KALAF EPALANGA: The Lusophone Luminary
KALAF is best known as one of the founding MCs of Buraka Som Sistema, a rambunctious music project that burst out of a Lisbon nightclub and onto the global stage in 2006. The group fused contemporary European electronic dance music with kuduro, a frantic Angolan dance beat developed when Kalaf was growing up there in the 1980s. Their bringing kuduro to the mainstream permanently altered the global club music scene.
But KALAF has also made a name for himself as a writer, becoming a prominent essayist and cultural critic in the Portuguese-speaking world. KALAF’s broad appeal, from young club-goers to middle-aged newspaper readers, is proving useful in his mission to unify the Portuguese-speaking world, traversing borders drawn up during colonisation to bring the people of his homeland and his chosen home together.
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That man on the bike
Since arriving in Berlin from Turkey almost 50 years ago, AYDIN AKIN's been obsessed with improving the lives of the city's migrants.
If you live in Berlin or have visited, it’s likely you have seen him – he’s the man who rides a heavily decorated bicycle across the city each day, blowing on a whistle, pumping his arms and blasting the football chant, “Olé, Olé, Olé”.
When young newcomers arrive in Berlin today, high on the city’s hopeful energy, it’s not long before somebody one-ups them with the classic line: “Berlin was so much better five years ago.”
AYDIN AKIN has been here for nearly half a century now. But he reckons that for Berlin’s newcomers, the best is yet to come. And he’s demonstrating every day to try to get us there.
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