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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The Photographs of Thabiso Sekgala

There is one photograph (above) of the late Thabiso Sekgala’s that always reminds me of home. It is of lavender jacarandas lining a country road, paling a little from the weak winter sun. The haze of purple is just past its prime, and the blossoms’ fresh hopes are waning. Perhaps there’s a frost on them. Squat

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Future of The Gettleman

After re-reading this article last night, I traveled to the end of the world and was happy to find that I am still writing insightful pieces such as the below, which was first published in the New York...

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

‘There is no Ebola here’: What Liberia teaches us about the failures of aid

Professor Thandika Mkandawire is a development economist with a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue – one of Africa’s finest.  Last week I moderated a discussion on health and governance in Africa at a conference in...

Friday, October 17th, 2014

What does it take to become a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador?

After Africa Is A Country learned that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) appointed former Spice girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham as a Goodwill Ambassador, our team decided to debate, “What does it take...

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Misunderstanding the Ebola Crisis Is Worse Than Ignoring It

When the first case of Ebola reached U.S. soil last month, the world finally began to pay attention—but not in the right way.  In December 2013 the Ebola virus appeared for the first time in rural Guinea....

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

How do we talk about the memory of Apartheid

In 1966 the South African government declared District Six—a high-density, mostly coloured residential area intrinsic to the fabric of downtown Cape Town for at least a century and situated on prime land beneath Table Mountain —to be...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Rusty and Golden Radiators are back!

The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), the organization responsible for the brilliant Africa for Norway campaign, is back with their annual awards for the worst and best fundraising videos by international development organizations: …and, like last year, Africa is a...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

#SAHipHop2014: Rapper Flex Boogie Live At Fingo Festival

As member of the hip-hop quartet Ba4za, Hakeem Lesolang presided over one of the most fertile yet under-appreciated eras in South African hip-hop. Capcity Rapcity as it was referred to by the bundles of heads scattered across...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The great Thomas Sankara was murdered on this day 27 years ago

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

AIAC Music Revue: Is DJ Lewis’s “Stop Ebola” his “Grippe Aviaire” pt. 2?

DJ Lewis recently released a “Stop Ebola” song and video that reminds me of “Grippe Aviaire”, a song he released during the global Bird Flu pandemic some years ago: As I mentioned in my Cultural Anthropology contribution, “Grippe Aviaire” was more making...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

The South African filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, who made his feature film directorial debut with the stylish noir, “A Small Town Called Descent“. has over a decade long career spanning an entire spectrum of styles...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

LagosPhoto is Five Years Old

Four years ago I interviewed Azu Nwagbogu, director of Lagos-based African Artists’ Foundation and the annual photography festival LagosPhoto. At the time the interview appeared in Guernica, LagosPhoto had just finished its second year and Nwagbogu’s ambitions...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Ebola in Perspective: The role of popular music in crisis situations in West Africa

Cultural Anthropology published a series of articles last week called “Ebola in Perspective,” curated by two experts on crisis in the Mano River region, Danny Hoffman and Mary Moran. The Hot Spots series is an attempt by the journal to...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 6

(photo via NBC news) Africa is a Radio episode 6 opens up with a transnational blend, combining remixes of Dotorado Pro’s “African Scream” with its sample source: DJ Sbu & Zahara’s “Lengoma.” From there we travel around...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Why I am Afraid of the African Disease of Ebola

Wherever I turn, there is Ebola. In the newspapers and magazines, on television and radio, and across the ubiquitous social media. Ebola. I sweat, shake, and cringe in mortal fear. Such an ugly word, fearsome in its...

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...

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Moussa Sene Absa

Moussa Sene Absa is a Senegalese filmmaker, artist and songwriter. What is your first film memory? It happened during the school holidays the year I turned ten in 1968. As a reward for my good grades my...

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

‘Niçoise with sweet potatoes’

What is more surprising than a mix of traditional Congolese music and European baroque music? What is more powerful than someone who makes another culture’s codes his own? “Coup Fatal” (currently on tour in Italy and Germany) is...

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Angola’s Forgotten Massacre

In her famous tract on literature and trauma, Cathy Caruth writes: “If Freud turns to literature to describe traumatic experience, it is because literature, like psychoanalysis, is interested in the complex relation between knowing and not knowing…”...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A museum in the middle of the street

Three towering moko jumbies stroll up behind the stage, as if on cue, dressed in suits of glow-in-the-dark yellow and electric blue. The sun is setting on the second and final day of ChaleWote, Accra’s annual street...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Who profits from the production of blackface?

That time of the year is coming up again and the contested Dutch blackface figure Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is still with us. Some tried to turn blackface into brownface (only in the Netherlands) while others are still trying...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

That story about Akon’s “giant Ebola air bubble”

People, that story about Akon, the Senegalese-American R&B singer, performing in an air bubble to thousands of screaming Congolese in Goma, because he doesn’t want to get Ebola is false. The hip hop magazine The Source (or whoever started...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Kampala gets an Art Biennale

Billed erroneously in a local Ugandan newspaper as Africa’s first contemporary art biennale, the Kampala Art Biennale opened on 1 August showing mostly paintings of 45 artists from 13 African countries. Its main exhibition venues were the historical...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Ba re e ne re: The rebirth of a literary dream in Lesotho

In Sesotho, the language of Lesotho, the words “Ba re e ne re…” mean “They say it was said…” Similar to once upon a time, this is how folktales begin in Sesotho. The words have another deeper...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Edition: Dakar

In June of 2014, My Africa Is decided to dive into Dakar, Senegal, a rarely talked about city on the West Coast of Africa. (We focused on Lagos, Nigeria in Season One). Dakar not only boast an...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Get Well Soon, Ashoka

Today the American network NBC announced publicly that friend (and contributor) of Africa is a Country, Ashoka Mukpo, is the freelance journalist who has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being flown to the United States for treatment (read Ashoka’s...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Lodi Matsetela

Lodi Matsetela is a former copywriter cum a seasoned scriptwriter, director and a partner in Puo Pha Productions with Makgano Mamabolo. She has worked as a writer on many award-winning South African TV-series. She is the co-creator of...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Jitsvinger–Practicing, Not Preaching

This article by Lindokuhle Nkosi originally appears on the PASS website. She kindy agreed to let us publish it. Lindokuhle is one of two South Africans partaking in this year’s Invisble Borders project. She documents her encounters...

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Brett Bailey, The Barbican and Black Britons

The South African artist Brett Bailey’s installation, “Exhibit B”, was supposed to open on Tuesday, September 23, at The Vaults, a multi-disciplinary space located in underground sections of London’s Waterloo station. The Barbican had hired out the...

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The Upright Citizens of Burkina Faso

‘Here in Burkina Faso, we put the dust under the carpet… but there are so many things to sweep!’ Interview with Smokey, burkinabè rapper and cofounder of the movement Le Balai Citoyen (The Civic Broom) In Burkina...

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