AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Dangers of a Single Book Cover: The Acacia Tree Meme and “African literature”

“Like so many (wildly varying) writers on Africa, Chimamanda Adichie gets the acacia tree sunset treatment. Whether Wilbur Smith or Wole Soyinka, Rider Haggard or Bessie Head, apparently you get the same cover imagery.” We’re obliged to Simon Stevens, a reader who put together the picture above and pointed out that whoever you are, wherever

Monday, March 17th, 2014

5 Films to Watch at Scandinavia’s Biggest African Film Festival

Stockholm’s CinemAfrica film festival, which opens this Wednesday, is Scandinavia’s biggest and longest-running African film festival. This year’s festival marks a rejuvenation of sorts, with some of the most exciting young filmmakers as guests, including Jonah’s Kibwe...

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Did I ever tell you about that time a guy followed me in the NYC subway and offered me $40 to touch my leg?

Real talk: Who else is tired of gender/race swapping to make a point about racism/sexism? I know I am, especially about gender swapping. 

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

What’s new? Blackface as carnival costume in the Netherlands

By now it should not come as a surprise that in the Netherlands where dressing in blackface is part of the national tradition (read here and here about our December “traditions”) and comes with no consequences, carnival costumes...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The day South African news media ate crow

South Africa’s official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) wasn’t the only one left exposed and scrambling to save face when Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele decided to withdraw from a proposed deal that would have seen her pack...

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

New Exhibition at LACMA Devoted to The Beautiful Game’s Global Significance

Today the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Fútbol: The Beautiful Game opens to the public. An exhibition curated by Franklin Sirmans, it is devoted to football’s global position as a “common human experience shared by spectators...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Yoga? Heavyset and Black Women Need Not Apply

What is it with the appropriation of yoga by white women—and skinny white women in particular? It’s like they all idolise the spare body of the nut-brown yogi who practices in his cave retreat, but want to...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Mamphela had a Party

A star that shone too brightly has been snuffed out before its time. On Tuesday, not even a year since its launch, and months shy of contesting its first – and South Africa’s fourth – democratic election,...

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...

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Martin Scorsese digitally restores Djibril Diop Mambéty’s masterpiece Touki Bouki

The Criterion Collection has just released a new box set and it’s a big one. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project collector’s set brings together six classic films from around the world. Among them is Senegalese filmmaker Djibril...

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...

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...

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Brother Moves On releases A New Myth

Johannesburg outfit The Brother Moves On have finally released a full-length album, their first after two EPs and a series of loose songs floating on the internet. We had a very brief conversation with frontman Siyabonga Mthembu...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Is the Central African Republic on the Verge of Genocide?

Over the last few weeks, the usually unrelenting stream of baby pictures and lose-weight ads in my Facebook feed has increasingly been interrupted by news from the Central African Republic (CAR). “Unspeakable Horrors in a Country on...

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The Rory Peck Awards

The Rory Peck Awards, which took place on Wednesday, November 20 in London, are held to honor the work of freelance cameramen and women covering news and current affairs. This year’s finalists included two reports from Africa...

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

P-Square are Investigative Journalists

For a while now we've been toying with the idea of starting a Tumblr called "Shit The Nigerian Elite Wastes Nigeria's Money On." Since the country's vast piles of cash are certainly not being spent on...

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Ghana’s Independence Era Through the Lens of S.K. Pobee

The photos below (click to enlarge), offering a glimpse into the joy and optimism of the immediate post-Independence period in Accra, are from Samuel Kobian Pobee’s Modern Photo laboratory. They were acquired by Samy Ben Redjeb of...

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The U.S. premiere of Alain Gomis’ new film “Tey (Aujourd’hui)”

Alain Gomis’ latest film, Tey (Aujourd’hui) is a gentle and understated exploration of life, death, memory, and the passing of time. The film tells of Satché’s (played by Saul Williams) last day on earth, for it has...

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Two responses to Mindy Budgor, “Maasai warrior princess”

Yesterday we reluctantly posted on Mindy Budgor, memoirist and professional attention-seeker who’s telling anyone who’ll listen that she’s the first female Maasai warrior. Really we wanted to hear from readers. Here are two of the responses we...

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

On Sunday night, Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal

On Sunday night, Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal. True to Touré’s style, she announced the appointment herself. A new Prime Minister forms a new cabinet. It was thought that Touré would have the cabinet...

Monday, July 29th, 2013

While we wait for election results in Mali

Malians voted yesterday to elect a president for the next five years. Based on the first news reports and the echo chamber of Twitter, large numbers went to vote for this first round, making the possibility of...

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The bicycle thief

Darfuri refugee and actor Babkar (Babi) Omar Ibrahim is the latest victim of the Israeli procedure allowing indefinite internment without trial of Asylum Seekers. Ibrahim, 30, was arrested on Thursday at his work on suspicions that he stole a...

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Opening night film at Durban International Film Festival banned

After sitting through a series of speeches by distinguished guests at my first Durban International Film Festival I was shocked, just as most of the audience was, when Festival Director Peter Machen introduced the opening film, ‘Of...

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The ZAM Chronicle: an online investigative magazine on and from Africa

This month sees the launch of The ZAM Chronicle, a new monthly online investigative magazine with a highly ambitious mission: “to be a platform for grassroots, crowd-sourced observations on and from the African continent.” The ZAM Chronicle...