The Founder of Slavery Remembrance - Shezal Laing
Shezal Laing is a trailblazer. She’s just the type of person that would make things happen if she has set her mind on it.
She would say of herself that she wants to be happy with the world as it is but with the current knowledge she has, it has been impossible for her…Nevertheless, she sets out to do something about it …. Not just for her but as a mother of 2 sons of Caribbean and African origins, she wants to set « a path as clear and easy as possible for them and fight as many battles as possible while alive so they don't have to ».
In 2016, what Shezal qualified as being in a horrible place near a breakdown, was actually in hindsight, her springboard into championning the Slavery Remembrance Day in London. While spending time in Jamaica to recuperate from a very stressful work situation, it was while discussing with her children’s grandmother about the lack of visibility and initiatives around the International Slavery Remembrance Day promoted by the UNESCO that the spark came on and she simply decided to do something about it. She observed that the Jewish Holocaust Day was widely accepted while the International Slavery Remembrance Day was receiving very little or no recognition whatsoever.
« I will do something. I will hold a memorial to recognise this day » she decided from then on
And so after incorporating Slavery Remembrance as a company, immediately upon her return from Jamaica, she birthed the African Holocaust Day the very same year and made history by holding the first ever memorial in Trafalgar Square London. She still remembers, baby on her back, welcoming contractors by herself in the morning as they started putting out the barriers. She litterately started on her own.
Slavery Remembrance Day, now African Holocaust Day
The first memorial was a resounding success centered around « educating, celebrating and inspiring » all from African, Caribbean descents and beyond to learn from the past and be empowered to have a common vision for change and success !! The Sankofa Badge, which is also the logo of Slavery Remembrance, embodies our past and heritage as the African diasporas, and represents the foundation to lay down and the stepping stone it provides on our way to achieving in the world we live in as a cultural entity, an economic force and a united people.
And fostering unity, celebrating black history and black culture is at the heart of the initiative which is self-sustained. Slavery Remembrance is more than just a memorial and much more happens throughout the year, also through its sister’s company « My Tribe » which aims at connecting diasporas and supporting black businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations. Shezal also observes that the memorial triggers many different responses within the afro-caribbean communities from anger, guilt, denial. « the memorial has really changed my understanding of where our biggest battle is….. It has opened my eyes to so many mindsets and the need for a collective understanding of what happened. Some are still traumatised by it. Honoring and remembering our ancestors is like a counselling session. People are coming to terms with it, it is a gradual process ».
The Sankofa, which is also the logo of Slavery Remembrance, embodies our past and heritage as the African diasporas, and represents the foundation to lay down and the stepping stone it provides on our way to achieving in the world we live in as a cultural entity, an economic force and a united people.
The next African Holocaust memorial will be held on Saturday 18th August 2018 in Trafalgar Square.
As a small grass root organisation community leader and director, Shezal Laing encourages all of us to step up and share the load. Every job description is needed from admin, bid writing, web content, PR, marketing and more. You can support and contribute in many ways from volunteering on the day and throughout a year, as well as financially by buying a badge or more.
Shezal’s last word « come and enjoy the day, share the event, share the news. »
See Teaser and link of the event below to share extensively!
FRUITSOFLOVE selection of handmade lipsticks at the top; at the bottom Deyon King wearing her own makeup
I've had the pleasure to meet Deyon King, an amazing and talented creative wearing so many different hats. From taking on the role of a cosmetic chemist, creating her own line of handmade natural makeup "Fruitsoflove" to styling and designing clothes using Ankara fabric, as well as accessories such as earring, bows and handbags, the list is endless. [She can also sing]......
Deyon would say of herself: "I've always been quite a creative type of person. People would come to me with broken bits of watches and earringS that are falling apart and ask what I could you do with it. I've always had a creative nack, gifted by God I would call it".
See pics below and Etsy site link to purchase fruitsoflove items:
A selection of bows on the left, top and earrings in the middle with green lipstick worn by myself, circle ankara skirt on the right
But that's not all. Deyon has a beautiful way of passing on knowledge. For instance, she is amazing at styling hair. I needed a hairstyle and within seconds by looking at my face, traits and outfit, she could picture exactly what would suit and the lipstick I would sport out. However, the ones appointed to do my haire were her daughters.
