AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Algeria

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The World Cup: Algeria in Queens, New York

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

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Can an African team reach the World Cup semi-finals?

No European nation has won the World Cup when it has been held in South America, and the potential for teams such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to pose a major challenge should be taken seriously. Although...

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 3

Episode 3 of Africa is a Country Radio is live on Groovalizacion and the AIAC Mixcloud page. This month is a music only episode because I had been touring the U.S., and only just arrived back to Rio...

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs: Arnaud Contreras

The Sahara is changing fast. Still a beautiful desert but not just that. Most populated cities such as Tamanrasset or Timbuktu are microcosms that reveal all the problems of those former touristic regions: threats of terrorism, trafficking,...

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Charles Burnett and Govt Sponsored Biopics

Most of you may know Charles Burnett for his brilliant films “Killer of Sheep” and “To Sleep With Anger,” among others. But now it has been announced that Burnett is teaming up with the Algerian Ministry of...

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The Blood of the Impure

The French national anthem, La Marseillaise, is, if you think about it, a pretty nasty song. It dreams, in one of its more memorable verses, that the “blood of the impure” will “irrigate our fields.” It’s a...

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Do filmmakers still care for FESPACO?

FESPACO, or as it known as by its full name, the Festival of Pan African Cinema in Ouagadougou, opened its 23rd annual edition Sunday. The theme: “African Cinema and Public Policy in Africa.” Created in 1969, it...

Friday, December 21st, 2012

French President François Hollande went to Algeria

Ah, the warm bath of public affection in the post-colony. French President François Hollande’s visit to Algeria this week was a little odd, on more than one count. Algeria is about the last place you’d think a...

Monday, November 19th, 2012

French-Algerian sculptor Rachid Khimoune exhibits in New York City

Rachid Khimoune grew up in a small mining town in Northern France where his Algerian parents had settled. It was there that he saw first hand the end of industrialisation: his father lost his job at the local...

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°9: Halida Boughriet

On show at the Islamic Cultures Institute in Paris until January, 50 Years of Reflection, is an exhibition of the work of French-Algerian artist Halida Boughriet. It is one of many recent installments in France commemorating Algeria’s...

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Why We Loved Warda

Yesterday, 72 year old French-born Algerian-Lebanese songstress Warda Al-Jazairia passed away. Known just as Warda to her millions of beloved fans, she leaves behind a legacy comparable to such musical stars as Umm Kulthum. Warda died in...

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The other African election, Round 2: Sarkozy K.O.’d

Paris 20ème, Sunday, 8 p.m. Shouts, people banging pots from the windows, children running in the streets—in our neighborhood of workers and immigrants everybody else is upstairs, glued to the television. A man—African by his accent—is declaiming...

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The University of Gnawa

The new video for the song “Alf Hilat” by Moroccan lute player and singer Aziz Sahmaoui (he made his name playing jazz with the late Joe Zawinul), off ‘University of Gnawa’, his album (it came out late...

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Tuareg Nationalism

A quick survey of Western media suggests Tuareg nationalist claims don’t carry the same weight as Malian, Nigerian or Algerian claims on Tuareg territory. For example, the current violence in Niger and Mali are covered as either...

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Some African Cup of Nations History

This item, below, from The Guardian’s (excellent) Sports Blog’s weekly round-up of Youtube videos (basically random stuff they dug up from the history of sports) can help get you into the mood for today’s last first round...

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Year of Frantz Fanon

Four moments which rocked France this year were the cases against rapper Youssoupha and IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the unveiling of the Paris exhibiton Human Zoos: The Invention of the Savage, curated by former French footballer Lilian...

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Paris is a Continent, N°5

Not sure what it says about France that Dominique Strauss-Kahn (he is portrayed as a victim of a conspiracy) and David Beckham (a 36-year-old player is entrusted with bringing back gloss to French football) dominate the headlines there this week....

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The uncomfortable presence of Franz Fanon

Still today, as David Macey argues, Frantz Fanon is a great “source of embarrassment, both to some who would claim the revolutionary Fanon as their own and to a French republicanism that prides itself on its universalism.”...

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The French Algerian Massacre

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the “French-Algerian Massacre,” when at least 200 Algerians living in Paris were killed by French police and another 11,000 or so were arrested while protesting for Algerian independence from France. Nabila...

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The African Nations Cup

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

National Pride

I’ll take any excuse to post about football. Fifa, football’s world controlling body, announced the latest rankings for world football this week. Not surprising are the top five nations: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay and Portugal. We of...

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

July 5, Algeria

On its 49th year of independence from France, Algeria is undergoing another popular anti-colonial (and anti-Bouteflika) movement. Like some other African states whose independence days we’re celebrating through pop music, Algeria may have an entirely different independence...

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

‘Africa’s burgeoning middle class’

At least 313 million Africans–that’s one in three Africans–can be defined as middle class, according to the African Development Bank. If you earn between $2 and $20 a day , working in “salaried jobs or own small...

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

North Africa Stand Up

Since we’re on revolutionary soundtracks, check this: The first song on this mixtape (cover above) of North African rap is the one that apparently got rapper El Génèral, arrested by Ben Ali’s police in the run up...

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Comme Si Je N’Existais Pas

It’s Algeria’s turn. They’re about to face off against England shortly, so today’s (second) 2010 World Cup music moment comes courtesy of Khaled‘s “Aicha,” hands down one of my favorite songs of all time and one of...

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The Third World Cup

I don’t think my man Vijay Prashad would mind me reposting his first in a series of World Cup posts put on Facebook:  “… Herein starts my backgrounder, on football, third worldism and history. This first one is on...

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Photography by Kader Attia

The most recent work of the French-Algerian photographer.

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Mos Def and the Battle of Algiers

As usual I had Mos Def ‘s “The Ecstatic,” on repeat, especially the song “The Auditorium,” featuring Slick Rick.  I quickly recognized the beat for the song: Madlib’s “Beat Kondukta in India: Vol 3 &4.” But what’s...