If you missed the three-time Tony-award winning Broadway musical, “Fela!” when the tour stopped in Miami in 2013, then here’s your chance to be inspired by the life and legacy of the artist, activist, composer, performer, and Nigerian king of Afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Through the “Felaspora” art exhibition, KROMA Miami is narrating the impact that Fela had on the African diaspora and the commemoration of the 20th year anniversary of his death in 1997. “Felaspora” is the second exhibition of its kind since his death and is highlighted by 15 contemporary artists coming together to tell Fela’s magical story through sculptures, mixed media and paintings.
To put the magnitude of this legend into perspective, think Beyonce’s groundbreaking album “Lemonade.” Some of the rhythms threaded throughout that record were inspired by Afrobeat, the music genre that Fela created.
But Fela was also a force during his time. While Bob Marley was chanting “one love” in Jamaica, Fela spent much of the ’70s and ’80s singing his own political commentary to protest Nigeria’s military government, often landing in prisons. His activism would later inspire him to form a political party and run for president several times. Similar to Bob Marley, Fela’s global impact has had a lasting influence that is often echoed in today’s music. He was solidified as a cultural icon to millions who watched the “Fela!” production across the United States and England.
KROMA will be hosting a series of dialogues about how society interprets, responds to and internalizes creative cultural expressions from other countries. “Felaspora” opens on Saturday, September 2 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm and will run through October 31 with auxiliary programming to include gallery talks hosted by Babacar M’Bow and educational workshops on African culture. KROMA has also invited Nigerian ambassadors Mr Q. Ayo Salvador, Executive Director of the Association of Egbe Omo Oduduwa, Inc., Dr. Yinka Tella, President of the Nigerian American Foundation, and Desmond Alufohai, International Trade Coordinator at Miami-Dade County.
Auxiliary Programming Dates:
September 30 – Artist Talk, 3pm – 6pm
October 15 – Felabration Miami, Noon – 7pm
If you go: KROMA Art Space and Studio 3628 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove