the forefront of the movement. This panel brings together OGs in the scene, as well as newcomers, to discuss their observations about and aspirations for the growing femcee community. (See also event on 9/22)

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The Africa Center
The Africa Center2 days ago

"Are you lost if you know where you're going-- just not how to get there? “ - Uzodinma Iweala

Photo by Roda Ahmed

2 weeks ago
Join us as we hold space for dialogue on gender-based violence, xenophobia, pan-Africanism and the formation of a global Black identity.
Donations will be collected for organizations supporting gender equality in Africa.

RSVP at https://t.co/El28hj07SH https://t.co/zTXtwg78wr
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