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 africacenter@sharedstudios.com. #TheAfricaCenterPortal

 

 

Upcoming Programming in The Africa Center Portal

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

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL OUR PORTAL CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19

Thursday, March 5th

AfroFuturism: From Lagos to Turtle Island

Lagos, Nigeria 12:00- 1:30PM

Milwaukee, Wisconsin  6:00-8:00PM

Pumzi by Wanuri Kahiu

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly AfroFuturism film series connecting with community in Lagos, Nigeria at noon and an evening screening with Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6pm! Thursday March 5th we will be watching “Pumzi” by Wanuri Kahiu. 

“Pumzi, Kenya’s first science fiction film, imagines a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface”

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Saturday, March 7th

Roots & Visions

What Does the Future Sound Like?

Kigali, Rwanda 1:00-2:00PM

Bamako, Mali 2:00-3:00PM

Indigenous Futurism

Mexico City, Mexico 5:00-6:30PM 

The 6th World by Nanobah Becker (Navajo) The Rocket Boy by Donavan Seschillie (Navajo) Hoverboard by Sydney Freeland (Navajo)

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be connecting every Saturday with Kigali and Bamako to envision, manifest, and materialize strategies for the future.  Anchoring in each of the senses, we will engage in the practice of bringing the future into the present, with conversations around food, music, performance, ritual, and text. 

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Sunday, March 8th

Black & Palestinian Futurity: Collaborative Media Making

Gaza City, Palestine 10:00-11:00AM

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly connection with community in Gaza City, Palestine. This time spent together will be centered on the future relationships of solidarity between Black and Palestinian peoples as well as an opportunity to make collaborative media together.

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Thursday, March 12

AfroFuturism: From Lagos to Turtle Island

Lagos, Nigeria 12:00-1:30PM

Milwaukee, Wisconsin  6:00-8:00PM

Afronauts by Nuatama Bodoma

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly AfroFuturism film series connecting with community in Lagos, Nigeria at noon and an evening screening with Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6pm! Thursday March 12 we will be watching “Afronauts” by Nuatama Bodoma.

“In 1964  a Zambian science teacher named Edwuard Makuka  decided to train the first African crew to travel to the moon. His plan was to use an aluminum rocket to put a woman, two cats and a missionary into Space. First the moon, then Mars, using a catapult system. He founded the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Astronomical Research to start training his Afronauts in his headquarters located only 20 miles from Lusaka.”

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Saturday, March 14th

Roots & Visions

What does the future feel like?

Kigali, Rwanda 1:00-2:00PM

Bamako, Mali 2:00-3:00PM 

Indigenous Futurism

Richmond, Virginia 5:00-6:30PM

Delivery From Earth by Michael Becker(non-Native/Native cast) File Under Miscellaneous by Jeff Barnaby (Mi’kmaq) “?E?anx: The Cave” by Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot’in)

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be connecting every Saturday with Kigali and Bamako to envision, manifest, and materialize strategies for the future.  Anchoring in each of the senses, we will engage in the practice of bringing the future into the present, with conversations around food, music, performance, ritual, and text. 

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Sunday, March 15th

Black & Palestinian Futurity: Collaborative Media Making

Gaza City, Palestine 10:00-11:00AM

 

As  part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly connection with community in Gaza City, Palestine. This time spent together will be centered on the future relationships of solidarity between Black and Palestinian peoples as well as an oppertunity to make collaborative media together.

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Thursday, March 19th

AfroFuturism: From Lagos to Turtle Island

Lagos, Nigeria 12:00-1:30PM

Milwaukee, Wisconsin  6:00-8:00PM

Space is the Place by Sun Ra

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly AfroFuturism film series connecting with community in Lagos, Nigeria at noon and an evening screening with Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6pm! Thursday March 19th we will be watching “Space is the Place” by Sun Ra.

