APiF: Please introduce yourself.
Pierre-Christophe Gam: My name is Pierre-Christophe Gam. I am a Chantilly born and bred, artist/art director of Cameroonian, Chadian and Egyptian ancestry and the founder of Afro-Polis.
APiF: What is Afro-Polis and what does the term stand for?
Pierre-Christophe: AFRO-POLIS is an innovative cultural platform, whose aim is to create a multi-dimensional exploration and critical discovery of Africa’s cultural DNA by fostering a participatory forum via events, talks and exhibitions. The Afro in the name stands for Africa and Polis for city or body of citizen in Greek. The name refers to the idea of a mythical global African city, where the whole world could come rejoice and share knowledge about Africa.
APiF: What inspired you to start this event?
Pierre-Christophe: ‘If not NOW, WHEN ? If not US, WHO ?’ by JFK. It comes from a deep desire to path the way for a new kind of engagement with modern Africana. This year’s event is subtitled the African Renaissance and it will be an unconventional mix between an Art exhibition and a Festival. We call it “Experiential exhibition”. It will offer a unique and multisensory exploration of the modern African Way of life, as lived through the eye of a fictitious couple, ‘The Affogbolos’. A rich and stimulating experience, it will encompass an exhibition, a dinning experience, a Pop-Up concept store and will fuse talks, workshops, live performances and much more.
APiF: How does Afro-Polis differ from African Fashion Weeks that seem to pop-up all over the US and Europe?
Pierre-Christophe: Afro-Polis focus is not exclusively on African-made or -inspired fashion, but on the whole of the modern African cultural landscape. We are a cultural platform with a global scope, ranging from Art, Design, Architecture, Cinema, Music and Fashion.
APiF: How do designers benefit from Afro-Polis?
Pierre-Christophe: We have partnered with international cultural minds such as the Vitra Design Museum, The Desmond Tutu Fellowship, The London Mayor Office and The Lagos Photo Festival among others. The event will be a unique opportunity to engage with a varying array of participants and speakers over the course of 5 days including Taiye Selasi (NY time bestseller) and James Barnor (the legendary Ghanaian photographer) among others. Designers will benefit from participation to a far reaching and multi-dimensional conversation which will be attended by global taste makers and international cool kids.
APiF: First Paris now London – when will Afro-Polis come to NYC?
Pierre-Christophe: I strongly believe in building things organically. Last year was Paris, this year London, and next year will include on top of these two, Venice, Lagos and New York.
Afro-Polis takes place from the 15th to 19th of October in London.