Day in Africa – Session I

SESSION I 9:40 – 10:20am

Cross Atlantic connections through Capoeira: Historical and Contemporary
Industry (3rd Floor)

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form, comprised of music, acrobatics, leg and palm strikes, and dance like movements. It developed over centuries of African slavery in colonial Brazil, and, after being marginalized and outlawed in the decades post-slavery, it was recognized as a national sport in the 1930s. Today, capoeira is an international phenomenon, with schools on every inhabited continent, yet the Africaneity of the art is evident in its philosophies of Malícia and Malandragem, its physical movements, and the songs commemorating its colonial history sung in Brazilian Portuguese. Capoeira has even begun to take hold in a number of locations across Africa, giving rise to complex intercultural discourses of community, history, and identity. This presentation will be both an introduction to capoeira with some audience participation, as well as a discussion of the continued discourse of Africaneity and Blackness in Capoeira, despite its practice among players of numerous racial and national backgrounds.

Presenter: Brendan Loula, UW-Madison Ethnomusicology Alum, Bilingual Resource Specialist in Mandinka at MMSD, and part-time Capoeira instructor for Raizes do Brasil Capoeira Madison.

(Un)Popular Arts: Film, Music, and Performance in Nigeria
5th Quarter Studio (2nd Floor)

This presentation thinks through the definition of “popular culture” and its production nuances on the African continent. It draws specific examples from the Nigerian entertainment industry, including film, hip-hop music, and stand-up comedy, to highlight specific features popular culture and urban life in Nigeria.

Presenter: Segun Soetan, Graduate Student, UW-Madison

Growing Up in Kenya’s Hustler Economy
Landmark(3rd Floor)

Few jobs, smaller farms, no welfare state. How do young people get by in Kenya today? Many call themselves “hustlers”, doing any job they can find – from construction to selling phone credit. Come to this panel to learn about the lives of young people trying to make it in Kenya today. Is life harder for young men or young women? Kenyans who live in urban slums or the countryside? How different are their lives from yours?

Presenter: Izzy Pike, Graduate Student, UW-Madison

Umlabalaba (Zulu Chess): A Board Game from South Africa
Northwoods B (3rd Floor)

If you enjoy games of strategy, come to this session to learn about Umlabalaba (Zulu Chess). You will learn the rules of the Zulu version and some of its origins in southern Africa. After learning about Umlabalaba, you will have the opportunity to play the board game yourself and compete against other Day in Africa attendees.

Presenter: Logan Shallow, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison

Living off the Land: First-Person Perspectives from Uganda
Northwoods A (3rd Floor)

This presentation features a variety of short video stories about the daily lives rural Ugandans. The vignettes give unique first-person perspectives into the challenges and concerns of rural communities in East Africa. We will discuss various concerns faced by the individuals in the stories, and envision possible coping strategies.

Presenter: Niwaeli Kimambo, Graduate Student, UW-Madison

Tabom: The Afro-Brazilian Diaspora in Accra, Ghana
Alumni (2nd Floor)

This session will explore the history and culture of Afro-Brazilians in Ghana, also known as the Tabom. In the 1800s, former slaves left Brazil and resettled in modern Ghana, bringing along distinct cultural, artistic, and spiritual practices. Join Hermann to learn more about the fascinating story of African and Brazilian connections through the arts and culture of the Tabom community in Ghana from the 1800s until today.

Presenter: Hermann Von Hesse, Graduate Student, UW-Madison

Return to program