Sink into a sofa, pick up a book or magazine, savour delicious drinks and snacks - and relax, at The Story Café, a welcoming, quirky sun-filled nook. The Café is an immersive aesthetic experience from the storytellers at Sotheby’s who, with regular thematic makeovers, have been bringing art to life since Spring 2022.
Highlife at The Story Café is an immersive celebration of African creativity where art, culture, and history converge. In commemoration of Black History month, our café pays homage to the Highlife genre, a musical movement born in postcolonial West Africa, echoing the rhythms of precolonial African music while embracing influences from Jazz, blues, Cuban music, and more.
Highlife transcended musical boundaries, coming to symbolise the broader cultural and political unity of the African diaspora. It reflects the optimism and creative spirit of Africans in pursuit of transnational black identity, and served as the pretext for a solidarity between Pan Africanism and civil rights movements in America and Europe. From Dakar to Paris, Accra to Atlanta or Lagos to London, Highlife, and its successor Afro-Beat music, continues to connect creatives across continents, and encapsulates the resilience and versatility of Black creativity.
The Story Café walls are illustrated with the work of Ibou Diouf, a leading member of the Dakar School and proponent of the Négritude philosophy and visual language. His contribution was central to the ground-breaking Premier Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres in 1966, when thousands of artists, musicians, performers and writers from across Africa and its diaspora gathered in the Senegalese capital, marking a highly symbolic moment in the era of decolonisation in Africa and the push for civil rights in the United States, which in turn inaugurated a number of major pan-African cultural festivals across the following decade.
Join us as we blend art, music, and history, inviting you to savour a unique experience that reflects Sotheby's commitment to the world of arts and culture.
Les ouiseaux ma couronne