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.


March Programming in The Africa Center Portal – from Nigeria to Puerto Rico, Rwanda to Afghanistan


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!


Birth of a Digital Renaissance: Open Hours


2/24    2PM-4PM        Mexico City

3/2      12PM-2PM      Lagos

3/5      9PM-10PM    Milwaukee – Reserved for  Too Black to be French? ticket holders, RSVP to africacenter@sharedstudios.com

3/9      12PM-2PM      Kigali – A talk and book reading with Clemantine Wamariya

3/10    11AM-1PM     Berlin

3/11    10AM-11AM   Nairobi




3/13    12PM-2PM      Dialogue with Returnees from Lagos


#DigitalDiaspora Shared_Meal


3/15    11AM-1PM     Shared_Meal with Kigali: Art – RSVP to africacenter@sharedstudios.com


Reflections on Salon Africana


3/15    9PM-10PM      Milwaukee – Reserved for Salon Africana ticket holders, RSVP to africacenter@sharedstudios.com 


Reflections on Salon Africana


3/16    9PM-10PM Herat, Afghanistan – Reserved for Salon Africana ticket holders, RSVP to africacenter@sharedstudios.com 


Reconnecting Diaspora


3/21    1PM-3PM        Mexico City


Storytelling as a Superpower


3/23    12PM-2PM      Lagos


Birth of a Digital Renaissance: Open Hours


3/24    11AM-1PM     Amman, Jordan

3/27    3PM-5PM        San Juan

3/30    11AM-12PM   Kigali

3/30    12PM-1PM      Lagos

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The Africa Center
The Africa Center1 week ago

Sudanese New Zealander Mohamed Kheir Performs his show 'The Immigrant Is Staying' this coming Friday at The Africa Center.

As a black, Muslim, immigrant living in New York City, Mohamed uses comedy to reclaim the ‘American Dream’, a dream which has been...

2 days ago
A magical night we won't soon forget. Thank you to all who attended. https://t.co/mmUSCeOje9 TheAfricaCenter photo