Fantastic news for Wakanda fans! Tor.com reports that “[a]ccording to Deadline, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has made a 5-year television deal with Disney. His first scheduled project will be a drama set in Wakanda that will be featured on Disney+.”
Apparently developing this series is a part of a broader deal between Coogler’s production company Proximity Media and Disney.
Although we don’t have any other details yet, not even a tentative name, I’m pretty excited. I absolutely loved Black Panther, and as long as he keeps—or is allowed to keep—to that ethos, I have high hopes for the series!
Image via Flickering Myth.
A little while ago there was an Internet brou-ha-ha over Disney’s decision to cast singer Halle Bailey as Ariel in their upcoming live action version of The Little Mermaid. The harrumph is due to Bailey’s skin color.
I say the uproar is silly—it’s a fairytale, and if there’s one carved-in-stone-truth about fairytales it’s that they must and do change with the times. (Besides, I haven’t heard Bailey sing, but apparently she’s got an amazing voice. Scratch that: here’s a video clip of her singing “Unforgettable”, and her voice is indeed awesome. Talent is talent despite the shell it comes in.)
But in case someone’s arguing how black mermaids aren’t historical or some other claptrap (not even starting on mermaids being fictional to begin with), allow me to present a statue of one:
This statue depicts Dona Fish, part of the many Mami Wata traditions of Africa. As a water spirit that straddles earth and water, she often appears with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish—i.e., just like a (western) mermaid.
Smithsonian had an exhibit on Mami Wata, and some materials are still available online. I encourage you to visit.
Found via Mahealani Uchiyama on Facebook.
Image: Dona Fish, photo by Don Cole via Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (Ovimbundu peoples, Angola; c. 1950s-1960s; wood, pigment, metal, mixed media)
Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.
One of the current exhibits at the National Museum of African Art is “Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths”. It focuses on blacksmithing in sub-Saharan Africa and features works dating from the 17th century to recent times: not just weapons, but other tools and implements such as musical instruments.
The range and design of shapes is truly impressive. Below are just some of the examples.
I wasn’t familiar with the concept of rain wands (image below) before. They were planted in the earth with the intention of drawing the life force of the Earth up toward the heavens in order to bring down rain.
Various kinds of sound instruments are also displayed, including lamellophones.
And, since it’s ironworking, there are weapons.
I’m especially struck by the multiple elaborate curls of the ceremonial knives and the rain wand in the shape of a three-headed snake. Simply stunning.
The exhibition runs until October 20, 2019.
Found via NPR—make sure to visit the article for more photos!
Images: Ceremonial knives by Olivia Sun for NPR (Democratic Republic of the Congo; 19th century; iron). Rain wands by Olivia Sun for NPR (Nigeria; iron). Lamellophone (chisanji) via Smithsonian (Chokwe artist, Angola; late 19th century; wood and iron). Double-bladed dagger by Olivia Sun for NPR (late 19th-century Sudan; iron, bone, and crocodile skin).