Obama and Me, One Woman Show by Sylvia Arthur.


“I wanted to show, in a theatrical way, the absurdity of what it means to be a Black British woman living and working in Europe in the 21st century and how that aligns with the ridiculousness that Barack Obama had to endure as the first Black president of the United States.”

While Barack Obama was fulfilling his American Dream as the first Black president of the United States, Sylvia Arthur, a Black Brit, was in pursuit of her own European dream in Brussels.  Tasked with promoting Freedom of Movement, she zigzags the continent proselytising the benefits of a borderless Union. But as the President faced resistance to his agenda, so does she as nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism sweep through Europe, and the world, and dreams begin to crumble.

This is an invitation for you to join us on Friday, 16th of June to witness the the amazing One woman show, Obama and Me at Talawa Studios, 53-55 East Road, London N1 6AH at 7:30pm.  Tickets are £5 and can be bought here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/talawa 

The author, Sylvia Arthur is a writer whose work explores themes of identity, diaspora and place. After graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Westminster, she worked as a runner for Sky News before becoming a reporter at News Africa magazine. She freelanced for The Guardian, the BBC, and the British Journalism Review and worked as a senior researcher/assistant producer for the BBC, ITV, and Sky.

In 2010, she relocated from London to Brussels where she was a communications consultant to the European Commission for four years. During that time, she travelled across Europe advising government departments and agencies involved in employment and job creation on communicating the benefits of Free Movement to their citizens. She returned to London in 2013 but continued working for Brussels, becoming a digital nomad, living in/working from countries including Spain, Canada, the USA, and Ghana.

During our interview with Sylvia Arthur for the 3rd issue of Afrokanist Magazine, she speaks on her play Obama and Me, discrimination and racism she faced at work place and the influence of language in shaping her identity in her personal and professional life.

Afrokanist Magazine: Tell us about your essay Obama and Me?

I wrote Obama & Me, my one-woman show which opened the Black Box Festival at the Etcetera Theatre in London in January, because I wanted to mark the end of an historic era, that of the Obama presidency. I also wanted to show, in a theatrical way, the absurdity of what it means to be a Black British woman living and working in Europe in the 21st century and how that aligns with the ridiculousness that Barack Obama had to endure as the first Black president of the United States.

The show originally started out as Michelle & Me, and was a kind of love letter to the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, who’s had such a massive impact on me and millions of other women. Experiences of living and working in Europe, though obviously unique, are also universal and something that women of colour in any Western country can identify with. In the end, the show leans much more towards the parallels between my  experience and that of President Obama’s, but it can still be  performed as two separate shows – Michelle & Me and Barack & Me – with a little effort.

I wanted to acknowledge that,personally, but also show how my experiences of living and working in Europe, though obviously unique, are also universal and something that women of colour in any Western country can identify with. In the end, the show leans much more towards the parallels between my  experience and that of President Obama’s, but it can still be  performed as two separate shows – Michelle & Me and Barack & Me – with a little effort.

This is an invitation for you to join us on Friday, 16th of June to witness the the amazing One woman show, Obama and Me at Talawa Studios, 53-55 East Road, London N1 6AH at 7:30pm.  Tickets are £5 and can be bought here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/talawa 

      

Exploring the intersectionality of identity and African Languages issue3

This year we started on our journey of bringing you the 3rd issue of Afrokanist Magazine, the identity and language issue.

Language is power and it is a huge part of our identity , this issue is an artistic collection of personal stories, celebrating and creating dialogues on the intersectionality of identity and African languages. Followed by the utilisation of African languages in photography, fashion, music, social media, comedy, cinema and business, you can expect a diversity of contributors showcasing the use of their skills to fight oppression, racism and misrepresentation, we have gathered amazing minds who are willing to tell their stories through exclusive interviews, we have put together a variety of black owned business to invest in, you will find life changing stories, motivational and inspirational  articles , from London to Accra to Lagos, to South Africa to Kenya.

This issue is a pure representation of Africans taking back the ownership of their identities and using their languages as a tool to stand tall and break barriers.

To celebrate the soft launch of our 3rd issue, you are invited to Afrokanist Magazine’s Afro- hair show on the 17th of June at Hot Spot African and Caribbean restaurant/bar, 22 Lordship Lane, Tottenham , London,N17 8NS. It will be an evening of informative, fun and exciting gathering, you will have the opportunity to purchase your copy of the exclusive issue 3 of Afrokanist Magazine and opportunity to win different prizes by black owned business.

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