Another Africa as in its namesake, proclaims that another dimension to Africa exists. This continent, the second largest in the world is most often spoken of in terms of all the woes and troubles faced by its peoples, inhabitants and descendants. It is hard to imagine what could be inspiring or inspired if all that we heard was negative.
At Another Africa, we are optimists not that we are necessarily a bunch of blithe, slightly sappy whistlers in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness. What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will determine our lives.
In our case, it is to showcase the creative tour de force of its peoples and supporters, however removed. It is about restoring a respect for the wealth of knowledge stored in its varied cultures and peoples of different colours, races, ethnicities and tribes. It is not about division but rather inclusion. It is about genuine inspiration, shared knowledge and experiences, dialogue, it is about specificity. No longer is it good enough to speak of Africa in monolithic terms, especially in a globalised world. This change begins first and foremost amongst Africans to recognise that there unique histories and cultures are not in competition.
If we see only the worst in humanity and the story of Africa, it will destroy our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificiently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinnging top of a world and the future of Africa in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a away, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. That is what we hope to do here.
We will use creativity as a means for inspiration and dialogue, sharing a contemporary vision, Another Africa in the arts and culture, design and architecture, fashion, music, photography and more and we hope that you will join us along this journey. Help us ask the tough questions to activate thought, but also help us to celebrate the rich ideas and talents of its peoples and their endeavours. Let us wait no longer to inspire change, today is the start of our future.
Based on an adaptation of a powerful and inspiring speech by American-born historian, playwrite and activist, Howard Zinn (1922-2010).