festival

Africa Utopia

13 – 15 Sep 2019

How does Africa and its diaspora shape the way we think about art, culture, gender, race, sexuality, fashion, activism and society? Explore with us over a weekend of exciting and thought-provoking events at Africa Utopia, returning in autumn 2019 in a new collaboration with Indaba X.

For the festival's seventh year, we welcome Akala, Ozwald Boateng, Chineke! Orchestra, Noel Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel, Bethann Hardison, Femi Kuti, Denise Lewis and many more to our stages.

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Enjoy stunning river views in an exclusive Members’ Cafe-Bar before or after your event

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Your best tweets and Instagram images from this year’s festival
Meet the phenomenal women who make up the social-theatrical spectacular Hot Brown Honey
Enjoy five brilliant performances from the incredible Malian music duo.
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?
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

all events

7:00 pm
Fri 13 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 13 Sep 2019
film screenings
tours & activities
The true story of Cornelius Walker, for whom everything changed when Damilola Taylor was killed
The true story of Cornelius Walker, for whom everything changed when Damilola Taylor was killed
A building with a sign 'Welcome to the New Africa Shrine'
7:00 pm
Fri 13 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 13 Sep 2019
gigs
The atmosphere and energy of Femi Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine comes to Royal Festival Hall
The atmosphere and energy of Femi Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine comes to Royal Festival Hall
7:30 pm
Fri 13 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 13 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and...
Concrete Late in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer
10:00 pm
13 Sep 2019 - 14 Sep 2019
10:00 pm | 13 Sep 2019 - 14 Sep 2019
gigs
An Africa Utopia edition of our club night, showcasing DJs and electronic artists from the African continent
An Africa Utopia edition of our club night, showcasing DJs and electronic artists from the African...
 Illustration of Morning Cartoons: Bino and Fino

Free

Free

Various times
14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
Various times | 14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
tours & activities
film screenings
Settle in for a morning cartoon with the brother and sister duo as they explore their African city
Settle in for a morning cartoon with the brother and sister duo as they explore their African city

Free

Free

Various times
14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
Various times | 14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
Browse our curated market for the latest African-inspired fashion, art, books and more
Browse our curated market for the latest African-inspired fashion, art, books and more

Free

Free

12:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
12:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
gigs
jazz & blues
Dynamic dance, colourful costumes and irresistible beats: it’s the south London youth performance group
Dynamic dance, colourful costumes and irresistible beats: it’s the south London youth performance...
Young Women Reading

Free

Free

Various times
14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
Various times | 14 Sep 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
art & exhibitions
What’s Black British life been like across the generations?
What’s Black British life been like across the generations?
Osi Umenyiora, American football defensive end
1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Africa Utopia Member's Salon

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
 Jay Jay Revlon

Free

Free

2:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
courses & workshops
Take the ballroom by storm at a voguing workshop with the co-founder of The Men of Colour Society
Take the ballroom by storm at a voguing workshop with the co-founder of The Men of Colour Society
Akala, rapper and activist
2:45 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
2:45 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
Africa Utopia Fashion Catwalk at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

3:30 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
3:30 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
Fine threads created by fashion designers who both honour and subvert traditions of the African aesthetic
Fine threads created by fashion designers who both honour and subvert traditions of the African...
Black is Beautiful with Mata
4:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
4:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
The 20-year-old make-up artist shaking up the industry shares her tips, tricks and story
The 20-year-old make-up artist shaking up the industry shares her tips, tricks and story
A woman in glitter on the side of her face
4:30 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
4:30 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
6:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and music
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and...
Beauty: It's a Shady Business
6:15 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
6:15 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Beauty: from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep
Beauty: from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep
Letters Live at Southbank Centre
7:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
Great performers read remarkable letters from down the centuries and around the world
Great performers read remarkable letters from down the centuries and around the world
Africa Utopia Member's Salon at the Royal Festival Hall

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
12:30 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
Simon Frederick, actor
1:00 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens

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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.