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They Won’t Budge Africans In Europe

3 October 2009 3 October 2009 Tags: , , , , , , No Comment Print This Post Print This Post

Their stories are numerous, some similar and others flavored by particular struggles in specific sites of discontent. Overall, their attitudes are of stubborn resilience, hope, and survival in environments desperate for their labor but resentful of their presence. With over 100 photographs and videos from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Czech and Britain, the exhibition, organized by NYU’s Africana Studies Department, follows some remarkably resilient immigrants on their uncertain sojourn on makeshift, intermittently powered fishing boats from West Africa, through the rigors of European immigration control, into the interstices of European society. AfrobeatRadio’s Wuyi Jacobs and Leon James talks to Awam Amkpa, Director of NYU’s Africana  Studies and co-curarator of They Wont Budge currently on at MoCADA on WBAI 99.5 FM on October 3, 2009.

This map presents (in French) summary data related to African immigration into countries of EU in 1985~1993 period (source: www.cartographie.ird.fr).

These works of art are created by award winning photographers, photo-journalists, and human rights activists all over Europe including Juan Medina (Spain), Alfredo Muňoz de Oliveira (Portugal), Francesco Cocco, Angelo Aprile, Elisa Cozzarini, Marco Ambrosi, Matteo Danesin, Aldo Sodoma and Stefano Renna (Italy). Also included are selected photos courtesy of agency Fotogramma (Milan) and AGNfoto (Naples).

The title “They Won’t Budge” is derived from Salif Keita’s song “We Won’t Budge” and adopted by Manthia Diawara as the title of his celebrated book. The exhibition is divided into 6 themes: Passages, Work, Defiance, Religion, Spaces, and Portraits. The exhibition also consists of installations of African working migrants and artists, anti-racist campaigns and protest songs that illustrate the advocacies of Africans and Civic organizations in Europe.

Book reading by Manthia Diawara. Elizabeth Nunez scholar and author of “Grace” in conversation with Manthia Diawara University Professor at NYU, on his book “We Won’t Budge: An African Exile in the World” at the QBR Author Talk: Emerging Writers, Emerging Markets at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on July 15,  2003. The event was sponsored by QBR The Black Book Review and The Asian American Writers Workshop. Originally recorded in film by Melvin Simmons and edited for audio by Wuyi Jacobs.

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