Deyon herself would say that her earliest memories of doing hair was between the ages of 8 to 12 where she would take on the task of doing her cousins' hairs, hairstyles, her mum's friends children and even my mum's friends themselves. She learnt herself from her mum and aunties who would be standing in the family living room with a girlfriend seating on a chair in the middle and they'll get busy styling their friend's hair. "In Caribbean culture, it is quite traditional and natural for the eldest to take care of the youngest hair and a way of making some money by doing hair braiding. I would have a doll that I would practise my braiding skills and cornrows on and be corrected by my auntie. I learnt by watching"
It is therefore not in the least surprising that her daughters, Syrenity and Sakura, have taken it on too.
"Now my kids have got this love for doing hair. They do the same thing with their dollies, try to braid the hair and single plats. They are amazing at single plating and I teach them different techniques as time allows".
You can see them below and the result of course of hair and make up.
We trust that Deyon King, her daughters and her brand will keep on unlocking their creativity. Long life to fruitsoflovve!!!
4th Culture Ltd will be holding its Summer workshop on Saturday 11th August 2018 from 2.30 to 5.30pm, where you will be able to make your own simple outfit.
You will have a choice from making:
- a pullover top
- Harem pants
- a circle skirt
You will also receive practical teaching on :
- cutting to size; hand stitching (different methods); machine stitching (how to use a sewing machine and produce high quality clothing); knowledge on how fabrics are made and the best fabric for different items of clothing.
All fabric and equipment will be supplied and are inclusive of the ticket cost of only £30 for a 3 hour session.
We strongly recommend you try out their workshop.
To book your place now, click on the link below:
To find out more about the brand, continue reading:
About the brand 4th Culture Ltd
The clothing brand capitalises on the creativity of two beautiful ladies: Funke Alabi and Deyon King, who are on a mission to revamp the concept of luxurywear. Both stylists, tailors and designers, they are determined to build a business relying on a model which is not based on the pursuit of profit at all cost. Using textile of prime quality, paying an honest wage to those woking for them, training, raising and recruiting grassroot people to broaden their expertise and develop the brand are all key elements of their business concept. They have therefore opted out of mass producing to ensure the highest quality and finish.
Their passion is to respect and bring out the individuality of the wearer: their culture, their heritage and their style without her being objectified. In essence, 4th Culture Ltd is a counter-culture to High Street Fashion retail, objectifying women with offering less and less to wear.
Here is what the founders had to say: "We wanted clothes to relax in and feel original and sophisticated. We also felt that every culture has got something to say about society that is worth listening to. We looked at the heritage we wanted to draw upon: African, Asian, Arab and restyled the garments. Through a conversation with another woman, we also came to realise that these heritages also represent the majority of the people on planet Earth, hence our slogan "we are the ethnic majority".
To visit their website, discover their garments and access their online shopping platforms, click links below:
Trevor Noah, South African Comedian and Political commentator, faced the wrath of French nationals and government following his remark that "Africa won the world cup". Serge Araud, French Ambassador to the U.S., argued that all of the French National players, except for two, were all from French descent (that is ... they were born in France, schooled in France, etc...) and were not Africans... He claimed that France was a diverse country considering all its citizens regardless of their origins alike.
Well, let's hear how French institutions regard some of their Afro-descendants nationals from the horse's mouth itself?
The Carnaval of Dunkerque in the North of France in March 2018, supported by the Mayor of the town, dismissed the request of many black organisations who felt that the representation of "the ball of the blacks" using black faces was offensive to Afro descendants, and didn't want this parade and tradition to be upheld by French institutions.
How does the French Federation of Football deal with offensive behaviours from French footballers on the question of race? That was Antoine Griezmann, by the way, who did apologize realizing that it was inappropriate..
Is French Police treating Black youth alike or was this an isolated incident?
La Kaz Kreol est un nouveau restaurant rapide tropical situé au 10 cours Julien dans le 6ème arrondissement de Marseille sur deux niveaux.
Au rez de chaussée se tient l'espace de restauration. On y trouve des mets tropicaux tels que:
- les Bokit "sandwich guadeloupéen
- des fricassés de chatrou "poulpe avec de la banane plantain
et bien évidemment le planteur.
Le restaurant est ouvert du lundi au samedi le midi et le soir et un lieu unique à Marseille.
Au premier étage se trouve un espace artistique nommé S.A.C.E (Spirituel-Africain-Caraïbéen-Expression). Celui-ci est dédié à l'art Africain et Caraïbéen, tel que son nom l'indique et est aussi un espace d'expo vente pour des artistes locaux tels que Rhalis Cangou et Ozas 99 Prod.
