Black History Month is an annual observance that originated in the United States and received official recognition from the Canadian government in 1995. Some argue the month of February silos the work and recognition of the Black community and others say it’s a spotlight that needs to focus even more on young Black voices from around the world. Where do the Nordics position themselves in this conversation? Is it time to look at Black futures in a global, borderless context, or is “place” the critical ingredient to equality?
Supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers through Nordic Talks, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, NEXT Magazine, Icelandair and the Embassy of Sweden.
About Nontokozo Tshabalala
Nontokozo Tshabalala is a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Born and raised in South Africa, she is currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Tshabalala uses her work as an avenue to inquire more profound questions about her identity and the Black experience wherever she goes. Inspired by her nephew Siyamthanda, a.k.a Ncufi, she writes and creates from a place of deep reflection, curiosity and instinct. She often uses colour, collage and poetry to express her thoughts on the topic she wishes to explore. Tshabalala is the co-founder of Mam’Gobozi Design Factory, a design studio celebrating the Afrikan identity through creativity. She is also the 2021 Loeries Young Creative winner.
About Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson
For half of his life, Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson has been a singer and composer, touring over 30 countries, as well as launching a record label and radio station. In 2014, Stefánsson started as a documentary filmmaker and writer at RÚV, Iceland’s public broadcaster. As a filmmaker, he has received numerous nominations and two awards at the Edda, The Icelandic Film and Television Awards.
About Andreas Robinson
As a Social Impact Entrepreneur, Andreas Robinson has directly impacted and engaged 5000+ people through consulting, programming, events and workshops over the past six years. Infinitus Academy Inc. is an Afrocentric social enterprise rooted in social and emotional-based learning, change management and consulting for individuals and communities. Specializing in authentic community engagement, they successfully empower individuals and communities to leverage their lived experiences. Their emphasis on authentic engagement, building community and fostering shared language enables them to construct tangible roadmaps, create resilient teams and leverage human capital.
Robinson’s engagements span community partners, government, municipalities, non-profit organizations and the private sector, emphasizing building shared language, community engagement, advocacy, policy and change. As an authentic youth and community engagement specialist, his leadership areas are anti-racism, digital, financial and cultural literacy, entrepreneurship, personal and professional branding and development. His mission is to empower youth, individuals, and communities to “embrace their limitless potential.”
About Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Moderator
Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu is an acclaimed theatre creator and director raised in Kenya and Victoria, B.C., based in Toronto, Ontario. She recently won a Dora Award for her Outstanding Direction of The Brothers Size, which also won Outstanding Production. She is the Founder/Artistic Director of the experimental theatre company It’s A Freedom Thing Theatre and also recently directed the critically acclaimed plays Trout Stanley (Factory Theatre), Here are the Fragments (The Theatre Centre/The ECT Collective), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper) and Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian/Soulpepper). Otu is also the recipient of a Toronto Theatre Critics Award, an Artistic Director’s Award (Soulpepper), a Pauline McGibbon Award, a Mallory Gilbert Protege Award, a Harold Award and has been twice nominated for the John Hirsch Directing Award. She is a graduate of Soulpepper Academy, York University and the University of Toronto and Obsidian Theatre’s Mentor/Apprenticeship Program.
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