Model at Africa Utopia 2015 Catwalk, Belinda Lawley

On 15 July, Africa Utopia returns to the Southbank Centre for a weekend celebrating Africa and its influence on the way we think about culture, race, society, fashion and gender.

Now in its fifth year, the festival will feature an impressive lineup of musicians, artists, performers and thinkers from across Africa and the diaspora.

Highlights include, a powerful line up of talks, debates and workshops, the Africa Utopia Catwalk, the Chineke Orchestra, the Africa Utopia Marketplace offering the latest in African inspired crafts, and arts, as well as an African street food market with 14 stalls of African cuisine and live music.

Editor’s Picks

Africa Utopia Saturday Day Pass
Saturday 15 July, 11.30am, Various Spaces, £15
How is Africa leading the way in thinking about activism, the arts, fashion and tech? The day pass includes talks from leading activists, artists and thinkers on how they are affecting social change across the continent and the diaspora.
Speakers include BAFTA winning screenwriter and director of Belle and A United Kingdom Amma Asante; Tom Ilube, tech entrepreneur and Powerlist’s most influential person of African and African Caribbean heritage; and Egypitan activist Mariam Kirollos, who founded Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment to combat sexual harassment in Tahrir Square.

Africa: Feminism and the Future
Saturday 15 July, 2.30pm, Weston Roof Pavilion, Included in the pass
This discussion is centred on the struggle women experience as political and economic leaders. How are feminists on the continent, and in the diaspora, finding solutions to this global problem?

Rebooting Africa
Saturday 15 July, 2.30 – 5pm, Level 3 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall
From a pan-African all girls science academy in Ghana to hackathons and digital clubs, this session explores how technology is rapidly reshaping culture and society in Africa and beyond. The event also includes an interactive workshop providing the chance to create and pitch an Africa-focused tech-driven business or social idea to entrepreneur Tom Illube, tech entrepreneur and Powerlist’s most influential person of African and African-Caribbean heritage.

Africa Utopia Catwalk Curated By Africa Fashion Week London
Saturday 15 July, 5pm, Level 2 Riverside Terrace, Free
Showcasing some of the very best fashion collections by designers from across the continent and its diaspora, this year’s Africa Utopia Catwalk is curated by Africa Fashion Week London and takes place along the riverside, with the stunning backdrop of the Thames.

Chineke! Orchestra
Sunday 16 July, 6.30pm (150mins), Royal Festival Hall, Various tickets ranging from £9-60 Europe’s first all-Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra is back by popular demand for their third year at Africa Utopia . In this concert, they perform works by Florence Price and Sibelius under the baton of conductor Roderick Cox, and feature multi-award-winning pianist Gerard Aimontche performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3.

Food Market / Pop Up Africa present: The African Food & Drink Takeover 2017
Thursday 13 July – Sunday 16 July, Thursday 5pm, Friday 12pm, Saturday 11am, Sunday 12pm, Hungerford Bridge, Free
Pop Up Africa returns with their popular street-food market. In celebration of Africa and its many cuisines, Queens Walk is transformed into a bustling street-food market with 14 stalls of authentic food from across the continent, along with pop-up live music. 2017-2017

2017 Africa Utopia festival: 15-17 July 2017
Where: The Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
For more information and full event listing: