Every word counts

Africa Utopia Festival

In 2012, Southbank Centre launched Africa Utopia, a festival dedicated to bringing art and ideas from Africa and the African diaspora to audiences in the UK, asking what the West can learn from this rapidly changing continent.

How does Africa and its diaspora shape the way we think about art, culture, gender, race, sexuality, fashion, activism and society?

Explore a weekend of exciting and thought-provoking events at Africa Utopia in a new collaboration with Indaba X. For the festival's seventh year, Akala, Ozwald Boateng, Noel Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel, Denise Lewis and many more take to the stage at the Southbank Centre.

This year seven individual events will be live subtitled at the festival, book your tickets now!

Sport: The Power and Price of Protest
Explore protest in sport at the discussion led by Olympian Denise Lewis. Lewis is joined by Osi Umenyiora, two-time Super Bowl champion, and former NBA player Jay Williams.

Sat 14 Sep 2019, 1:00pm

  History: Memory and Consciousness
Who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved? Join the talk by Ed Emeka Keazor, with Akala, Angelina Osbourne, David Killingray and Professor Abosede George.

Sat 14 Sep 2019, 2:45pm

Fashion: The Battle Continues
How can the industry better represent diverse identities? A panel featuring designer Ozwald Boateng and model Bethann Hardison considers. How far do we still have to go? From what cloth is black fashion now cut?

Sat 14 Sep 2019, 4:30pm

  Beauty - It's a Shady Business
A close-up discussion featuring Candice Carty Williams, and chaired by radio presenter Clara Amfo, on beauty, from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep. What does it mean to be best face forward?

Sat 14 Sep 2019, 6:15pm

Letters Live
Great performers read remarkable letters from down the centuries and around the world in this celebration of literary correspondence. One of the joys of Letters Live is that one never knows who is going to take to the stage or what letter they are going to bring alive.

Sat 14 Sep 2019, 7:30pm

  Black behind the lens
Consider the power of black perspectives at the panel discussion with screenwriter Noel Clarke, actor Nathalie Emmanuel and film-maker Simon Frederick. From Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, to 2015’s #OscarsSoWhite scandal – how has diversity been celebrated and denied?

Sun 15 Sep 2019, 1:00pm

Music: The Music that Made Us
How does the music made by black artists, from Afrobeat to drill, hip-hop to grime, explore the breadth of blackness? At a panel discussion with guest speakers Davido, Eve and Dallas Austin, we examine how music reflects and defines cultures.

Sun 15 Sep 2019, 4:30pm




The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council