SwitchPoint 2013

There's a fascinating conference happening Thursday and Friday at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. It's called SwitchPoint. This is the conference for you if you're interested in things like using technology for good, social entrepreneurship and creativity/design.

The attendees are the kind of people who are doing the most interesting things in our society: printing 3-D organs, crowdsourcing crisis response via text, building medical devices out of broken toys.

Fall G, Bin G and DJ Couleur at SKIFF 2013 is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first international film festival. SKIFF is organized by YoleAfrica and Alkebu Film Pro / Yole!Africa


 When we see The Democratic Republic of Congo on the nightly news, we see scenes of bloody conflict . Rarely do we hear from the people of Congo themselves. The Congolese arts organization Yole!Africa has a new project, Art On The Frontline, to promote the work of Congolese filmmakers and musicians. 

Phyllis Galembo / Phyllis Galembo

When people don masks and costumes in the United States, it is often for Halloween or to root for their favorite sports team. But in Africa and the Caribbean, masking carries a much deeper meaning.

Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance February 7-9 2014 Duke University
African-American Studies at Duke University /


For centuries, countless dances were born out of the disbursement of African people.  Dancing The African Diaspora, a new conference at Duke University, explores dances by people of African descent.

Broadway Books

Jessica Alexander began her career as an aid worker with idealistic eyes.

But the day-to-day realities of helping rebuild disaster areas made her realize aid work is a profession with its own challenges and pitfalls. She traveled the world, helping people in Darfur, Sierra Leone and Haiti. She chronicles her journey in her memoir, “Chasing Chaos: My Decade In And Out of Humanitarian Aid” (Broadway Books/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks with Jessica Alexander about her new memoir.

She will be at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh tonight at 7:30.

courtesy of Kevin Hauser

Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, a 1900s-era working farm in Pinnacle, North Carolina, is prized for its heirloom apples. The farm runs the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, which is stocked with 400 varieties propagated by cuttings from trees all over the south.  Now, apple trees cultivated with grafts from Southern Heritage trees are under the care of farmers in Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda, thanks to a project called Apples for Africa.

Diali Cissokho, a Senegalese musician, moved to the United States several years ago hoping to meet like-minded musicians. He formed the band Kaira Ba with four North Carolina natives.

Alexandra Fuller's first book, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" (Random House/2001) was an international bestseller. It chronicled her childhood in colonial Africa as her family moved from impoverished farm to impoverished farm, landing in Rhodesia in time for the country’s war of independence.