In and out in London Town

Autumn in London Town can be busy. 
When rioters or protesters are not taking the streets, art fairs lead the way and shopping malls open in the new trendy Olympic areas. But what Londoners are really about in the autumn is looking for a date.It’s not going to get warmer anytime soon, right? In the city of millions of singles, any pretext is good to go out, have fun and meet new faces. 
But most of my single lady friends complain: ‘It’s impossible to meet men in this city!’ Coming from Paris, where flirting is pretty much in everyone’s DNA, and where most under-40 types live in a confetti-like flat spending most of their time outdoors, this assertion does not scare me. How could this be that in the city of most prominent people you could not meet people?
Well, after a few weeks of research, I have to admit that Britons are pretty good at hiding their trendy sexy selves. While tones of single Londoners are out on hot dates from Thursday to Saturday nights and even sometimes from Wednesday nights, they seem to all be complaining about the inaccessibility of their pairs. Londoners mostly socialise indeed when drunk and it might explain why guys forget to write down your phone number… 
I therefore decided to bring my single ladies to art fairs, exhibition openings and special arty events, where it’s always been said you can meet the best folk. But it turns out Londoners really do fancy art and go out to fairs and art events only to talk artists and contemporary designs. 
Ok, if pubs and museums are out, my new people have got to be eating somewhere on quieter Saturday nights. Turns out pushing a restaurant door can be helpful. Study your cookbook, work on your food taste and talk to strangers! 
In the latest episodes of that quest, I met the cutest gastropub’s waiters, and in my very own neighbourhood. The food was delicious; I need to go again. To be continued…


Before winter: Remembering my favourite season... about to end

 I realise we are now deeply entered in the Autumn.
It used to be my favourite season, but over the past 4 years, and especially because I lived in America and in Africa, Spring has taken my heart.
Being in London now, my so-loved city, I have found a new ideal, that I already experienced as a bliss in the mid-1990 in Paris, as a teenager, it is the Indian Summer.
Before we completely get out of it, here is an ode to my very special time-of -year. It comes from a column I started in a magazine called Metropolitan and distributed in the Eurostar trains between Britain and the continent. 
London’s September is the new summer
I remember that from childhood, in Paris, September has always been the month when everything starts again. C’est la “Rentrée”. After a summer of holidays, closed shops, and the end of the season for most opera houses, theatres and museums, September brings a strange but intense renewal and everything starts again like most people are waking up from a long sleep.
Of course, London never sleeps, and especially not in the summer. On the contrary, in July and August, I find that the main cultural institutions rival to bring the best exhibits, concerts and attractions to the British audience as well as to the growing number of tourists coming from all over the world. Most Londoners remain in town during this time, working no less than in June or in January. The streets of the City are not emptier because it’s getting hot, on the contrary.
So when September comes, there’s not much to start again! There’s no “rentrée” in the UK. But there is this very special feeling of the late summer, the Indian summer, where the sun shines for sure and the air is soft and yellow. And then, finally, despite all its business and New-York-like activity, London allows itself to slow down a little. Dwellers take time to have late dinners on the newly arrived outdoor terraces, museums have a break between their summer hit exhibitions and their big plans for the fall. And the travellers book online a cheap last minute holiday package… 
In London, September fells to me like a last minute French summer. In France, September was my favourite time of year for its energy and feeling of renewal. In London, this feeling is there all year, September is just a rare time to escape… and feel the heat.

Ce soir dans Vox News...

Notre journal de la soirée passe à 30 min :


A la Une : 

1- La Tunisie libère l’ancien Premier ministre libyen 

La Tunisie a décidé de libérer l’ancien Premier ministre libyen, détenu depuis la fin de l’été. C’est une cour tunisienne qui a décidé jeudi de libérer Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, malgré une demande d'extradition des autorités libyennes. 

2 - Pollution : Des Nigérians poursuivent Shell aux USA

Une communauté du Delta du Niger a engagé des poursuites aux Etats-Unis contre la compagnie pétrolière Shell. Ces Nigérians espèrent obtenir une compensation d'un milliard de dollars pour les décennies de pollution dans leur région.

3 - RDC : Jour des longs métrages au Festival du Film du Kivu

En République Démocratique du Congo, le festival international du Film du Kivu se poursuit dans l'est du pays. La journée de mercredi a  éte consacrée aux longs métrages de fictions et aux documentaires. Notre correspondant était sur place.


Egalement en reportage:
Le système de transport au Nigeria
, la lutte contre la sécheresse au Kenya, et bien plus.


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 24/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 24/10/2011

Here at 14 min 24'' in our English news bulletin, watch my interview with the Danish film director Frank Poulsen on his documentary film 'Blood in the Mobile'.

The film has been released in the UK last Friday and shows how international mobile phones producers still use 'blood minerals', extracted from illegal mines in Eastern DR Congo, in manifacturing mobile phones and other electronic devices.

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 24/10/2011

Frank Poulsen went to DRC, the US, Finland (where Nokia is based) and beyong to investigate.

And go and watch to film or see here:


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 26/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 26/10/2011

Nos journaux se rallongent de 5 min, passant à 15 min en mi-journée et 28 min en soirée.

A revoir, celui de ce mercredi après-midi sur ce lien.

A bientôt sur Vox Africa.


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 25/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 25/10/2011

Les titres de notre edition du 25 octobre 2011 sur Vox Africa :

1 – L’Afrique de l’Est s’inquiète de la situation sécuritaire
En Afrique de l’Est, la multiplication des attaques des miliciens islamistes Al Shebab inquiètent. Les membres de la Communauté d'Afrique de l'Est se sont réunis et ont appelé à de nouveaux efforts de coordinations en matière de sécurité régionale.

2 – Libye : Enterrement de Kadhafi en lieu secret

En Libye, le corps de l’ancien dirigeant Mouammar Kadhafi a finalement été enterré cette nuit en plein désert. Selon le CNT, le lieu même de l’enterrement restera secret.

3 –RDC : Le Festival international du Film du Kivu se poursuit

En RDC, la 6e édition du Festival international du Film du Kivu se poursuit dans l'est du pays. Notre correspondant Alex Kathy Katayi couvre l’événement toute cette semaine pour Vox Africa.

Egalement en fin de JT:

Bilan de la semaine de la mode en Afrique du Sud

La semaine de la mode de Johannesburg vient de s’achever en Afrique du Sud, et la mode du continent semble plus que jamais présente sur le devant de la scène mondiale.

Olafemi Bela, styliste et spécialiste de mode, analyse l'importance de l'événement pour la mode africaine...

VOXAFRICA Video - Bilan de la semaine de la mode en Afrique du Sud

VOXAFRICA Video - Bilan de la semaine de la mode en Afrique du Sud

La semaine de la mode de Johannesburg vient de s’achever en Afrique du Sud, et la mode du continent semble plus que jamais présente sur le devant de la scène mondiale.
Olafemi Bela, styliste et spécialiste de mode, analyse l'importance de l'événement pour la mode africaine.
Interview sur le plateau de Vox New ce mardi soir!


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 24/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 24/10/2011

De retour d'Afrique du Sud, j'ai rejoint mes collègues de Vox Africa et voici notre journal de ce soir:

Titre 1 - Kenya : La population soutient l’intervention en Somalie

Au Kenya, malgré l’attaque à la grenade dans un bar-discothèque de Nairobi qui a fait 14 blessés cette nuit, la population continue de soutenir l’intervention de son armée dans la Somalie voisine contre les miliciens islamistes Al Shebab.

Titre 2 – Libye : L’OTAN salue la fin du régime Kadhafi

En Libye, alors que dimanche a été déclaré jour de Libération du pays de l’ancien régime de Mouammar Kadhafi, ce lundi, les membres de l’OTAN se sont réunis a Bruxelles et ont salué le changement de régime.

Titre 3 –RDC : Festival international du Film du Kivu

Et puis en RDC, la 6e édition du Festival international du Film du Kivu, dans l’est du pays, s’est ouverte vendredi dernier. Notre correspondant est sur place pour suivre l’événement.

...Et plus sur l'actualité africaine et mondiale.


Bloomsbury Festival's insight: Amira Kheir

The Bloomsbury Festivalis taking place this weekend in the famous London neighbourhood located in the heart of the city, in the borough of Camden.

And the heart of the events was located in Russell Square's Garden, with a book and craft market, some barbecues and a central stage dedicated to World Music and put into place by SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London.

Among the musicians, Run, a band formed of four British singers collecting songs and melodies from the six Celtic languages, the Senegalese musician Laye Sow, the Zimbabweans composers ans interpreters from Harare Muic and the lovely Sudanese Italian Amira Kheir.

Amira Kheir is a Sudanese-Italian singer/songwriter singer based in London, UK, creating a unique style of what she calls 'Sudani Jazz'.

