african-inspired

5

Phoebe Boswell

Country: Kenya

Style: Realism/Installation

Medium: Charcoal/Graphite/MDF Board

Fun Fact: (from her website http://www.phoebeboswell.com/ ) combines traditional draughtsmanship and digital technology to create charged drawings, animations and installations that combine to form a language through which to communicate global, fragmented narratives such as her own, narratives which cannot be easily explained - contained - in a single image, or a single screen film. Born in Kenya to a Kikuyu mother and fourth generation British Kenyan father, and brought up as an expatriate in the Middle East before coming to London where she now lives and works, her history – her identity – is rooted in transient middle points and passages of migration, and as such, her trajectory is always anchored to a personal exploration of ‘home’.

Quote: 

Works

1. Transit Terminal

2.Shwari

3. Damani

4.

5. Marama

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6

What began as a way of giving his daughter an alternative to Barbie - and the european standard of beauty she presents - led to Taofick Okoya creating a line of African dolls that not only celebrate the beauty of black women, but showcase Nigeria’s heritage in all its glory. Now Okoya stands as one of Nigeria’s most promising entrepreneurs and has seen his dolls even outsell Barbie. Of the dolls, Okoyo remarks in a recent interview with Elle: “African-inspired increase little girls’ sense of self-appreciation and confidence. When little girls play with dolls, they see themselves in or as the doll, they dress it in clothes they like and act out their fantasies. The more of their own likeness they see in the things they like, the more accepting they will be of their looks and culture.”

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

…Deserve it, then. Study, do your work. Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life. You will meet, of course, curious little annoyances. People will wonder at your dear brown and the sweet crinkley hair. But that simply is of no importance and will soon be forgotten. Remember that most folk laugh at anything unusual, whether it is beautiful, fine or not. You, however, must not laugh at yourself. You must know that brown is as pretty as white or prettier…The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin—the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world. Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely…Enjoy what is, and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.
— 

W.E.B. Du Bois

In 1914, his soon-to-be 14-year-old daughter, Yolande, left the family home to study at Bedales School in England. He wrote her the [above, excerpted] letter of advice soon after her arrival…