Cultural Influences 

(by Sebastian Hartmann

Everyone is born in any culture. The own culture is subconsciously internalized, but we are also affected by foreign cultures. We may subconsciously use manners, features, thoughts, etc. of cultures from anywhere. This is mostly shown by our exterior. In my Project I show different foreign cultures unified by overlaying them with our familiar culture. Foreign cultures are figured as native portraits of each culture and symbolism.
The familiar culture is shown as self portrait. Reflection of the halves of the face are special features to give the illustration a mask-like look.

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“Funk is the unending cycle of life. It’s the ultimate concept—wherever your imagination will take it.” —Xenobia Bailey

One of four featured artists in #FunkGodJazzMedicine, New York City-based Xenobia Bailey is best known for her eclectic crocheted hats, large-scale mandalas, and tents consisting of colorful concentric circles and repeating patterns. Her designs draw influences from Africa, China, and Native American and Eastern philosophies, with undertones of the domestic aesthetic of her mother and other African American rural and urban homemakers, and of the 1960s and funk visual aesthetic.

Learn more about Xenobia and the other featured artists in Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn.



This is the trailer for a short film by Nerissa Williams.

This is a very interesting idea for a short. The story is in the tradition of worlds created by Octavia Butler and other authors. The idea of extraterrestrial  influence in Africa’s past is one that can have lots of spinoffs in science and speculative fiction.  

Really hope this gets done. 

Here’s more about the project:

“A Short Ancestry” is a fifteen-minute science fiction short film set in the deep bush of Ethiopia, Africa in the year 1588. The film considers the nuances of Pre-Western/Colonial oral tradition with mythological reference points. The film encourages the viewer to process the beginnings of humankind as we now know it. 

“A Short Ancestry” centers on I’ma and her greatest of great granddaughters, Netta. Together they journey through story to create a bond that is immeasurable. I’ma is an alien to the planet Earth. I’ma arrived some 10,000 years before this story takes place. When I’ma arrived the planet was just able to sustain mammal life. Her first greeters to this world were a tribe of rapidly changing Homo-Sapiens breed of mammal. After breathing a “new life” into this particular tribe, the New Breed becomes something other than the normal Homo sapiens walking the Earth. I’ma creates this new breed as a way of producing off spring to start her family that she wasn’t able to begin on her home planet. This new breed of human holds the keys to not only super human powers, but a quest of I’ma to mother a super race of beings for the good and love of the universe. 

The film revolves around rich African oral traditions and cultural family structures found in many African Diaspora cinematic films. It will be shot on the Sony F3 camera in S-log to be color corrected in post-production. The setting is untouched Eastern Africans. The smell, taste and touch of dryness, which will consist of rich ambers, deep rusts and crimson colors. Many variations of greenery and shades of browns and blacks are the color palate of the imagery. Sounds of drumming and the krar, a ten-string instrument, can be heard throughout the village of the film. The Sound track to the film will reflect deep African wild life native sounds and rhythms. 

Themes of family, birth origin, communal healer, tribe protector, mother nurturer and believer runs throughout the piece to provide for a dynamic structure of creativity and lineage of one family. I’ma gives light to the notion that humans were created by aliens as she weaves and sows different uses of her body to reveal her alien nature to the viewer.

The Battle of Omdurman: The High-water Mark of British Imperialism

All through the darkness of the night, a British infantryman waits nervously by the banks of the Nile. The Mahdists, infamously bloodthirsty savages, are just seven miles away, in the fortified city of Omdurman. They outnumber the poor infantryman and his comrades two to one and hold a superior position on the high ground. If the Mahdists attack at night, then the British won’t even have the advantage of their better-ranged guns.

Bayonet fixed, rifle clutched tightly in his hands, the infantryman waits to find out if he will see the dawn.

Return to Sudan

British policy towards Sudan in the 1890s was callous at best, determined not by the desires of locals but by European power politics. The fall of Khartoum and death of General Gordon in 1885 had weakened British influence in north-east Africa. A decade later, Lord Salisbury’s government authorised a return to Sudan, to protect British interests in Egypt and prevent the French from expanding in the region. France was still Britain’s leading opponent on the international stage, with relations between the two at times coming close to a cold war. Sudan became a proxy in their conflict.

Kitchener’s Army

The army sent to Sudan in 1898 was led by Major-General Horatio Herbert Kitchener. The British controlled Egypt, and so it was an Anglo-Egyptian force – 8,200 of the men were British, 17,600 were Egyptian and Sudanese. They had at their disposal some of the most advanced firepower of the age, including 20 Maxim guns – the earliest design of machine gun – and 44 artillery pieces on land, as well as a further 24 Maxim guns and 36 artillery pieces mounted on  gunboats on the Nile. Even the infantry had cutting edge guns with magazine feeds full of expanding ammunition.

