IN 2017, YOU CAN HELSINKINSHASA!
– 19 january 2017 –
In 2017 – just as easily as you could in 2016 – you will be able to sip a glass of Australian wine while wearing a French tartan suit, eating chilli con carne made by a Ukrainian chef under lamps made in China, in a Brussels brasserie decorated in a revamped oriental style.
Since all of our borders have been opened up for trade, the opportunities for fusion have become endless … This doesn’t prevent us from choosing to entrench ourselves in a certain notion of temporality, with such choices being susceptible to even global trends. So, for several years now, the association of Asian gastronomy with Scandinavian design seems to be the winning combination in terms of commercial programming.
There are whispers, however, that a new wind will blow in 2017. Hot like a zephyr, it will be strong enough to disperse our most deep-rooted beliefs in Western fashion, decoration and gastronomy…
Even though African cuisine is just as rich and varied as its territory is vast, it still conveys clichés in the minds of the less curious, identical to those associating moules-frites as the Belgian national dish. However, since 2010, it has experienced considerable growth, mainly in France, thanks to some Afro-Fusion pioneers such as the two young chefs, Dieuveil Malonga from the French Congo and Loïc Dablé from the Ivory Coast.
This foray on Western palates is mainly due to a number of young talents who, by combining tradition and urbanity, are managing to shine a spotlight on the sumptuousness of pan-African cuisine, through canteens, food trucks and other fast food formats such as Afrik’N’Fusion, Osè or O’Maki. More technical than ethnic, a lot lighter than dishes with peanut sauce, they are allowing us to see a new, contemporary Africa … and next to nothing subversive.
The changing of the hemisphere is not just limited to gastronomy. It’s happening in interior design too, where the austerity of Scandinavian decoration seems to be gradually losing favour. Replicated over and over again, from the Swedish giant to the local concept store, the uncluttered, pastel-coloured and sparingly vintage style has, over the years, invaded every shelf, every range … and every interior.
More colour! are the protests in the feel good blogs. Some animals! interject some people when touring an interior on Pinterest. But the new tone has been set – it’s the ochre of the earth in Mali and the gold of the Sub-Saharan dunes. African purple should therefore dethrone pure white, with Swedish style soon being replaced by post-Eritrean.
Design has not been left behind either and fashion is now also incorporating African prints. In 2017, wax will be the material of choice.