AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Bamako

image

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Mandela had an Ethiopian passport under the name David Motsomayi. Where did he go?

We don't live in a world of heroes, but at rare moments we celebrate those who emerge from the shadows to push them further back. I don't know if Nelson Mandela had heroes. He must have done. We all know he had comrades, both within the ANC and without. When he visited Mali in 1996, he wanted...

Friday, July 19th, 2013

The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson Goes to “Mali”

Where to begin with the foolishness that is Jon Lee Anderson’s recent article on Mali in the New Yorker? Maybe with my own disclosure. Before it was published, one of the magazine’s fact-checkers called me about the...

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Meeting Sembène: An Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako

Abderrahmane Sissako is a Mauritanian-born, Mali-raised filmmaker who completed cinematic training at Moscow’s Federal State Film Institute during the 1980s. The program concluded with his first film, the 23-minute short Le Jeu , which he shot...

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Welcome to Mali

Bamako doesn’t feel like the capital of a country at war. True, people are stressed, and the pace of life might have slowed. The city’s building frenzy has subsided. Ça va pas, but things are calm, even...

Monday, January 14th, 2013

France in Mali: the End of the Fairytale

Whew, Mali. French air raids against Islamist positions in Mali began Thursday night, and the dust hasn’t settled yet. The news is changing fast, but, three things emerge from the haze. First, fierce fighting in the North...

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Foreign correspondents and false notes

Two things I’ve learned about the popular press in the last few months: you don’t get to pick your own headline, and you don’t want anyone thinking that the inevitable picture of the guy with a machine...

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°4: Nana Kofi Acquah

My grandmother had a pub where wayfarers, fishermen, their wives, officers and anybody who had trouble or was looking for a little happiness would come, buy tots of the local gin, “akpeteshie” and start pouring their souls...

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Mali’s Rebels and their Fans–Suffering and Smiling

Strange bedfellows in the Malian Sahara of late. The Tuareg rebel movements that took control of northern Mali last month looked to have struck a deal over the weekend, only to have it come into question since....

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Mali–don’t talk about somebody’s mama

Monday evening, and it’s hard to tell who’s shooting up Bamako, or why. But someone cracks on Twitter “béé b’i ba bolo.” It’s one thing to stage a counter-coup or settle a score (if that’s what’s going...

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Why is so much outside coverage of the Mali crisis so bad?

Why is so much outside coverage of the Mali crisis so bad? I don’t mean the conventional wallowing in clichés / recycling old images / harkening back to colonial stereotypes kind of bad, although there’s all that...

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Music Break

I have this track (and video) on repeat. The Sway Machinery featuring Malian singer Khaira Arby, “Gawad Teriamou.” The video was filmed in and around the Malian capital Bamako, “… while the Sway Machinery was recording their...

Monday, December 6th, 2010

L’Expo Photo

The French Fondation Blachère has chosen to feature the work of African photographers Nestor Da, Baldwin Mouanda, François-Xavier Gbré, Zanele Muholi (that’s one of her images above), Mohamed Bourouissa and Uche Iroha-Okpa at the 8th African Photography...

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Photography, Jodi Beiber and Others