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Unique African diaspora arts festival returns to Brixton

BLACK GIRL MAGIC: Zeze Mills, Leah Sinclair, Candace Oxley, Tola Okogwu, Jamelia Donaldson and The Curly Closet

IN LESS than two weeks' time, the streets, squares, cinemas and playgrounds of Brixton will be brought to life by Rapport Festival.

The Rapport Festival, founded in 2017, will once more showcase the very best of African diaspora arts in the UK in the beating heart of black Britain.

This unique weekend festival will feature visual artists, musicians, dancers, DJs, drama, film and live performance. Rapport Festival aims to celebrate the African diaspora, highlight its distinctive contribution to the artistic life of the UK and offer a platform to established and up and coming artists.

Lara Samuels, founder and artistic director of Rapport says: "My goal is bold and transformative. I want to redefine the artistic and cultural landscape of Britain and put the black into the Union Jack where it belongs. The African diaspora has contributed so much to the cultural life of the UK, yet we are marginalised and our voices go unheard."

At the festival, two panel discussions hosted by The Fempire Collective will take place, discussing the natural hair movement and black British identity and the representation of black women in the media.

Panellists will include The Voice's very own online editor Leah Sinclair, YouTuber/Influencer Zeze Millz, editor Candace Oxley, author Tola Okogwu, Treasure Tress founder Jamelia Donaldson, and natural hair blogger The Curly Closet.

Rapport Festival will also include outdoor theatre performances of The Man Who Changed the World from Two Gents Productions, Akwaaba dance by Spoken Movement, community theatre performances directed by Tony Cealy, a photographic exhibition, and workshops, with a pop up dark room from Eddie Otchere and film screenings at the Whirled Cinema .

As well as formal venues, the streets of Brixton will be a backdrop. Festival goers can expect to see theatre unfolding in vacant shop doorways and markets. Brixton landmarks such as Windrush Square and Electric Avenue will feature prominently.

"All the world's a stage, and Brixton will be ours for two days. Its iconic status in the lives of the British African diaspora, and the Windrush generation in particular, provides us with a perfect setting. As urban regeneration continues its inexorable march we want to re-engage with a community that feels disregarded and reclaim Brixton's black heritage for a new generation," says Samuels.

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