AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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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 at? Yes, in Germany this is treated as a question to be answered with yes or no. This

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...

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...

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