Le S.A.C.E nous invite à concevoir l'art différemment au quotidien et le à partager avec un large public large.
Pour plus d'infos sur Kaz Kreol, cliquez sur le lien FB ci-dessous:
Mega parade du CarnavalDépart de Paris et Marseille pour le Carnaval de Londres et Batuke Festival 2018
C'est donc, bel et bien, reparti pour cette année, Chantal Loial, l'ambassadrice des danses créoles, chevallier de la légion d'honneur pour sa contribution à la promotion des danses créôles, retrouvera les organisateurs et participants du Festival Batuke au Rich Mix le dimanche 26 et lundi 26 août à Londres pour nombres d'ateliers.
Voir le reportage de France Télévisions ci-dessous sur le festival Batuke 2017:
Continuez à lire ci-dessous pour plus d'infos:
Au programme : un weekend de stages de danse avec des artistes internationaux, show, soirée (dimanche) et Carnaval (lundi ) !
Ce voyage culturel et convivial autour des danses afro-lusophones et créoles suit une première collaboration avec la structure Vivement Londres à Marseille qui avait réunie plus d'une vingtaine de personnes de Marseille et Paris pour le festival Batuke 2017.
Voir photos ci-dessous
Continuez à lire pour plus d'infos et pour réserver vos places pour le carnaval
Vous aimeriez nous rejoindre.
Formule tout compris (arrivée samedi 25/08 et départ mardi 28/08) : aller-retour ; logement chambre 2 personnes à partager pour 3 nuits
Le Carnaval : BATUKE! 2018 se tiendra au Rich Mix, autour d'une journée intense d'ateliers, shows et soiree (dimanche) et une journée de défilé carnaval (lundi).
Vous pouvez aussi participer à la parade du Carnaval de Notting Hill Gate et du festival Batuke en option FULL PASS.
Comme d'habitude, on aura un temps de personnalisation de nos T-shirts et de maquillage avant de rejoindre le char, sound system et la parade.
Réservez vite à : firstname.lastname@example.org et rejoignez l'event FB pour Paris ou contactez-nous à email@example.com pour plus d'infos et les tarifs en vigueur.
Pour plus d'infos sur BatukeFestival, voir le lien ci-dessous.
Leah Sharibu, une adolescente nigérianne de 15 ans, était parmi les 119 étudiantes capturées par Boko Haram du collège "Science Technical College" à Dachpim dans l'état de Yobe au Nigéria en février 2018.
Toutes les filles ont été éventuellement relachées, à l'exception de 5 mortes en détention et Leah Sharibu, retenue par le groupe extremiste Boko Haram par refus d'obtempérer et de renoncer à sa foi chrétienne.
La Grande Bretagne a promis son soutien au gouvernement nigérian pour que Leah soit libérée.
Voir vidéo en anglais ci-dessous pour plus d'infos!!
After a full on career in music, on the UK hip hop scene, touring, owning his own record label at age 18 and producing mixtapes, Mic Assassin decided, in 2007, to start a new career in videowork.
He launched his own video production company and channelled his creativity in producing visual content in the place of creating music. Slightly desillusioned with the music industry at that time which was part of his life since age 9, this new discipline allowed him to meet new people from different industries and walks of life. It also was a lucrative industry which gave Mic Assassin a break from relentlessly working underground selling 1000s of CDs, over the years, hand to hand.
Since, Mic Assassin is ready to take up music again. He wants it to be fun as he realised that music in his life is better than not doing it and he wants to keep consistent with it. Music has changed though; he is fully aware of it and committed to finding that new sound that best expresses who he is as an artist, a creative and a lyricist. Mic Assassin is also putting an ensemble of musicians together to tour, more shows are coming in November and December, as well as releasing online creative work.
To all of you reading, Mic Assassin's final word to you is "I hope you are pushing your dreams and true to yourselves, living to the best of yourselves"
As his own lyrics declare " You came from a long line, strong line of kings..."
Never forget where you come from, sky is the limit peeps!!!
Saturday, June 30, 2018, Kemi Seba was holding his book signing, following the release of his new book "L'Afrique Libre ou la Mort - A Free Africa or death" at Moussa L'africain, a restaurant located in the heart of Paris, near les Halles. " During 3 hours, a constant parade of supporters came to buy their copy of the book, sometimes two or three, from a big brother and a world icon against the oppression of afro-descendants and campaigning for the sovereignty of Africa. In the greatest calm and respect, the session was punctuated by embraces and words of encouragement, in order to provide practical support to the activist and author Kemi Seba. In two hours, more than 500 books were sold.