Her debut album named 'View from Somewhere' has been released last month and she'll be back on stage in London on November 9th, in the National Theatre Foyer, in London South Bank.

In the meantime, I was introduced to her and we agreed she should be interviewed again on Vox Africa for the occasion!

So looking forward to this interview...

In the meantime, the Bloomsbury Festival is still on this Sunday. More on the programme here:


VOXAFRICA Video - South Africa: AgriBusiness Forum 2011

VOXAFRICA Video - South Africa: AgriBusiness Forum 2011

In South Africa the AgriBusiness Forum has come to a close in Johannesburg.

The yearly event is aimed at strengthening the Agri-Food sector in Africa, by encouraging partnership and investment.

Here is a summary of the EMRC Agribusiness Forum 2011 on our English channel with Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and other specialists:


Our interview with
Morgan Tsvangirai and many others soon to come on Vox Africa.

VOXAFRICA Video - Afrique du sud : Forum de l’Agribusiness à Johannesburg

VOXAFRICA Video - Afrique du sud : Forum de l’Agribusiness à Johannesburg

Le Forum 'Agribusiness 2011' de l'EMRC et du PNUD s’est clôturé aujourd’hui à Johannesburg.
Ce forum visait à renforcer le secteur agro-alimentaire en Afrique, en encourageant les partenariats et l’investissement sur le continent.

Grand moment de ces réunions : la presence et le discours du Premier Ministre Zimbabween, Morgan Tsvangirai:


Morgan Tsvangirai nous a accordé un entretien qui sera prochainement diffusé sur Vox Africa.

VOXAFRICA Video - Afrique du Sud : Dernier jour du forum Agribusiness

VOXAFRICA Video - Afrique du Sud : Dernier jour du forum Agribusiness

Voici ma premiere serie d'interviews réalisées à Johannesburg lors du Forum consacré à l'agro-business, organisée par EMRC et le PNUD, le Programme de l'ONU pour le Développement:

Un des rendez-vous phare de l’organisation EMRC, L’AgriBusiness Forum, se tient actuellement à Johannesburg.
Cet événement vise à renforcer le secteur agro-alimentaire en Afrique, en encourageant les partenariats, les échanges de bonnes pratiques et à attirer d’avantage d’investisseurs sur le continent.

Focus sur le cas du Mali avec Mamoutou DJIRE, Gerant des Industries de Karité au Mali, et Alassane BA, Conseiller au Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement.


South - Africa - bound

It's Friday, the week is over and it's time to leave London...

I'm lucky enough to be sent to Johannesburg to cover the EMRC Forum on AgriBusiness to start on Sunday at the Birchwood Conference Centre. 

Here are the details on the forum :


The AgriBusiness Forum is one of EMRC International’s showcase events, aimed at strengthening the Agri-Foodsector in Africa, by encouraging partnerships, the exchange of best practices and attracting investments.

The 2011 edition of the AgriBusiness Forum will focus onEngaging the Private Sector for Africa's Agri-Food Growth

We believe that the success of Africa depends on the development and growth of its private sector. The four-day forum is a combination of Plenary Sessions,Technical Workshops, Pre-organized Business -  B2B - Meetings and a Market Place

The AgriBusiness Forum 2011 will gather agribusiness leaders and decision makers including private entities, financiers, donors, industrialists, researchers, Governments, int’l Organisations, NGOs, and others from the North and the South.

I'll tell you more next week!


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 11/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 11/10/2011

Regardez ou re-visionnez notre journal de ce mardi soir, jour d'élections au Liberia, d'attente de résultats au Cameroun et de campagne en République démocratique du Congo...


Titre 1 – Libéria : Participation élevée aux élections 

Les Libériens votaient ce mardi pour des élections présidentielles et parlementaires. Quelque 1,8 million de Libériens étaient appelés aux urnes et auraient massivement répondu à l’appel.

2 – Cameroun : Attente des résultats dans le calme

Au Cameroun, les électeurs attendent toujours patiemment les résultats de l’élection présidentielle. Malgré les dénonciations de l’opposition, la commission électorale Elecam s’est félicitée de bon déroulement du scrutin au Cameroun et de la forte participation.

3 – RDC : Kabila veut conquérir les voix de l’est du pays

Autres élections, à venir en République Démocratique du Congo : le Président Joseph Kabila fait campagne dans l’est du pays. Il espère reconquérir les voix du Nord et du Sud Kivu qui ont en grande partie assuré sa victoire en 2006.


VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 10/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 10/10/2011

Notre journal de la soiree de ce lundi 10 octobre 2011 :

H1 – Présidentielle au Cameroun : Attente des résultats

Au Cameroun, au lendemain de la présidentielle de dimanche, la vie a repris son cours normal à Yaoundé. Les commissions locales de vote poursuivent le décompte des résultats. Mais l’opposition rapporte des incidents.

H2 – Egypte : Deuil pour les 25 morts

En Egypte, l’heure est au deuil au Caire, après les violences entre communautés coptes et forces de l’ordre. Des milliers de personnes se sont rassemblées pour une cérémonie de funérailles des victimes dans la capitale. 25 personnes ont été tuées hier dont 17 chrétiens coptes.

H3 - Niger : Première assemblée Africaine des jeunes pour la sécurité routière

L’Assemblée s’est tenue à Niamey, du 07 au 08 octobre 2011. Placée sous le thème « la sécurité routière, un défi pour la jeunesse africaine », cette assemblée a réunie plus d’une centaine de jeunes


'Cactus" - Avishai Sivan's exhibition in East London

The Israeli filmmaker Avishai Sivan is currently working in London and presented his drawing and one of his film in his first British exhibition.

The exhibition takes palce at the Wayward Gallery in East London (47 MOWLEM ST, LONDON, E2 9HE, Bethnal Green). 

The opening was on Thursday and pictures are more relevant than words:

Drawings and photographs.

Maps and tube maps.

Filmmakers, musicians, painters and many more:

6 – 18 / 10 / 2011

Wayward Gallery

Avishai Sivan presents tube-map sketches and Polaroid prints - some are straight-forward photographs – others are over/underexposed print with etchings and inscriptions.

Finally, Sivan presents Returnee a twenty-one minute film, shot in 16mm.

Avishai Sivan, born in 1977, in Israel, is a filmmaker, visual artist and published author. 

His artwork has been presented galleries and art magazines in Israel and Europe. 

Sivan’s first feature film "The Wanderer" was screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2010, in the Directors’ Fortnight section. 

He was awarded the 2010 Ministry of Culture’s Cinema Prize in Israel. 

In 2007, his first documentary, seven-part video diary "The Soap Opera of Frozen Filmmaker" won Best Video Art at the Jerusalem Film Festival 2007. Earlier this year, Sivan published his first book "Musings on Filmmaking whilst Cycling through the City".


More details, info and pictures here:


Wayward Gallery:

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 07/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 07/10/2011

Notre journal de vendredi soir:

Le Prix Nobel de la Paix revient a trois femmes!

Dont deux Libérienne : La Présidente Ellen Johnson Sirleaf et l'activiste pacifiste Leymah Gbowee.
La troisième lauréate est la journaliste et blogueuse yéménite Tawakkol Karman.

Cameroun : Derniers jours de campagne

Au Cameroun, dernière ligne droite pour les élections de dimanche. Paul Biya est toujours largement donné favori pour sa réélection au poste de président.

Haïti : Le nouveau gouvernement prêt à reconstruire

En Haïti, Le Président Michel Martelly a demandé à son nouveau Premier Ministre de lancer la reconstruction du pays. Après cinq mois de crise politique, Haïti dispose enfin d'un nouveau Premier ministre. Dans ce journal notre interview avec Michaelle Jean, journaliste canadienne d'origine haïtienne et née a Port-au-Prince. Ancienne gouverneur générale du Canada, elle est aujourd'hui Grand Temoin pour l'Organisation internationale de la francophonie et l'Envoyée spéciale de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture (UNESCO) pour Haïti.


All about DRC Music charity album

I always wondered why so few artists, and especially musicians, and especially British bands, were trying to use their fame and talent to bring attention to some bigger causes...

There we have an awesome exemple...  

'DRC Music' is the perfect produce of work, music, travel, fame and an attempt to encourage charity.

It's a European-African record which has been produced by a collective of musicians led by (on ne le presente plus) Damon Albarn.

They recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC - to produce a new album for Oxfam. 

Here is the main track published a few day ago:

T-E-E-D (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs), Dan The Automator, Jneiro Jarel, Richard Russell, Actress, Marc Antoine, Alwest, Rodaidh McDonald and Kwes all made the trip – with a plan to make an album in five days.

More here:

Damon Albarn is well-know for his love of African music. He already created the AFRICA EXPRESS platform, a mix of African and Western bands touring the world to bring mied sounds to their audiences.
Oxfam tells that Albarn first visited Africa in Mali with the NGO in 2001. He then produced the album 'Mali Music'. 