These troops were not all raw recruits or men whose only experience had been in peaceful outposts. As recently as 8th of April 1898, some of them had defeated Sudanese troops at the Battle of Atbara.

By constructing the 385-mile long Sudan Military Railway, Kitchener was able, by the end of August 1898, to bring these forces within striking distance of the Khalifa in his fortress at Omdurman.

Preparing for Battle

Kitchener prepared to face the Khalifa, sending out mounted patrols to scout the area around Omdurman. Artillery bombarded Omdurman, aiming to weaken the defences, including Sudanese gun positions.

Approaching the city, the patrols saw the Khalifa’s army, estimated at 52,000 men, emerging to meet them. They quickly withdrew.

On 1 September, Kitchener set up camp on the west bank of the Nile, mere miles from Omdurman. Forming up his troops in a semi-circle, he set spotlights from the gunboats to probing the darkness around them, fearful of a night-time attack. This was when the British were at their most vulnerable, unable to see distant targets and so take full advantage of their superior weaponry. An attack now could ruin them.

But the Khalifa didn’t recognise this as the moment to strike, and so he too waited, with his troops gathered on high ground to the south-west.

Let Battle Commence

At last, dawn came, and with it the showdown. The Khalifa advanced his forces downhill and swept across the front of the Anglo-Egyptian position. Wheeling around, his troops launched into a massive full frontal assault upon the invaders.

Artillery, Maxim machine guns, rifles – the invaders opened up in a blaze of firepower. Mahdists fell in their thousands, blood soaking the ground. Most never even came within 300 yards of their enemies.

By waiting for dawn, the Khalifa had left it too late. His attack was shattered.

Charge of the Lancers

With the Mahdists in retreat, Kitchener ordered the 21st Lancers to pursue the fleeing remnants, preventing them from retreating to Omdurman. Led by Colonel R. H. Martin, the lancers pressed their spurs to their horses’ flanks and rushed to the pursuit.

But the Mahdists still had tricks up their sleeves. Martin charged a thin line of Dervishes, only to find a larger Sudanese force waiting in ambush behind them. Martin’s spectacular charge was followed by several minutes of brutal close quarters fighting. Forty percent of British casualties in the entire battle were suffered in that one brief melee. Though three men were awarded Victoria Crosses for courage in the action, and it was praised in the press, in reality it was a needless waste of lives.

The Seven Mile March

By 9am, the Mahdists had been in retreat for an hour and Kitchener’s men had had time to rest and reload. Now he ordered them to advance.

As the Anglo-Egyptian force marched the seven miles to Omdurman they lost cohesion. It was hard to keep 25,000 men in fighting order on the move, and soon gaps appeared in their lines.

The Mahdists took this opportunity to launch two counter-attacks, hoping to break the British offensive.

But just like the Mahdists, the British were able to improvise and overcome setbacks. Most notable was Brigadier-General Hector MacDonald. His brigade first repulsed an attack from the south. Then seeing more Mahdists coming in from the north, MacDonald rotated his entire formation, including eight machine guns and eighteen artillery pieces, through ninety degrees before fighting off the second attack.

Thanks to MacDonald’s actions, Kitchener obliterated the retreating Mahdists and seized Omdurman.

Results and Responses – the Turning of the Tide?

Omdurman was an overwhelming triumph for the British. Only 48 of their men were killed while the Mahdists lost nearly 11,000. Omdurman fell. General Gordon was avenged. Though the praise in the press focused on this victory over the native peoples, for those in the British corridors of power it was also a successful manoeuvre against their European competitors.

While many newspapers raved about the triumph, others were more critical. The Westminster Gazette attacked the merciless bayoneting of fallen Mahdists. The tomb of the Mahdi, who had inspired Sudanese resistance, was desecrated by the British, an act which appalled Queen Victoria.

Omdurman was the height of British imperial success, but it also showed a shifting of attitudes. The British public was gaining a distaste for the grim measures sometimes taken to uphold colonialism, and in the decades that followed, the withdrawal from empire would begin.



“I assure you this post is not to offend our religious followers but to spark a thought… It was through European and Asian invasions of Africa that we saw the destruction of Black Civilizations. Through these invasions came colonization, slavery, and the control of Africa’s resources by outside influences. Even today Africa is still influenced by European and Asian nations to work in their interest. What also came along with these invasions were the influence of what Africans should do with their body, their mind, and most importantly their GODS. When Africa began to decline we didn’t look to our indigenous gods and spiritual systems. We allowed them to break us on the spiritual level. We looked to find hope in the same religious systems that our oppressors practiced. It was inevitable that we remained spiritually enslaved.
When the majority of Africans were practicing their own native religions, the land, the people, and the resources were intact. After they abandoned their native spiritual systems the land, the people, and the resources were exploited, robbed, and destroyed. Our languages , images of ourselves, our education, and even our worship is somewhat influenced by outsiders. We need to reafrikanize ourselves. "WE DERIVED FROM SPIRITUALITY BUT NOW WE FOLLOW RELIGION”~~POETIKA

Think about this, do the research , Don’t get upset get free… POST WRITTEN BY @SOLAR_INNERG

#Sancophaleague #Africans #Religion #Islam #Christianity #Spirituality #Jewish #God #Allah #Yoruba #Vodun #Voodoo"


The Phoenicians and Carthage

     The Phoenicians came from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea in land we now call Lebanon. Their land was arid and inhospitable for farming, so they turned to the sea to become the greatest travelers and traders of their time. The Phoenicians invented the alphabet, and taught several cultures their advanced system of writing.