Keep reading below for our review of Kemi Seba's book
"L'Afrique Libre ou la Mort" awakens us to the resurgence of a pan-African movement in the 21st century embodied by Kemi Seba. This fight is part of the continuity of the mission of our ancestors who fought for the sovereignty of Africa in order to, as will tell the author, "regain our former nobility".
The resonance of the title to the slogan of Thomas Sankara, Pan-African resistance icon of the 1980s "La Patrie ou la Mort, nous vaincrons - the fatherland or death, we will overcome" and the choice of the cover of the book in front of the tomb of the latter in the cemetery of Dagnoen in Burkina Faso are full of symbolism and bearers of hope.
The Pan-African mission for the liberation and self-determination of our people is still to be written and its enemies since the pseudo-independances of Africa, especially in the francophone zone, have since sophisticated their systems of impoverishment of Africa and its people all over the world.
"A Free Africa or death", therefore, retraces the geopolitical struggle of Kemi Seba and his NGO "Urgences Panafricanistes" and their legitimacy and relevance in an era where neocolonialism has transferred to ultraliberal globalism. As a result, Kemi Seba has surrounded himself with many like-minded international figures who, like him, oppose predatory exogenous forces of the 21st century, including seven men that he carefully selected to preface his book, namely:
Biram Dah Abeid, the Mauritanian politician, anti-slavery leading figure in Mauritania and in the Arab world. Jailed several times, he received in 2013 the Human Rights Prize of the United Nations.
Alexandre Douguine, Russian geopolitician, philosopher, anti-imperialist, strategic advisor of the Duma (Russian Parliament) and the Military Academy in Moscow. He is considered the most influential Russian ideologue.
Elie Domota, Guadeloupean revolutionary, trade unionist, independence activist, spokesman for the LKP (Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon, meaning together against the Protifasion in French and general Secretary of the UGTG (General Union of the workers of Guadeloupe).
Pedro Biscay, Argentinian lawyer who specializes in economic crime. Peronist activist advocating the Tricontinental alliance, he was for many years the Director of the Central Bank of Argentina. He is the founder of the Centre for research and prevention of economic crime.
Djimon Hounsou, Hollywood Beninese actor, known for his roles, such as in Gladiator, Amistad, Blood Diamond. He is about to release a film about King Behanzin, and a documentary about Vodoun.
Ganiou Soglo, Minister of Culture in Benin from 2008 to 2011 and son of the former President of the Republic of Benin, Nicéphore Soglo. He is considered to be the pygmalion of Beninese cultural life.
Nicolas Anelka, non-conformist and icon in the French suburbs, international footballer and manager who played for PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Continue to read the review of the book below and access the links to order your copy of the book online (your English copy will be available in the next coming months):
In this work, succeeding 3 essays on neocolonialism (Supra Négritude in 2013, Black Nihilism in 2014 and Obscure Epoque in 2016), Kemi Seba provides a framework and reading grid for young Africans and afro-descendants, as well as to future generations, in a plain language to allow them to decrypt the systemic oppression they face and to encourage them to active citizenship, true to his slogan "what African elites do not do for the people, the people will do it themselves".
Kemi Seba's experience on the ground as the president of the NGO Urgences Panafricanistes allowed him to theorize a struggle that is adapted to the realities of this century and which can serve as a guide to any Pan-African resistance movement. According to Kemi Seba, where the African intelligentsia has missed the boat in theorizing in the comfort of their office, formatted in the schools of colonists and failing to link the practice to the theory, " A free Africa or death is in no doubt, the most important book of their political journey and especially a reflective guide for the new generation of Pan-Africanists, far from the theorists who have never experienced the struggle they champion from their keyboards". "L'Afrique libre ou la mort" is published by New African Cultures Editions and for sale on Amazon, Price Minister and FIAT LUX EDITIONS.
See the links below to order your copy of the book and to follow Kemi Seba on social networks:
On the 8th June 2018 at Unesco in partnership with its « Slave Route » project, the founders of the "Vivre Libre ou Mourir" initiative, namely Shuck One from Guadeloupe and Emily Gonneau, French-British, representing Unicum Music, launched the first ever vinyl album connected to an app (out since the 27th May 2018) dedicated to the memory of the translatlantic slave trade.
