Africa Utopia

15 Jul 2017 - 16 Jul 2017

Africa Utopia is an annual festival celebrating the arts and culture of one of the world's most dynamic and fast-changing continents. Championed by Senegalese singer and human rights advocate Baaba Maal, the annual programme features a range of talks, workshops, music, performances, fashion and food.

In 2017, Chineke!, Europe's first predominantly Black and minority ethnic orchestra, returned to headline on the Sunday and BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Amma Asante discussed Black film making in Disrupting Expectations.

Fashion, music and art met in a catwalk collaboration with African Fashion Week London, including the ever-popular People's Catwalk, which showcased the best of African-inspired street style. There was a wide choice of delicious African food and drink at Pop Up Africa, boutiques and pop-ups at the Marketplace and the chance to explore London's African and Caribbean history on one of the Black History Walks. We also presented Selina Thompson’s performance project salt ahead of its run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Check back next year for details of 2018's Africa Utopia.

all stories

What chance do African nations have of thriving in the new global and political landscape?
How do feminists in Africa and the diaspora envision the continent’s future?
Enjoy a look back at some amazing moments from this year's festival.
How are African nations defining their place in political landscape being shaped by Brexit and Trump
Hear from young Africans who are leading the way in everything from tech to fashion and activism
Tom Illube, tech entrepreneur on how technology is rapidly reshaping culture and society in Africa
Discover some amazing African recipes from The African Food & Drink Takeover 2017
All you need to know about Southbank Centre’s annual festival of contemporary African culture
Discover the stories and the secrets of six stallholders from The African Food & Drink Takeover 2017.
Discover the capital’s Black History with historian Tony Warner
Introducing Europe's first professional majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra
Africa Utopia returns with a line-up of exciting musicians, artists, performers and thinkers from across Africa and its diaspora
Meet Maame Adjei, one of the stars of the most globally successful television series from Africa An African City
Wayne Marshall conducts Chineke! inc. Elegy: In Memoriam – Stephen Lawrence and Beethoven's 7th
Edna Adan gives a keynote on why she built her country’s first maternity hospital

highlights from 2017

15 Jul
Laugh along with some of the best comedians of the diaspora in this showcase from Daliso Chaponda
15 Jul
Folk & World
Experience music without sight as you listen to a performance while blindfolded
see all events

In 2012, Southbank Centre launched Africa Utopia, a festival dedicated to bringing art and ideas from Africa and the African diaspora to audiences in the UK. We ask what the West can learn from this rapidly changing continent.

Championed by Africa Utopia artistic collaborator, Senegalese singer and human rights advocate Baaba Maal, the festival’s first four years have featured Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, former First Lady of Somaliland and hospital founder Edna Adan, Kenyan creative collective The Nest, Township Tech originator Spoek Mathambo, 'godfather of Ethiopian jazz' Mulatu Astatke and the Kinshasa Symphony orchestra.

africa utopia stories

Enjoy a look back at some amazing moments from this year's festival.
Discover the capital’s Black History with historian Tony Warner

2017 podcasts

Tune into our some of the most thought-provoking and sometimes a little bit outrageous, moments from this year's festival in our podcasts from the events. Including a raft of speakers from journalist and broadcaster Ekow Eshun to tech entrepreneur Tom Illube, named as the most influential black person in the UK.

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