AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Monday, September 29th, 2014

Can an algorithm be racist?

Can an algorithm be racist? Google’s translator (the new 2.0 version) works statistically. That Connectivist article (at the link) calls it “the great equalizer.” Unlike the first iteration that was based on the input of grammar rules and vocabulary lists, this one draws from a vast pool of actual texts to produce a softer, truer

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Brenda Fassie: a revolution without harmony

In 2002 when it debuted, I went to see ‘Amandla: a Revolution in Four-Part Harmony,’ American Lee Hirsch’s film about the role of music in the anti-apartheid struggle. Uplifting and solemn at the same time, I admit,...

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The last space of cultural dynamism in Luanda’s baixa is no more

Thirty years ago Joni Mitchell sang: “They paved paradise/ And put up a parking lot/ With a pink hotel, a boutique/ And a swinging hot spot. /Don’t it always seem to go/ That you don’t know what...

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: When Salazar met one of Lumumba’s murderers

António Oliveira Salazar founded Portugal’s New State dictatorship in 1933. Some historians like to argue over whether it was fascist or not. And these days, some Portuguese remember him fondly. He presided over the late colonial administrations...

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Aimé Césaire on Europe

I’ve been reading Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism. He puts it all plainly. In the flurry of theory, tangles of citational prose, and the demands for refereed this, that, and the other that ping throughout an academic’s...

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Jean-Marie Teno’s new film lays bare the affective costs of public silence in Cameroon

Filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno doesn’t pull his punches. His 1992 film Afrique, je te plumerai became a classroom staple for the thoughtful and unsparing way it tied postcolonial problems to colonial practices. Une Feuille dans le Vent (A Leaf...

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Not Nollywood: An Interview with Nigerian Filmmaker Tunde Kelani

Tunde Kelani is a seasoned Nigerian filmmaker wrapping up his sixteenth film, Dazzling Mirage. On the film’s website Mainframe Movies, his production company founded in 1991, promotes this as a “movie and a movement.” This is not...

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Black Violin

A couple of weeks ago, Black Violin played at Bloomington’s historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Sitting in the front row with my daughter, who plays the violin (her idea, not mine), I fretted when I noticed the house wasn’t...

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Smells like Brazil

For the past week I’ve perused a steady stream of facebook posts about Movimento Revolucionário’s peaceful protest planned for Thursday September 19, 2013. A week prior to the planned ‘manif’ (Angolan shorthand for manifestação or protest), police arrested...

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The battle over the 27th of May in Angola

On Monday May 27th, the Political Bureau (BP) of the ruling MPLA condemned the political appropriation of “o 27 de Maio” (the 27th of May) by people who had no direct involvement in the events or their...

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Oil in the Angolan President’s Family: Keeping it Global

A few months late to this story, the Wall Street Journal published a piece last Wednesday entitled “Angola Wealth Fund is Family Affair.” This was widely reported in the international press back in the fall when the...

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

In Angola, the Generals will be just fine

Last week the Portuguese Attorney General’s office dismissed a case of libel and defamation against Rafael Marques and the Portuguese publisher Tinta da China. The criminal case against Marques and Tinta da China was filed by nine...

Friday, February 8th, 2013

When MediaStorm went to Angola to make a short film about de-mining

Earlier this week, the award-winning production studio/marketing group MediaStorm launched their short film Surviving the Peace, to promote Mines Advisory Group’s de-mining operations in Angola. Mines Advisory Group (MAG) launched with a premier in DC and a...

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

God is a profitable and deadly business in Angola

Sometime after the end of the São Silvestre foot race through the streets of Luanda and the start of any of the many New Year’s Eve parties (this one, worthy of both Marilyn Monroe and De Beers,...

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Shameless self-promotion. Ghanaian film posters and film viewing culture

Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture opened last week in Bloomington, Indiana. This exhibit features hand-painted Ghanaian film posters made by Ghanaian artists in the late 1980s to mid-1990s advertising Hollywood, Kung Fu, Bollywood,...

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Paulo Flores’s Ex-Combatentes

Earlier this summer Paulo Flores launched Ex-Combatentes Redux, a 15 track version of his 3 CD Ex-Combatentes (2009) at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and then played at the Rio Loco Festival in Toulouse. If...

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Goldman Sachs’s Angolan interests

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Cobalt International Energy, a Houston based company with investments in the Angolan oil sector, for possible violation of anti-corruption legislation. Last week the Financial Times reported that three Angolan officials –...

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Disco Angola (in New York City)

The photographer Stan Douglas’s new project “Disco Angola,” a work in progress, is on display at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York until April 28, 2012. The New Yorker announced the show in Goings on About...

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Brand Kuduro

Kuduro has already received some attention on AIAC. (Is this Cabo Snoop clip intra-continental cultural colonialism?) Kuduro means ‘hardass’ or ‘in a hard place’ in Angolan Portuguese or a mix of Portuguese and Kimbundu, depending on how...

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Angolan politics online

It’s been a busy week for Angolan politics. Elections are precisely six months away. On Wednesday, the long-time second-generation UNITA politician Abel Chivukuvuku officially split with his party to declare his candidacy for the presidency and his...

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Reverse Colonization

NPR’s European correspondent Sylvia Poggioli filed this piece on Friday. Titled “Portuguese Seeking Opportunities in Former Colonies” it takes a breezy look at how the economic crisis in Portugal has sent the Portuguese to the shores of former...

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Introducing: Angolan singer Aline Frazão

Aline Frazão joins a long line of exceptional female voices from Angola. Belita Palma, Lourdes Van Dunem, and Dina Santos from the golden years of semba in the 1960s and 1970s, Nany and Clara Monteiro from...

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Angolan Solutions

The Angolan anti-corruption activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais recently made the pages of Africa Confidential, which discussed his having filed a criminal complaint against three prominent Angolans with the Angolan Attorney General’s Office.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Rapping in ‘Father Banana’s Country’

The Angolan rap artist MCK (MC Kappa) released his third CD, Proíbido ouvir isto (Listening prohibited) in December 2011. Musically and lyrically it is his most complex and mature work yet and includes collaborations with a number...

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Rock Angola

Angolan rock band Café Negro's "Kilapanga do Orfão" (the Orphan’s Kilapanga) fuses rhythms from northern Angola fused with rock music. The latter has been popular in Angola since the late colonial period (which ended in 1975...

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Luanda is Expensive

By Marissa Moorman, Guest Blogger This is “The Economist” recently on the Angolan capital: The Angolan capital calls itself the “New Dubai” and there certainly are similarities with the emirate. Luanda has vast oil wealth. If they...