One Source Live: everything you need to know

If you are someone who has to have your finger on the pulse of the creative industry, then you need to hear about One Source Live, an initiative by Absolut Vodka that is making waves in the African art world. Here is everything you need to know about One Source Live, with a little extra thrown in.

What is One Source Live?
One Source Live is the brainchild of Absolut vodka, and is an attempt to change the way the world sees African art. It is a celebration of authentic African creativity and promotes a proud and authentic African identity.

Internet users who are interested in helping One Source Live and Absolut change the search results for African art and design can go to the website and vote online for their favourite pieces or artists, such as Osborne Macharia or Maurice Mbikayi. Absolut wants to change Africa is seen online, and the One Source Live initiative is making steady groundwork in doing so.

It is a creative revolution
One Source Live’s festival was more than just a place where good music and art were enjoyed, it is a creative revolution that is still ongoing. It is an opportunity for African people to become involved in actively making a difference in the lives of African artists.

African art and creativity present a mouthpiece for the voiceless on the continent, but online searches tend to pull up images and information that are outdated and not fully representative of contemporary African art. It also means finding new ways to redefine and define how the world sees Africa as a whole. One Source Live is allowing this to happen by letting people see the art that is being produced by African artists today.

The ‘one source’ philosophy
Because One Source Live is the innovation of Absolut vodka, it is only fitting that it follows the same ‘One Source’ philosophy of the brand. Every aspect of the Absolut production journey takes place in and around the small village of Åhus, Sweden, meaning there is only one ‘source’ for their popular beverage.

One Source Live is similar in its beliefs in that it aims to show that world everyone’s ancestors come from Africa, the ‘one source’ of humanity and creativity. This can be seen in the artwork used in the campaign, as many African artists embrace their ancestors and include the past of Africa in their work. They do this to remind the world of how far Africa has come and how the culture has changed due to modernisation, Westernisation and other elements in the continent.

The art affects positive change
Much of the work shown on the One Source Live website, and at the recent festival in Johannesburg in March this year, can be used to affect positive change both in Africa and internationally.

The works can be considered to be ‘Afrofuturist’, meaning that they highlight the future of Africa in a way that is different to how the world normally perceives the continent’s future. The pieces explore issues such as culture, fiction and identity as well as politics and gender issues. The publicity the art receives from One Source Live allows the world to see Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than what they are simply shown on search engines and films. Positive change can take place with the right information, which is what One Source Live aims to provide.

It is a product of the information age
The One Source Live campaign is very much a product of the Information Age, in that it is borne from the realisation that what Google and other search engines show for the search query ‘African art’ is not a realistic representation of what contemporary African art truly is.

People today receive a large chunk of their culture and information online, and some of this is from inaccurate representations of a certain culture or people.

By allowing people to look online and upvote African art, One Source Live is exposing the world to the evolving face of African art. Many talented African musicians and artists are ignored online. Some online search results will also only show artists from one African country, which is damaging to those from other, lesser-known parts of the continent. One Source Live aims to change this.

For those African artists who have struggled in the background while the world views African art as trinkets and curios, One Source Live is a breath of much-needed fresh air. Talented individuals are finding their ‘voices’ online, and this campaign allows the world to see that Africa is not a jungle but a continent that is embracing the future and what it brings with it, moving forward in leaps and bounds.

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