Join The Africa Center for The African Scramble: Culture, Cuisine and Colonialism.
The African Scramble is a conceptual sandwich meant to serve as a vehicle to expose the historical complications of the profoundly unjust, asymmetrical relationship between Africa and the West. The sandwich’s ingredients trace that history to our present moment. Across a stunning program that includes readings, interviews, short films, musical interludes, and cooking segments, hosts Tunde Wey, artist and chef, and Ruth Gebreyesus, culture writer and critic, inject unconventional narratives into that relationship.
With fresh eyes, Wey and Gebreyesus will act as docents exploring and complicating The African Scramble’s ingredients with a number of special guests. The program’s stories will be firmly rooted in the continent and its Diaspora stemming from the deeply personal to the overtly political. With food as the focal point, the program’s conversations will offer poetic excursions that traverse personal histories, interludes in the form of an Ethiopian coffee break, journeys through food markets, visits to studios, questions of what exactly Nigerian cuisine is and whose hands cultivate it, investigations of international “development” in Africa, and discussions on the ongoing project of colonialism and its effects on the trajectories of Africans.
This event is an extension and articulation of a magazine issue that Tunde Wey and Ruth Gebreyesus guest edited for Sandwich magazine also titled The African Scramble released in December 2020.
Featured speakers include The Africa Center’s CEO Uzodinma Iweala, Elsadig Elsheikh, Adom Getachew, Ireti Oluwagbemi, Maheder Aekalu, Yemisi Aribisala, Atim Ukoh, Iquo Ukoh, Michael Elegbebe, Sejiro Avoseh, Therese Nelson and much more.
Tunde Wey is a Nigerian immigrant artist, chef and writer working at the intersection of food and social politics. His work engages systems of exploitative power, particularly race, immigration, gentrification and global capitalism and he uses food and dining spaces to confront and close the resulting disparities. Tunde’s work has been written about in the New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Vogue, GQ. His own writing has been featured in the Boston Globe, Oxford American, CityLab, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a TIME Magazine 2019 Next Generation Leader and NYTimes 16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America 2019. Tunde is currently working on a memoir slated for a 2022 publish date from MCD (a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Ruth Gebreyesus is a writer, editor and producer based in the Bay Area. Her work centers cultural products and their movement across physical and digital margins. Her writing can be found in The Guardian, ESSENSE, The Fader, and KQED. Gebreyesus has presented on memes and Black digital production at the Oakland Museum of California and at the New Museum in New York. She currently serves as a co-curator of Black Life, a multidisciplinary event series at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.