He has since recorded in Nigeria with Tony Allen and has visited Congo, Mali and Nigeria with Africa Express.

There much more to say about 'DRC Music'.

This is why I'm trying to schedule a TV report for Vox Africa with some of the musicians and producers involved in this project.

I'll keep you posted...  


Oxfam link:

And to buy the record:

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 04/10/2011

VOXAFRICA Video - Voxnews: 18h - 04/10/2011

, , , , etc. Notre Journal de ce soir, mardi 4 octobre 2011, sur Vox Africa - Voxnews: 18h - 04/10/2011


Me and London Town

 Since I have been back from Nairobi three weeks ago, I have been working so much and doing so much, I didn't have time to comment on London art scene, which is probably what made me so happy to come back in the British city (with the amazing friends, of course).

The thing is there is so much to say!

I cannot sum it up all now, but I can briefly tour the most exciting places I have been lucky enough to come accross in the September London experience... Here's an insight of what you can still catch... in October or next year. 

September is the new summer

I live North and work South and it just gives me what I think of as a priviledge to cross the city almost entirely every morning and every evening.

And what is the most striking part is when I arrive South of Waterloo, around Battersea...

And after a very mild and grey summer, as I was expecting it from my favourite month, September has been the sunniest and warmest it could have been... A perfect weather and light to explore the city.

Open House, yeah

The Mid-September weekend were taking place the Open House events. I went West toward Notting Hill and Holland Park to visit the future site of the New Design Museum.

It happens to be in the former building of the former Commonwealth Centre.

Then, thanks to friends I discovered the amazing Leighton House on Holland Road. An amazing house which belonged to the British painter Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). It is now an incredible museum and art centre dedicated to arts from the Arab world.

It is unfortunately forbidden to take photographs, but here is a description from the Leighton House website:

'Built to designs by George Aitchison, it was extended and embellished over a period of 30 years to create a private palace of art. 

The Arab Hall is the centerpiece of the house. Designed to display Leighton's priceless collection of over a thousand Islamic tiles, mostly brought back from Damascus in Syria, the interior evokes a compelling vision of the Orient.'

I will definitely be back in this amazing place soon as it is holding the Nour Festival dedicated to the arab cultures, in October and November.

'Contested terrain': The Tate welcomes four African Artists

The next day I was lucky enough to be completely free and went to one of my London favourite locations. London Bridge, the Tate Modern, Millenium Bridge... This site, the view, the Thames, the Tate's building... The area always makes me want to live in London forever.

In the first room of the ground floor, this amazing art centre is currently displaying an never-seen-before exhibiting gathering the work of four African artists, coming from Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A tour of the continent...

Through painting, video, photography and the most contemporary sculptures, these artists "reveal that history is more than a straightforward succession of events and that the present remains contested terrain".

Names to remember: 

Kader Attia
Born 1970, Dugny, France
Lives and works in Berlin and Algiers

Sammy Baloji
Born 1978, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Lives and works in Lubumbashi

Michael MacGarry
Born 1978, Durban, South Africa
Lives and works in Cape Town

Adolphus Opara
Born 1981, Imo State, Nigeria
Lives and works in Lagos

There would be so much more to say on this - free - exhibition... A first for the Tate. African contemporary artists exploring the weirdness of our postmodern life in between Europe and Africa, as well as the current postcolonial relations between the two continents... But there's not enough space here and not enought time today to add much more. All I can add is that I felt in the centre of the world, in between all the meaningful crossroads of my own life, in between Europe and Africa.

The V&A rocks my world

Then, there is my favourite place on Earth, the Victoria and Albert Museum... 

Go and see - absolutely - the 'Postmodernism' exhibition. I'll have more on this one soon.

Daring, unexpected, well documented, fun, surprising, full of lights and sounds, this exhibit is a must see, especially if you've got a crush on the 1980's...

Waterloo, centre of the world, my world

There would be so much more to say...

This month, I also went to pay a visit to the Whitechapel Gallery which displays an amazing red painting from Rothko in a remembrance little exhibition about its first exhibition in Britain.

I spent amazing moment in Spitalfields, Covent Garden, Hampstead, Old Street, and of course around Waterloo Station, my new centre...

My morning view on the platform from the train...

From Waterloo Bridge, the Thames at night on a lovely Indian Summer night...

I have to take the train here every morning and every evening and it opened a lot of news possibilities, unexpectedly.

But this will be for a next episode. Hope you liked my little London September tour.