     The Phoenicians extended their influence across North Africa and settled Carthage in the modern nation of Tunisia, as a trading post. The word Carthage means “new city”. The Phoenicians chose Carthage because of its location in the center of North Africa, a short distance away from Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. When the Assyrians and the Persians conquered the original homeland of the Phoenicians, Carthage became an independent state.

     It was against a rival city in Italy, Rome, that Carthage fought and lost three brutal wars that eventually destroyed the city. The wars were known as the Punic Wars because Puncia was the Roman name for Carthage. The Roman navy surprised the sea trading people in the first war in 238BC. The Carthaginians acquired a new base in Spain from which a great military leader named Hannibal led a team of elephants across southern France and into Italy. Hannibal won some early victories but his forces were outnumbered, allowing Rome to win an even more brutal war lasting almost fifteen years until 204BC.

     Carthage lost all political and military power by the end of the second Punic War, but the Romans moved a half-century later to destroy the city. After a siege in 146BC, the Romans went from house to house slaughtering the Carthaginians. The few survivors were sold into slavery, the city and harbor were destroyed, and the Romans poured salt over the farmland to ensure its barrenness.


Ancient Civilizations: Malian Empire 

The Mali Empire, also historically referred to as the Manden Kurufaba was a Mandinka empire in West Africa from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa. The Mali Empire had many profound cultural influences on West Africa, allowing the spread of its language, laws and customs along the Niger River. It extended over a large area and consisted of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.

The name Mālī (مالي) was recorded as the name of the empire by Ibn Battuta (d. 1368/9). According to Battuta’s contemporary Chihab al-Umari (d. 1384), the name of the empire was Nyeni (Niani), after its capital. Alternative variants of the name Mali included Mallel, Mel, and Melit.

Consuelo Kanaga, one of the pioneers of modern American photography, began her career as a photojournalist in 1915 in San Francisco. In the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz inspired her to develop a more aesthetic approach, and a trip to Europe in 1928 awakened her lifelong preoccupation with European modernist painting and the ways in which that work was influenced by the sculpture of Africa. Kanaga successfully combined a Pictorialist aesthetic with a realist strategy, producing handsomely composed and carefully printed images. She was one of few white American photographers in the 1930s to make artistic portraits of African Americans.

In Frances with a Flower, the focus is so sharp that the slightly rough texture of the woman’s skin, shiny with perspiration at the hairline, seems palpable. The forehead, nose, and cheeks, highlighted by flash, contrast with the deep-set eyes lost in shadow, thus producing a sculptural dimension that turns the photograph into hills and valleys of light. The stark white blossom pressed to the woman’s nose emphasizes the sensuality of her face.

Blog 5

What sparked my interest in dance? Was it watching ballroom dance competitions on PBS or Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta? It may have been watching my parents go out dancing for the night and being in awe of my mother in her high heels and strapless dresses.

Since a young child I would get out on the dance floor any chance I was given and I always had a blast. The only dance I had learned was the Electric Slide. I secretly liked the square dancing lessons in gym class; never admitted that before. For years I planned to take ballroom dance lessons, one day.

It hit me at some point late last year that I wanted to learn to Salsa dance, so I got serious and was on a mission to get started.  Once out and about in the Latin dance world I heard of other dances too. The Bachata and Kizomba along with Salsa is what I have had the most exposure to so far. Kizomba, like many dances, have multiple influences. It originates from Africa and Portuguese colonies. It has a simple, 4/4 rhythm, its footwork is based on afro, that means it is danced with slightly bended knees, full feet on the ground and loose hips.

Its leading technique is similar to Argentinian Tango. From the belly button up it is tight poised, there is no isolation with shoulders or chest and men lead mainly with their chest movements. The dance itself is characterized by light and continuous walking. This dance is sexy and beautiful to watch.

Last Friday night at Fernbank Museum’s Salsa night I had the pleasure of dancing Kizomba. I am in the early stages of learning and get by with basic steps. It’s not every Friday night that Kizomba is readily available on the dance floor, like Salsa and Bachata are, so it’s a treat to practice Kizomba when I can.

Look who came to Salsa night! I was thrilled to see Ardie and her friend.