“Sun Ra the space age prophet lands his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. Space Is the Place is an 85-minute Afrofuturist science fiction film made in 1972 and released in 1974. It was directed by John Coney, written by Sun Ra and Joshua Smith, and features Sun Ra and his Arkestra. A soundtrack was released on Evidence Records.”

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Saturday, March 21st

Roots & Visions

What does the future feel like?

Kigali, Rwanda 1:00-2:00PM

Bamako, Mali 2:00-3:00PM 

Indigenous Futurism

Montreal, Canada, 5:00-6:30PM 

Wakening by Danis Goulet (Cree/Métis) Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)by Amanda Strong (Métis/Cree) The Path without End by Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinnabe/Metis) 

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be connecting every Saturday with Kigali and Bamako to envision, manifest, and materialize strategies for the future.  Anchoring in each of the senses, we will engage in the practice of bringing the future into the present, with conversations around food, music, performance, ritual, and text. 

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Sunday, March 22nd 

Black & Palestinian Futurity: Collaborative Media Making

Gaza City, Palestine 10:00-11:00AM

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly connection with community in Gaza City, Palestine. This time spent together will be centered on the future relationships of solidarity between Black and Palestinian peoples as well as an opportunity to make collaborative media together.

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Thursday, March 26th

AfroFuturism: From Lagos to Turtle Island

Lagos, Nigeria 12:00-1:30PM

Milwaukee, Wisconsin  6:00-8:00PM

Anamata Future News (Maori) & Cleverman by Wayne Blair (Batjala Mununjali Wakkawakka)

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly AfroFuturism film series connecting with community in Lagos, Nigeria at noon and an evening screening with Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6pm! Thursday March 26th we will be watching “Sankofa” by Haile Gerima. 

“Anamata Future News is a Māori web series featuring news bulletins from the near and distant future. Anamata Future News delivers breaking news, sport, technology, weather and entertainment from the year 2018 till the year 2499. Anamata showcases indigenous Māori language, arts, sports and culture in a futuristic world. Anamata Future News is the only place for your future news!” 

&

“Cleverman, the Sydney-set six-episode mini-series created by Aboriginal writer Ryan Griffen is both culturally specific – negotiating Aboriginal cultural protocols in order to depict traditional stories and rituals – and broadly resonant. It’s about how we live now: surveilled within an inch of our lives, bought (or terrorised) by turbo-capitalists in cahoots with politicians and torturers, and detained for being different, until we decide when and where to take a stand, and in solidarity with whom. Reflecting on indigenous land rights, the incarceration of asylum seekers, police racism, environmental destruction, the ethics of genetic manipulation, gentrification and government corruption, Cleverman is clever in many senses: it’s thought-provoking near-future science fiction delivered through pacy storytelling with an indigenous twist, but it’s also witty as well as bittersweet.

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Saturday, March 28th

Roots & Visions

What does the future feel like?

Kigali, Rwanda 1:00-2:00PM

Bamako, Mali 2:00-3:00PM 

Indigenous Futurism

El Progreso, Honduras 5:00-6:30PM 

Gonawindua by G. Cavalli and J.M. Suárez (Kogi) 

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be connecting every Saturday with Kigali and Bamako to envision, manifest, and materialize strategies for the future.  Anchoring in each of the senses, we will engage in the practice of bringing the future into the present, with conversations around food, music, performance, ritual, and text.                                                                                     

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future! 

 

Sunday, March 29th

Black & Palestinian Futurity: Collaborative Media Making

Gaza City, Palestine 10:00-11:00AM

 

As part of OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center we will be having a weekly connection with community in Gaza City, Palestine. This time spent together will be centered on the future relationships of solidarity between Black and Palestinian peoples as well as an opportunity to make collaborative media together.

OurFuturism Month at The Africa Center is a month dedicated to the visioning of future of the Diaspora – connecting across the globe through Films, Art, Discussions, Jams, & more

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and dreamings of the future!

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