Afrovive: Celebrating Afro-Caribbean culture

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Marshelle Haseley (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday) reports that AFRICA Film TT (AFTT) has launched a monthly podcast, Afrovive, “which highlights the ever-present and evolving relationship between TT, the region and the continent of Africa through music, art and creative expressions.” Haseley writes:

The monthly video podcast, which premièred last Thursday, is broadcast live on africafilmtt.com.

It was conceptualised and is hosted by Melanie “DJ Honeycolada” Jones-Powell, who has been with the organisation as sponsorship lead from its inception in 2014, and in October 2019 became festival co-ordinator.

“The podcast came about because I felt like it would be interesting to explore the idea of putting together a programme that would connect many spaces influenced by African culture. There is currently a wave of African-influenced energy covering the globe and we wanted to be part of it.

“Especially in this time where people are not able to do much because of covid19 restrictions,” she said, the timing seemed fit for a concept that mixes entertainment and education while helping to maintain the relationship between the AFTT brand and the public.

Jones, who recently became a DJ, said she was happy for the opportunity to explore the rich cultures of Africa, linking and highlighting them with those of the diaspora.

“Initially I was not sure what it would have looked like but with time, the concept came together. I don’t think there is anything quite like this being done locally.”

Each show features afrobeat and afrobeats music played by Jones-Powell and a guest DJ. The line up also includes interviews with a range of creative professionals such as dancers, visual artists, photographers and fashion designers whose work is heavily influenced by African art and imagery. Featured artists include Azariel Pedro, TT-based photographer from Jamaica Marlon James and Amir Hall.

The show also seeks to generate greater awareness around the afrobeats genre, which has been gaining a wider audience recently – a prime example being Jerusalema by Master KG from South Africa. The song and its accompanying dance became popular during 2020, with over 242 million views on YouTube and millions of people around the globe posting themselves participating in the Jerusalema dance challenge on social media platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram.

“Within every episode, there will always be things showing the connection, whether is music or visual work by local and regional artists and fashion designers.”

Jones-Powell said it is important to remember how many of these cultural expressions came to the region.

“We see many of these elements of dance, music and fashion even throughout the evolution of TT Carnival.”

She also mentioned the increasing body of work that is a hybrid of creative work from Africa merging with work from the Caribbean and the diaspora. [. . .]

For full article, see https://newsday.co.tt/2020/11/24/afrovive-celebrating-afro-caribbean-culture

[Shown above: Host of Afrovive Melanie “DJ Honeycolada” Jones-Powell.]

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