16 minutes read

Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Trevor Schoonmaker

Schoonmaker: When did you start to see work by African artists that you did respond to? Was that in New York? Mutu: In New York, ironically, you know, in the early ’90s. Richard Onyango, one of Kenya’s big painters, was one of the first shows I saw.

5 minutes read

My Favorite Photographs: Arnaud Contreras

The Sahara is changing fast. Still a beautiful desert but not just that. Most populated cities such as Tamanrasset or Timbuktu are microcosms that reveal all the problems of those former touristic regions: threats of terrorism, trafficking, illegal migration and pressures on cultural and natural heritages. The only ways to escape this harsh reality for Saharan and Tuareg youth are cybercafés, mobile phone culture, festivals and soirées guitare (“guitar evenings”) celebrating their guitar heroes, the “Ishumar”, such as Tinariwen, Terakaft, Tamikrest, Bombino and many other bands. In their songs they celebrate the link between desert nature, old poetry, and of course women, whose role is essential in their society. Some texts may seem like calls for rebellion, but mainly those are calls for a self-consciousness as a people, of their identities.

2 minutes read

Weekend Music Break, N°33

Let’s start with two club tracks. It’s Friday after all. Above is a collaboration between Boddhi Satva (from the Central African Republic) and Oumou Sangaré (from Mali) who together recorded…..

1 minute read

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°30

Let’s start our weekly round-ups of new music videos this year with some bangers. Representing Congo this week, rapper (and professional dancer) Dinozord: above. Next up, there’s new music and…..

7 minutes read

Mali’s coup—first thoughts

Gregory Mann, associate professor of history at Columbia University in New York City,* writes a guest post for Africa is a Country on the coup in Mali: