AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

HISTORY

image

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Football, Art, and its Many Intersections: An Interview with Franklin Sirmans

Shortly after the opening of Fútbol: The Beautiful Game at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) I had the opportunity to speak with the exhibition’s curator, Franklin Sirmans. It was actually three days after the exhibition opened to the public, to be precise, and I’m grateful to Sirmans for scheduling a walkthrough with

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Enough of the liberal pieties on Sochi and gay rights

The Guardian‘s website decided to have a rainbow “G” in its title during the past few days in order to support LGBT rights, and to thumb its nose at Russia (a few other news broadcasters/outlets did, too),...

Friday, February 7th, 2014

New short film: John Akomfrah, Stuart Hall and the film essay

In 2013 I had the opportunity to work with frieze, a UK-based contemporary art and culture magazine. Towards the end of my time at the magazine, I co-produced a film on John Akomfrah, which just went live...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New Photography Book Depicts the South African Social Landscape

Between 2012 and 2013, an exercise took place known as the France South Africa Season. This bilateral initiative was aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. In 2012 South Africa hosted France for a wide range...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Fighting Poverty, Environmental Activism, and Lessons from Madiba: An Interview with Kumi Naidoo

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kumi Naidoo, the first African head of Greenpeace International. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1965 Naidoo became an anti-apartheid activist at the early age of 15, something that eventually...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The social history of a ‘moral panic’ in Nigeria

It’s déjà vu all over again. Thirty five years ago, Stuart Hall and colleagues wrote one of the founding works of Cultural Studies, Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order. They wanted to understand...

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

#Watch Binyavanga’s brilliant YouTube documentary calling out the BS behind “African” homophobia

We’ve been looking forward to this one. When our friends at the Guardian and BBC (and plenty of other outlets) finally reported on Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderful essay yesterday, we learned that he had a documentary up his sleeve as...

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Year the Blackface Tradition in the Netherlands Hit the Big Time

In 2013, the world was introduced to the Dutch December tradition of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”)—the blackfaced sidekick to Sinterklaas. Though a letter complaining of the racism inherent in the practice was sent to the Office of...

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...

Monday, January 20th, 2014

How a coup d’état drove a scholar to social media

Call me a curmudgeon, but I had never really understood the value of social media. I didn’t see the point of mundane tweets and posts on the lives of the glitterati, or the need to share personal...

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The Prisoner and his Pin-up Girl

The National Geographic issue of July 1975 is as delightful a time capsule as you would expect from the magazine that dictated our understanding of the world. On the very first page is an advertisement for Iran...

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Mali (and France) a year later

A year ago, on January 11, 2013, France launched Operation Serval, sending 4000 troops into Mali. At the time, many supported this intervention. According to one poll, as many as 96% of Malians initially supported the French...

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

An Interactive Study Map of African States

“Africa is a country,” some say with irony. Or derision. Or perhaps in sheer frustration, as those of us resident in some other part of the world try to share our interest in the vast, variegated topographies,...

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Vecinos. Neighbours. A Short Film on African Migrants in Barcelona

The short film below was part of a residency I completed at Jiwar, Creation and Society based in Gracia, Barcelona, funded by The Africa Centre and the Spanish Embassy of South Africa. I focus my artistic practice...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

To Come Back from Qunu

I do not have a background in the struggle. Unlike the many people who over the past week shared their stories of their personal interactions with Nelson Mandela during the struggle, my only brief meeting with Mandela...

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Nelson Mandela and the Dutch

Shortly after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela embarked on a six week tour across Europe. As the Dutch newspaper NRC mentioned last week, he initially declined the invitation to include the Netherlands in this tour, this...

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Mandela was the Last Founding Father in Africa’s Decolonization

The death of Nelson Mandela has provoked an outpouring of mourning, celebration, and commentary around the world that is unprecedented for an African leader. Glowing tributes have gushed from world leaders and major magazines and newspapers have...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Playlist: South African Jazz for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the man that so many South Africans have come to love, even those who grew up being taught that he was a communist and a terrorist when communism was portrayed as a great evil....

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Consuming Woolworths’ Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela presents a complex, complicated, even contradictory set of public images that have been cycled and recycled in ways that allow many stakeholders to appropriate and mobilise his legacy. Of course corporate entities do not have...

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Why aren’t we discussing Mandela’s Politics?

Now that the first week after Mandela’s death is coming to a close, we’re finally beginning to see more critical obituaries, or at the very least nuanced accounts, and a gradual abandonment of hagiography. Of course, idealistic...

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Posters that Challenged Apartheid

Many of us who were active in the international anti-apartheid movement are recalling our shared history as we reflect on Nelson Mandela’s passing. Here are some of our favorite graphic images from the struggle years, selected from...

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Remember to call at my grave: Madiba and John Dube

This December marks the 14th year of my involvement with the history of South Africa, both as a researcher and as a frequent visitor to a land I fell deeply in love with on my first trip...

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Nelson Mandela Did Not Walk Alone

In the early 1990s I was teaching Economics in a fifth floor classroom at Khanya College in downtown Johannesburg. During one of my early lessons at Khanya I was in the middle of explaining supply curves when...

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The photographer who showed Nelson Mandela to the world

In 1994, the ANC commissioned South African photographer George Hallett to document the electoral process and first democratic government. During the year in which Hallett covered the electoral process, his images of Mandela were published in newspapers around...

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Malawian intellectual Thandika Mkandawire: The death of Mandela marks the triumphant end of Africa’s liberation struggle

It is difficult to write about Nelson Mandela without sounding sycophantic or as if engaged in uncritical hero worship. Mandela’s stature and personality left little room for other sentiments other than those of profound admiration and gratitude....

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Nelson Mandela’s Humanity was a Political Education

If you became politically aware in the late 1970s, you became aware of a world in which no greater sustained evil existed than apartheid. There were other horrors, of course, but apartheid was insidious, entrenched, and total....

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Three Myths about Mandela Worth Busting

I sometimes feel Nelson Mandela is in need of rescuing, trapped in some pretty bizarre narratives that have nothing to do with his own story or politics. Full disclosure: I freely admit that Nelson Mandela is the...

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Tata Mandela

June 16 is a national holiday in South Africa – Youth Day, commemorating the June 16, 1976 Soweto student uprising and those who lost their lives in the violence that followed. This year, June 16 was also...

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Madiba: I remember

I remember not knowing what you looked like; at sunrise seeing the regime’s footmen erase your name from walls before the paint had dried. I remember, as a child, sitting on the back seat of the car...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The Book of North African Literature: Pierre Joris on Poetry and Miscegenation

A 743-page anthology of North African literature was published by the University of California last year. Ranging from documents made in sixth century Carthage to experimental prose published months after the 2011 uprisings, the Book of North African...

Page 2 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8