AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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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 the popular TV-series Society, and the director of the short film BFF (Best Friends Forever). Puo Pha Productions has worked

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...

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Interview with Ishtiyaq Shukri on his new novel, “I See You”

Shukri: “Imagine a world in which the first question you would be asked is not ‘Where are you from?’ but ‘What have you read?’ Why should the borders of the nation state into which I was born...

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Transgender in Botswana

“Pula, pula, na, na, ke tla gola leng.” The ethereal club banger “My Body” by Kat Kai Kol-Kes and her band Chasing Jakyb is an ode to the physical meeting of human body and rain. Kat is...

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The Fingo Festival Revolution in South Africa’s Eastern Cape

“You’ve got a car? It’s less than two hours from here” says a Rasta woman I’ve known for a total of ten minutes. In that time, she’s managed to convince me to travel with her to a town...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Can an algorithm be racist?

Can an algorithm be racist? Google’s translator (the new 2.0 version) works statistically. That Connectivist article (at the link) calls it “the great equalizer.” Unlike the first iteration that was based on the input of grammar rules...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

It’s just like Africa!

Linda de Mol is enormously popular in The Netherlands. She hosts tv game shows, even has her own talk show, speaks German fluently, and moreover, comes across as very approachable. (She also happens to be the sister...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Make Ignorance History

I wouldn’t be surprised if the two white South African students—Mark Burman and Ross Bartlett—who donned blackface and dressed up as “Venus and Sarena Williams” at a party at the University of Stellenbosch were sitting around a...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hipster’s Don’t Dance’s Top 5 World Carnival Tunes for September 2014

The second edition of the Hipster’s Don’t Dance monthly chart on Africa is a Country is here! Check it below, and be sure to visit the HDD blog regularly for all their great up-to-the-timeness out of London.

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Mos Def/Yasiin Bey: ‘I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa’

Mos Def, now living in Cape Town and collaborating with Petite Noir, talking to Dazed Digital. I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa. Consider the Blk Jks and The Brother Moves On, those that are...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Egypt has a sexual harassment problem. Two young women decided to make a film about it

Both domestically and abroad, the issue of sexual harassment has been called a sickness in Egyptian society. Abroad what had previously been framed mostly as an annoyance for female tourists was thrust into the spotlight in 2011...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hip Hop And Religion

Off the whim, I asked Kwanele Sosibo if he’d be interested in contributing to the series. He swung me this fascinating, unpublished piece about hip-hop and religion within a South African hip-hop context. Sosibo writes for the Mail and...

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

‘The Italian Joseph Conrad’

Described by the literary press as the “Italian Joseph Conrad” and “a 20th century Balzac”, Alessandro Spina–the pen name of Basili Shafik Khouzam–was a Syrian Maronite who was born in Benghazi in 1927 and died in Milan...

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

The Afropeans are Coming

Over the next three days, a  group of artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural commentators will meet at Afropea Now!, a a symposium of film screenings, concerts, a workshop and an exhibition taking place at the cultural institution Stadtwerkstatt in...

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

5 Questions for a filmmaker … Taghreed Elsanhouri

Taghreed Elsanhouri directed the first Sudanese film to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, “All about Darfur,” in 2005. That same year the film also won the Chairperson’s Prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The Contemporary Mark of Assata Shakur

This past July, icon of Black American activism Assata Shakur’s autobiography was re-pressed by Zed Books in London. At times thought to be dormant, black American activism has seen a resurgence in recent weeks across the United States after the killing of...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

To Live and Die with Ebola in Liberia

Shaki Kamara was a 15-year-old Liberian boy who lived in Monrovia’s notorious and misunderstood neighborhood of West Point. He was one of the casualties of the awful Ebola epidemic that’s gripping Liberia, but he didn’t die of...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Why are affected West African states so spectacularly ill-prepared to deal with Ebola

I was in Conakry when reports first surfaced of cases of the Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in the Forest Region of Guinea.  There had never been an Ebola outbreak outside of Central Africa before.  Initially, my colleagues...

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

‘This Ewe Boy’

New video for ‘Hope,’ by Ghanaian rapper Abladzo Kwame, off his EP ‘This Ewe Boy.’

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Epsiode 5

Africa is a Radio went on break last month along with Africa is a Country, so I’m just now able to get to posting July’s show here. This episode focuses on South African Hip Hop, both commercial...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

New film, “Beats of the Antonov,” unlike anything I have ever seen

Every now and then, its seems as if there is nothing new out there. Everything seems derivative, repetitive or just plain bland. As a filmmaker, I sometimes go through moments of extreme lack of inspiration; and even...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

What Binyavanga Wainaina thinks of the Caine Prize

This is Africa is prone to tabloid headlines (they’ve been running tons of sex related posts lately), but Nigerian journalist Chiagozie Nwonwu‘s interview with Binyavanga Wainaina (writer, commentator, rights defender “a public figure, not D’Banj, but with enough...

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

The Resurrection of Nat Nakasa

“This is Simply a Personal Statement from Me to You” On August 18th I attended the memorial service for Nat Nakasa at the Broadway Presbyterian Church in Harlem.  What began as a somber event quickly turned joyous...

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The Economist magazine has had a “Slavery Problem” since 1843

The Economist has a slavery problem, as Greg Grandin has recently called it. Grandin’s wonderful article is a response to a series of lamentable book reviews published by The Economist that deal with the topic of slavery: Grandin’s own The Empire of...

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

What’s the matter with … R.W. Johnson

The South African RW Johnson has undergone a transformation of youthful radical to smug “anti-apartheid” liberal anti-communist and scholar of the French Left (think Tony Judt-lite), resulting in the final incarnation of a  pompous red-faced “liberal” colonial...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Telling “the African story”

We often hear political and business leaders and Africanists talk about the need to “tell the African story.” For us, “tell the African story” means nothing. In other words, it is a cliché of no value. We don’t know...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Naked Woman on Nelson Mandela Square

On Monday, a woman walked towards the giant Mandela statue at Nelson Mandela square in Sandton, Johannesburg and stripped naked until security guard came to remove her as demonstrated in the cellphone images that were captured and...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Let’s talk about racism in Colombia

Last week, a classified ad appeared in a Colombian newspaper. It read, in the broken language of pay-per-word ads: A female surgeon doctor with college degree Internship in Clinic Inscription. 25-30 years old, of white skin. Needed,...

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