Since 2015, Africa Nouveau has been a trailblazing, barrier-breaking music and arts festival congregating creators, curators & fans of African cool from all over Africa and the diaspora.
Built on the philosophy of “Afrobubblegum” – Africa Nouveau focuses on presenting fun, fierce, frivolous and fantastical African art created with no other purpose but joyful self-expression.
Created by the same team behind the well-loved Blankets & Wine, Africa Nouveau’s core values are innovation, creativity, collaboration, identity and sustainability. It has fast become a hyper creative space for people to express themselves freely with a Pan-African focus on music, fashion, photography, film, emerging technologies and art at its core.
On 8th – 10th March 2019, the festival adds an even more immersive experience to its portfolio with the annual 3-day 3-night camping festival at the Ngong Racecourse Waterfront.
Cutting her teeth as the first lady of one of Nairobi’s most prolific band of young musicians, @KarunMusic has since leapt out on her own to learn, create and grow into her true form.Her soulful experimental records are prime to take you on a smooth ascension on the Nouveau stage pic.twitter.com/L7Gy7oFEFs
— Africa Nouveau (@AfricaNouveau) January 15, 2019
2019 Theme: Africans and Outer World Beings
The Africa Nouveau Festival 2019 seeks to investigate the historical understanding and relationship of Africans to outer world beings and forecast an imaginary future where Africans have re-connected with these ancient knowledge systems. The big question being explored is “if Africans and outer world beings re-connected, what could we learn and what could we create?”
Virtual Reality: Celebrating Kenya’s Gaming Scene
In co-operation with the Goethe Institute, gamers and VR creators from Kenya and Germany (Evans Busuru, Salim Busru, David Waweru, Nadia Adhiambo, Oluoch Olunya, Daniel Smoll, Vladimir Storm )are currently collaborating to produce two story-based games in Virtual Reality to be showcased at the festival. The games will expand the theme of the festival and allow the attendees to explore build scenarios with us. Outside of our festival, the games will be instrumental in allowing the world to perceive Africa from a new, positive light as the game will travel to various Virtual Reality and gaming festivals and exhibitions.
Imagine jaming to 'Huku' with your squad as @ShoMadjozi performs LIVE at #AfricaNouveauFestival!😱 She'll be taking us all on exciting sonic and visual journeys through an unapologetic embrace of her Tsonga heritage & other African cultures.💃🏾 Tickets👉🏾 //t.co/x8QSvmYGbO pic.twitter.com/dCfHa5WMLB
— Africa Nouveau (@AfricaNouveau) January 18, 2019
An array of diverse performers is key for creating the immersive experience(s) at Africa Nouveau. This edition will see 21 live performers from 8 countries on 2 stages including an ‘after-hours’ stage.
Fashion has always been a vital aspect of the festival’s vibe and attracting the coolest of Nairobi’s creative scenes, it’s no wonder. Following the success of the 2018 look book photoshoots during the festival at pre-fabricated sets, and the resulting fashion look book produced in conjunction with the British Council, the fashion area goes a notch higher for this next edition.
2019 will see a fashion market comprising 25 vendor stalls, a make-up bar and haircare pop-up as well as 2 different photography sets for professional photography built on the theme of Africans and outer-world beings.
The festival will invite attendees to do re-create themselves as outer-world beings using paint, fashion items and other props, and further, participate in a series of photo shoots at the festival. Select images from the shoots will be included in the 2019 Africa Nouveau handbook.
In doing this we aim to create new art from a collaboration between fashion eco-system- Stylists, designers, photographers and buyers/fans.
Meshack Oiro and Peter Walala, Kenyan mixed-media artists, are in creation mode currently to create fantastical structures, pieces and experiences to add even more dimensions to the festival grounds.
Some favourites from 2018 will make an appearance as well, like the now iconic Pyramid of the Four Kings which featured a DJ booth inside it and art painted live at the festival by visual artists Willy ‘Nyeks’ Kanyeki, Musa Omusi, Bazil ‘Ojin’ Ngode and Brian ‘Msale’ Musasia.
Nouveau attendees should prepare to marvel at and live between and through even more art installations as they explore the theme and invite you to co-create in the experience.