AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Benin

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Happy Africans

By 11am this morning Pharrell Williams' pop friendly and infectious "Happy" had racked up 138,948,968 views on Youtube and obviously making him and his record company a lot of money. If it's not enough that it is playing on every commercial radio station (or in every department) store and is "the world's first 24 hour music video"...

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Interview: Abdellah Karroum and the Benin Biennale

We tracked down Abdellah Karroum in Paris, and asked him some questions about the Biennale Regard Benin 2012, of which he is the artistic director (more on that in yesterday’s post). Born in 1970 in Morocco, he is...

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Benin sculptor Gérard Quenum’s dolls never die

As the Beninese proverb rings out, ‘an old story does not open the ear as a new one does’. No illusions exist in here. If dolls never die, neither does their past. Much like the synthesised histories...

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....

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Masks at the Met

There’s been a resurgence interest in the inscrutable African mask in several museums lately, including this horrible one at the Barbie Museum. Its as if the more evidence there is that the African of the European imagination does...

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Music Break

“A part James Brown, vive Poly-Rythmo!” Or, “James Brown aside, viva Poly-Rythmo. That’s what the youth were saying in Niamey.” Honestly, I didn’t know the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou was still around. - Tom Devriendt

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

MUSIC BREAK / ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO DE COTONOU

Some bad 1970s West African funk courtesy of one of the continent’s craziest bands, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. This track is called “Gbeti Madjro.”