Afropean by Johny Pitts & A Stranger’s Pose by Emmanuel Iduma
Saturday 6 July, 13:30 – 14:30
British Library Knowledge Centre, Main Auditorium
Double book launch exploring identity and crossing borders in Europe & Africa through photography and prose. Chaired by Sheila Ruiz.
Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities. Here is an alternative map of the continent, taking the reader to places like Cova Da Moura, the Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon with its own underground economy, and Rinkeby, the area of Stockholm that is eighty per cent Muslim. Johny Pitts visits the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where West African students are still making the most of Cold War ties with the USSR, and Clichy Sous Bois in Paris, which gave birth to the 2005 riots, all the while presenting Afropeans as lead actors in their own story.
A Stranger’s Pose is an evocative and mesmerising account of travels across different African cities. With lyrical and absorbing prose, Emmanuel invites the reader to share in his travels, and the encounters he made along the way. Alongside these depictions of new places and people is a compelling, and very personal, meditation on the meaning of home, and the importance of intimacy to a lone traveller. Through these vignettes – an arrest in a market in N’djamena, meeting the famed photographer Malick Sidibe in Bamako, speaking with a migrant in Tangier who says “the sea is the only way,” – Emmanuel showcases the generosity of strangers, the power of language and translation, and much more, accentuated by a curated selection of captivating photographs.
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Image: Emmanuel Iduma by Victor Ehikhamenor