AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Nigerians in Space

In Deji Olukotun’s new novel, a Nigerian scientist stuck as a mid-level employee in the Houston laboratories finds himself with an opportunity to rip into the space-time continuum, to reclaim personal and national honor by returning the rocks to the moon “on behalf of all colonized people.” Equipped with such material, Olukotun would hardly ignore classic science...

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Prince Blackwater of China

The paroxysmal ethics of private military ventures are in the news again after The Wall Street Journal’s recent “Saturday Interview” with Erik Prince. He is now "chairman of Frontier Services Group, an Africa-focused security and logistics company...

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The #BullshitFiles: An Open Letter to the New Yorker

Following the publication of Elizabeth Rubin’s profile of Shannon Sedgwick Davis (“How a Texas Philanthropist Helped Fund the Hunt for Joseph Kony”, posted October 21, 2013), readers have raised concerns about the New Yorker’s fact-checking process, as...

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

“Democracy is the Best Form of Democracy”

Let’s say you’re a pirate and you want to design an embassy, which you would use to: a) reproduce the symbols of national sovereignty; b) while challenging ideas about public authority and the normal jurisdiction of the...

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Everyone has their own Paul Biya

When someone says “Jean-Pierre Bekolo,” I think of the opening scene of his 2005 smash hit Les Saignantes—Adèle Ado suspended and twirling in a harness above leopard print sheets. The middle-aged man beckoning her down is in...

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Angola’s Biennale

On June 1st, a Sub-Saharan African country won a top prize Leone d’Or/Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale the first time in 118 years. In all the excitement surrounding “Africa’s triumph” and the way Venice is “Going...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Kenyan Neorealism

The American film critic J. Hoberman has said that Vittorio De Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves” is “the most universally praised movie produced anywhere on planet Earth.” The 1948 Italian neorealist film won an Oscar seven years before the...

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Os Kuduristas: Hip as Nationalist Project

Let’s say you’re the son of a very wealthy political leader, from a country that was fighting a long war for independence in the 1970s (remember, that war that’s been reduced to a subplot in a video...

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Law & Order: America’s Star Mercenary protects Chinese investment in Africa

Remember when Law & Order: Criminal Intent did a two-hour season premier on Erik Prince’s anti-pirate private militia in Somalia? Prince (founder and frequent re-namer of the infamous mercenary company, Blackwater) became a celebrity by escalating and...

Monday, November 5th, 2012

80% of Angolans alive today have only ever called one man President

Eighty percent of Angolans today have only ever called one man President. Sure, some have had other allegiances; there was a serious armed opposition and there were 27 years of civil war, but José Eduardo dos Santos...

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Film Africa (5): ‘The Assassin’s Practice’

Somewhere in the opening shot of The Assassin’s Practice there is a woman crying alone in bed, tangled in a blue room. If the sound of her racking sobs is enough to turn your stomach, you won’t...

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Film Africa (4): ‘Veejays in Dar es Salaam’

My first thought was wow; some anthropologists went to Tanzania to make a documentary about the politics of translation and made something a lot more fun. This is the inside story of Lufufu and DJ Mark, the...

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The world’s media watched (sort of) as Angola votes

The three most interesting things about the recent Angolan elections were: one, that we knew the result before election (the question was by how much). Two, why did the Angolan ruling party, MPLA, spent so much on...

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Wet Hot African Summer

We’ve scoured the web to bring you the best and worst romance, adventure, intrigue, and kinky fantasies Africa has to offer.

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The Reincarnation of Rockland Palace

We at AIAC are rarely known for gushing reviews. So when we heard about “The Reincarnation of Rockland Palace” as “a night of dance, style and a re-occupation of queer history, at the grounds of an old...

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Blackwater’s “Rwanda”

I know we’ve been hearing about evil Erik Prince and his name-swapping mercenaries for years (Blackwater, Xe, my personal favorite Academi, and the latest, Greystone). But I only recently discovered how close all of this is to my hometown. Hell,...

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Art and assassination in Angola

Benguela-based human rights group, OMUNGA, attracted international attention last year when it sponsored an international festival of urban art and culture. Organized by a group of Angolan artists and social activists, “Okupapala” was launched as an effort...

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

19th New York African Film Festival: Shorts!

Short films sometimes get a bad rap — they’re considered a “learning exercise” for film school students, or worse, they’re made synonymous with boring, pretentious art house… stuff. This year’s matinee trio at NYAFF had some fun...

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Interview: Director Frances Bodomo Talks About Her Film “Boneshaker” and African Globalization

“Boneshaker” — the latest film by Nuotama Frances Bodomo, a Ghanaian filmmaker based in New York City — follows a Ghanaian immigrant family taking a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana to cure their violent daughter. As the...

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Jeffrey Gettleman’s continent

Chief among the debates (or what passes for debates on blogs, Twitter and in mainstream media) about #Kony2012, are these two questions: whether or not external observers should raise awareness or otherwise stage interventions in a conflict...

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The business of selling beer

In the last two decades, SABMiller become one of the world’s biggest beermakers by buying domestic labels and marketing them locally. They’ve hired anthropologists, historians, and sociologists to help sell ‘local intimacy’ for 200 plus brands in...

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Translating Angola

Rhett McNeil’s translation of Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes’s “The Splendor of Portugal” received a lot of attention from the literary world when it was released earlier this fall. And with good reason. McNeil has interpreted Lobo...