Sunday, July 01, 2018

"I stand for taking Africa to the world and taking the world to Africa, through dance"

So says Sherrie Silver, the precocious dancer who at the age of just 23 choreographed Childish Gambino's jaw-dropping video 'This Is America'. Having come to the UK from Rwanda at the age of five, she pursued her dream of being a professional dancer through posting YouTube videos and her talent has now seen her strike it big.

Her aims are much more laudable than merely making a fortune, though - on the contrary, she's on a mission to change the way the continent of her birth is viewed in the Global North: "We're not just about poverty, disease and sadness that you see in the media. We're also about happiness, dance, fashion and passion, and good food - lots of flavour actually." No small task - but she's certainly manoeuvred herself into a position to be able to make a significant impact.

On a related note, here's the BBC's Will Gompertz discussing the symbolism of the video. It could be a bit of a posh-dad-trying-to-understand-grime car crash, but actually it's worth a look as a way of beginning to make sense of everything that's going on.

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