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Africa Rising with Afua Hirsch | Preview (BBC Two)

Africa is home to the youngest and most culturally diverse population on the planet. In a new three-part series, journalist and broadcaster Afua Hirsch discovers how young creatives are reinventing the culture of some of the continent’s biggest countries: Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria.

In episode one, Afua explores how a younger generation of Moroccans are updating old traditions in often surprising ways, creating exciting and daring new art, music, weaving and photography, with women creatives spearheading the change.

No one is better place to help her understand the mash-up of old and new than internationally renowned photographer Hassan Hajjaj. Known as the Andy Warhol of Africa, his photographs channel the essence of modern Morocco for magazines and exhibitions around the world, attracting musicians and actors.

Her next stop is the studio, where she meets Moroccan rap artist Sigou Marouane, who’s mixing hip hop with traditional sounds, before heading east over the Atlas mountains - the main destination to buy and sell Amazigh rugs - to meet a young entrepreneur on a mission to keep traditional rug-making alive.

In one of the most exciting stories of tradition meeting the modern world, Afua meets Amal Amhari, queen of Tbourida - a horse display where teams compete in a centuries’ old, male-dominated tradition - in which Amal leads the first ever female team.

The coastal city of Essaouira is the cultural home of Gnawa in Morocco, the musical legacy of enslaved people brought to the country some thousand years ago, where she meets the Gnawa master Rabii Harnoune, who is shaking things up…

Heading south, Afua discovers that change is in the air. Female artists are spearheading the debate around sex and gender: Majida Khattari, famous on the global art scene, plays with stereotypes of Moroccan women, while in Casablanca Afua meets young women questioning the structures underlying Moroccan society through their art – including graphic artist Zainab Fasiki and photographer Yasmine Hatimi, who finds a vulnerable side to Moroccan men in her shoots.

Finally in her journey through this new Morocco, Afua spends time with the country's latest superstar singer-songwriter, Rym Fikri. The series begins Monday 12th June.


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