This summer I experienced three new community events, each one was exceptional in its own way.

SPEAK SUDAN S.E.A FEST – Sunday, August 11, 2013

SEA Fest 3

Held outside the new Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park, this was a unique festival featuring excellent artists from the East African diaspora.   Waleed Kush
Eskender D. Amassu, Rua El Kasheef, Khalaf Mohamed, Devi Chocolate, and Alysha Brilla performed in front of an appreciative audience of young and old alike.  A revelation for me was the exceptional talent of Enuma, a singer and guitarist who performed with Waleed Abdulhamid.   Somali women were selling snacks and there several other vendors selling original books and crafts.

Speak Sudan is a collective of young East Africans supporting each other in the arts. They have put out the ‘zine’ Putting Down Roots which has been reviewed in this issue of TWAS.    check out the website at: http://speaksudan.org



Accents Pop-Up Shop2

The concept of Pop Up shops is an exciting way for independent artists to share and sell their wares at a reasonable cost.  Simply put, a location is rented for one day and vendors rent and set up tables.  Accents Bookstore does a tremendous job of supporting diverse arts both at events at their shop itself and elsewhere. This particular event was held below the Restaurant Pancho y Emiliano deep in the heart of Kensington Market.  It was hot and sunny and perfect for browsing the books, photographs, beauty products and more that were presented.  Highlights included looking over the wonderful selection of African themed books on sale at the Accents table, meeting and admiring the work of Colombian photographer Sergio Alberto Mendoza,  eating Peruvian alfajores biscuits for the first time while sipping  Actor/Producer Rhoma Spencer’s sorrel.  She was also selling corn soup which smelled amazing.

Watch for the next event…http://accentsbookstore.com/


SANKOFA: THE JOURNEY – Apanaki Temitayo Art Show

Sankofa - The Journey

This show was my introduction to the visual arts of the extraordinary multi-talented Apanaki Temitayo.  Trinidad-born, and Toronto-raised her works in this show blend both world, but especially dig deeply into the Orishas culture which originated in West Africa and took root later in the Caribbean.  Clearly a highly spiritual person, Apanaki expresses herself beautifully with colour and textures.  She uses textiles, shells and beads in her creations to excellent effect.  Favourite images include a parrot, a peacock and many silhouettes of beautiful African women.  You can purchase prints and cards online at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/apanaki-temitayo-m.html

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