ARTNOIR is making its first pilgrimage to the motherland and will head to Johannesburg, South Africa to participate in BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures.

Presented in collaboration with NYU, Harvard University and U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick H. Gaspard, the conference offers a forum that gives artists, activists, and scholars from around the world an opportunity to share ideas and engage in a range of topics such as the global art market, politics, tourism, sites of memory, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, music and current research on the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising.

ARTNOIR has curated a series of events investigating the theme of Universal Blackness: The Black Diaspora Experience in the 21st century. The series serves as a platform for an expansive discourse that explores how creatives confront the complexities associated with black identity on the African continent and across the Diaspora through their artistic practice. We invite you to join us in this global conversation by following #blackportraitures & #UBJozi.


For the seventh conference in a series of conversations about imaging the black body, ARTNOIR is honored to have been selected to present a panel entitled: Universal Blackness: The Black Diaspora Experience in the 21st century. This conversation seeks to investigate the challenges and complexities as well as the perceptions and realities associated with black identity on the African continent and across the diaspora. The panel will bring artists and creatives together from across the Diaspora for a lively discussion that aims to interrogate how their creative acts serve as a tactic to unpack and deconstruct ideas around Blackness.


Milisuthando “Mili” Bongela    Mail + Guardian

Milisuthando “Mili” Bongela
Mail + Guardian

Mpumelelo Mcata    BLK JKS

Mpumelelo Mcata

Fhatukani Mukheli   I See a Different You

Fhatukani Mukheli
I See a Different You

Nontsikelelo Mutiti   Educator + Visual Artist

Nontsikelelo Mutiti
Educator + Visual Artist

Lina Vitkor   Conceptual + Visual artist

Lina Vitkor
Conceptual + Visual artist

Itani Thalefi    The Brother Moves On

Itani Thalefi
The Brother Moves On


To help conference attendees navigate Jozi like pros, ARTNOIR has designed the GUIDE to Joburg, a carefully crafted publication that provides a dynamic perspective of the city. ARTNOIR’s meticulous curation empowers users to explore the cultural richness that makes Johannesburg a magical place to discover. From local eateries to off the beaten path experiences, ARTNOIR's GUIDE To Joburg is the perfect accompaniment to creating unforgettable memories in South Africa.



We couldn't think of anyone better than the supremely gifted DJ Underdog to get everyone warmed up and ready for an epic South African adventure for Black Portraitures. The God took it to another level with our latest collaborative mix entitled Joburg Soundscapes.  DJ Underdog continues to push musical boundaries by blending multiple genres with hypnotic afro-futurism beats. He gives us a glimpse of the dynamic and electrifying South African music scene with artist such as Black Motion, DJ Cleo, Black Coffee, Dope Saint Jude, Babes Wodumo and sounds of Durban Kwaito.   



ARTNOIR is excited to be partnering with musical artist Yannick Ilunga a.k.a. Petite Noir for a candid and spirited conversation via Tumblr’s Answer Time series.  Ilunga is a Belgian-Born, Congolese -South African singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer from Cape Town, Western Cape. 

Petite Noir’s critically acclaimed debut album La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful introduced the world to a new sound he dubs as “Noirwave”,  a unique fusion of post-punk and new wave with a distinctively African aesthetic that is redefining contemporary music on the continent. 

He has collaborated with artists such as Danny Brown, Dev Hynes, Yasiin Bey & Solange Knowles. We couldn't be more excited to host Petite Noir in an interactive Q&A that will allow him and his fans to explore the questions, What is Universal Blackness? What does it mean to be Black in the 21st century? How do you explore your Black identity through your artistic practice? 

Join the conversation live on November 9, 2016 between 1-2 PM EST on our Tumblr site. 

THANK YOU to all of our partners.