The vynil is linked to Shuck One’s visual art installation "L"histoire en marche - History Marching" and composer Maxime Lenik’s sound illustration of it. The work of art was commissioned by the French State and is part of the permanent collection at the Memorial ACTe in Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Thanks to the vynil, many more will now be able to remotely explore the work exposed wherever they are on the planet. The vinyl is like any other vinyl that you play on a standard turntable, yet when you scan it with a smartphone (even through the album cover) it uses NFC technology to connect you to a platform hosting :
- the tracks on the vinyl as well as bonus featuring Lilian Thuram
- the biographies of the Shuck One and Maxime Lenik, the art installation’s co-creators
- videos about Shuck One’s 'History in the making'
- content provided by UNESCO from its « Slave Route » project
- updates and news on the topic concerning the duty of memory of the transatlantic slave trade
In order for the user’s experience of the project may happen over a long period of time, new content will progressively be uploaded onto the app on a monthly basis, such as :
- educational videos
- videos exploring the creative process
- interviews with personalities about the importance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade’s impact on our collective memory today and beyond
- presentation of the tools and material used to compose
Continue to read for more info on the project "Vivre Libre ou Mourir"
How did it all begin?
It all started in 2015 when Shuck One, a visual and street art artist was commissionned to create a visual installation for the Memorial ACTe in Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe called "L'Histoire en Marche".
This fine arts project pays hommage to the fight for Freedom against Napoleon Bonaparte's troops which came to Guadeloupe to reestablish slavery in 1801, initiated and led by Joseph Ignace and Louis Delgres. It is a contemporary reflection of the 21st century concerning a page of History which is still being written today through ongoing research for which perception must continue to contribute to the collective conscience.
It consists in a composition in volume with the intervention of different techniques: acrylic, aerosol, magic-marker, collages of heteroclitic elements. The work in volume is conceived from a vintage map of Guadeloupe which traces a topography of confrontation. With regard to this topography, a chronology of the conﬂict is integrated in the form of collages.The work invites us to stride in the wake of the resistance, its path on a factual and physical dimension with the integration in volume of dismembered bodies, charred projections of ﬂesh with gunpowder impactions; the extreme violence with which the insurgents faced the men of Richepance is palpable. The movements of Ignace and Delgrès' troops become charged with a mental and ideological dimension, notably signiﬁed by Delgrès' declaration of May 10th 1802, cited and presented in collage form: « LIVE FREE OR DIE! » its relevance is universal!
This visual installation is complemented by a sound installation composed by Maxime Lenik and interpreted by Yorrick Troman. See link below for their biographies (French only, English soon available)
Continue reading for more upcoming events of "Vivre Libre ou Mourir" and Shuck One's biography
This work will continually be evolving and the project will be presented in a number of cities across the world.
Next dates will be on the 21st October 2018 at the Memorial ACTe in Point-à-Pitre to commemorate the 21st October 1801 when Louis Delgrès, French army battalion chief, led the rebellion in Guadeloupe, alongside Joseph Ignace, against the Napoleonic troops of general Richepance sent to restore slavery on the island, which concluded with the famous cry of Louis Delgrès "Live Free or Die", who preferred to commit suicide, along with his 300 men, rather than surrender.
The event at the Memorial ACTe in Guadeloupe will journey through these tragic events supported by the visual display of Shuck One and the sound installation by Maxime Lenik, followed by a discussion.
More dates to come in 2019. Stay tuned!
Continue reading for more info on the visual, street art artist and activist Shuck One
Biography of Shuck One
Born in Pointe-A-Pitre in 1970, Shuck One moved to Paris at the age of 14 years old, where he immediately joined the emerging Hip Hop movement. The walls and the undeground arteries of the city became his principle medium of expression. Among the most active members of DCM (Da Criminal Minded), he reigned over 3 metro lines and led some of the first descents into the Parisian train stations from 1987 to 1989, which would have been classed at the time as acts of vandalism.
In 1989, with two friends, Banga and Bobo, they founded the collective "Basalt, mural expression" which actively participated in writing a new page in the history of French graffiti art until 1994, soon after he began to focus on using canvas and on developing a formal and abstract style as his unique form of expression. His works became permanent and got included in public and private collections all over the world.
Shuck One participated in the exhibit Graffiti Art, American and French, 1981-1991, at the Musée National des monuments historiques, in 1991, and TAG, at the Grand Palais, in 2009 to name but a few.
For more info on Shuck One, see link below