AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

The Mexican writer Alma Guillermoprieto declared this World Cup “the best ever.” Few can disagree. A total of 136 goals were scored in 48 group matches and another 18 in the 8 matches of the last round.  Not everything is surprising: with the exception of Costa Rica, all the top seeds made it to the …[ read more ]

I’m shortening the name of Africa is a Country Radio. From now on (save for when I slip up) the show will be known as Africa is a Radio! This month’s show dives fully (rather than the toe dip of last month) into World Cup fever with a show that features 16 songs for the …[ read more ]

How do you tell a story about African liberation through the lens of an outsider? Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense, the 2014 documentary by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, attempts to answer this question through presenting a sequence of episodes in the struggle for liberation in colonial Africa. Consisting exclusively of footage drawn from …[ read more ]

Islamic hymns emanated from street food carts on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, in observance of Ramadan. At Cafe Borbone, a non-descript Italian coffeehouse nearby, a middle-aged, working-class, almost all-male crowd gathered for Algeria’s maiden knockout round appearance, with not even a glass of water in sight, a far cry from the chic shisha bars …[ read more ]

Singing or rapping off key in an expensive or sometime low budget music video is now a cottage industry in the rabbit hole that makes up Youtube.   The African diaspora have not been spared. The pioneer of this subgenre was Bangs, the Sudanese-Australian rapper (see here for an “archive” of his exploits), then came the American …[ read more ]

Almost fifteen years ago, I saw David Goldblatt’s photographs in Rotterdam, at the Netherlands Architecture Institute. They were small and unobtrusive, and I stood before them, very moved. Subsequently, as I learned the story of South Africa through literature, theory, history books, Goldblatt’s work—and later, other photographers’ work—was my real entry. In a way, I …[ read more ]

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