AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Thursday, October 16th, 2014

What is it like to be a refugee in Germany?

“Gitmo in Germany?” and “German Abu Ghraib” were two of the headlines across news wires in late September after photos and a video documenting the abuse of Algerian asylum seekers by security officers in an asylum center had circulated. The photo shows a guard standing next to an asylum seeker who is lying on the floor with his hands tied

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Germany has its own “Sinterklaas Scandal”

The Oktoberfest in Munich may be over, but a curious debate sparked by the annual Bavarian bierfest is lingering like a bad hangover. Is it racist to put up targets portraying black people for fairgoers to shoot...

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

New Sounds from Mozambique

Most of Mozambique’s music stars and musical genres known abroad come from the south of the country and the capital Maputo. That’s why Wired for Sound—the mobile recording studio we wrote about previously—toured the central and northern regions...

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Mozambique: How serious is Renamo’s pro-war rhetoric?

On October 4th, the peace accord between the opposition Renamo and the party in power, Frelimo, signed after more than a decade and a half of civil war, celebrated its 21st anniversary. After several violent incidents over...

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Mozambique’s Pandza Music

The new mix by Bram De Cock (a.k.a. DJ LeBlanc of Rebel up! DJs) features Pandza music from Mozambique—a digital, more lo-fi interpretation of local Marrabenta mixed with Dancehall and Hip-Hop, and a mid-tempo, laid-back vibe. He...

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Mozambican Occupations: The Work of Photographer Felipe Branquinho

Photographer Felipe Branquinho’s work is an impressive recent contribution to efforts to move away from clichés of rural Africa and reminds us of the dynamic urban landscapes of African cities. Branquinho focuses on the majority of these cities’...

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

For young musicians in Mozambique, “a career in music is a pipe dream”

Young musicians in Mozambique don’t have much opportunity to record and distribute their music. “Wired for Sound,” a mobile recording studio that currently tours northern Mozambique seeks to change that. The team of the founding member of...

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

“Africa is finally seizing control of its image”—but which Africa and which image?

Al Jazeera continues its journey on the “Africa Rising” trail, this time with a documentary series on cultural elites—young photographers from Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, and South Africa (see our review on the previous...

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Germany’s African “Big Five”

On the occasion of the country’s first “development day” last week, the German ministry for economic cooperation and development launched a new campaign to educate Germans about what development policy is—or more accurately what the “new German...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A critical look into Mozambique’s past: Licínio Azevedo’s “Virgin Margarida”

In Frelimo’s (Mozambique’s party in power since independence) official story of its liberation struggle and its socialist project after independence, many aspects get silenced. One among these are the re-education centers to “purify” the “compromised” that had...

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

How does it feel to be an African asylum seeker in Europe

“Bon voyage” (“Have a nice trip”), a Swiss animated short movie by Fabio Friedli, seeks to convey how it feels to be an African asylum seeker in Switzerland, and it does so by capturing the experience in...

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Another Hero Story: CNN’s “Mozambique or Bust” Documentary

A story about “how ordinary people come together to do something extraordinary,” this is how the Actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking, Mira Sorvino, introduces the work of four white Americans who send over...

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dama do Bling, Mozambique’s Queen of Hip-Hop

“A young person with a university degree can’t sing, but a minister with a 6th grade education can legislate?,” Dama do Bling sang in her 2007 song “Sai,” a musical response to inquiries why, in spite of...

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Review of new film on heavy metal in Angola

In case you thought kuduro—most recently discussed on this blog here, here, and here—is all that Angola’s music scene has to offer, you were wrong. Although Angolan death metal is nowhere near as popular as the dance and music style...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The ‘Promised Land’ in Mozambique

Promised Land is the title of the German photographer Gregor Zielke’s feature about the relocation of 700 families in Mozambique’s Tete province to make space for the Brazilian company Vale’s construction of the Southern Hemisphere’s second largest...

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Mozambique, the new frontier of global capitalism

Recent business reporting on newly discovered natural resources in Eastern and Southern Africa evokes a new frontier for explorers on the Indian Ocean: Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania have become the center of an “energy boom” and thus,...