AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Canada

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Saturday, March 15th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Canada’s Art History

In 1786, François Malépart de Beaucourt, a painter in New France (later Quebec), completed a portrait of a woman he owned. Though Canada’s slave-owning history is often whitewashed, it exists in documents such as the painting Portrait of a Negro Slave. That portrait and what it says about Canada’s history and Canadian art historiography, is

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Rob Ford and Canada’s “Somali Problem”

No matter where in the world you are, by now you have likely heard about Toronto mayor (to some a human trainwreck) Rob Ford and the infamous video in which he appears to smoke crack cocaine while...

Friday, November 15th, 2013

The Curious Tale of Victor Vinnetou

Mbuyisa Makhubo was the teenager captured in Sam Nzima’s iconic photo of June 16, 1976 -fleeing the bullets of the apartheid police on a street in Soweto, South Africa and carrying the murdered Hector Peterson in his...

Friday, September 20th, 2013

The Disneyfication of Ellen Sirleaf Johnson

Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is often presented by western media as an avatar of all things good, which is unsurprising. This was the narrative that made her an icon of international development and women’s empowerment. It took...

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Chief Boima Interviews … Kae Sun

In our current #hashtag fueled media landscape, it is fairly hard for an up-and-coming artist to emerge outside of predetermined genre, social, or sonic signifiers. However, as an artist develops, sometimes they manage to chip away at...

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Invisible Jason Russell

CBC radio 1’s Jian Ghomeshi conducted a “rare” interview with Jason Russell of KONY2012 fame this week. Russell, who is on some kind of media tour (he indulged the most prominent British media outlet in an interview...

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Weedie Braimah and Amadou Kouyate’s Blends

Guest Post by Robert Nathan They’re not your average musicians. Sons of West African griots and court musicians brought up in Washington DC and St. Louis, Weedie Braimah and Amadou Kouyate have straddled the Atlantic all their...

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Canada and the cover of whiteness

It was in Yeoville sometime in the 1990s that a ‘spook’ from South Africa’s now ruling party, the ANC, with whom I was acquainted began asking me questions about my father.  My family had migrated to Canada,...

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Novelist Will Ferguson wrote a novel about 419 scams. He won an award for it. Is it a good read?

Guest Post by Robert Nathan To be 419′ed is to be fooled. Duped. Swindled. At least that’s the meaning as far as Nigerian slang is concerned — of which this book has plenty on offer. The question is: does...

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Hope Floats

The Globe and Mail ran with an article this weekend titled “In case you missed it: This is the African Century”. If anyone is getting excited by the sarcasm oozing from the headline, anticipating a scathing critique...

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Canada likes Africa’s “new image”

After spending its first six years in power largely ignoring the continent, the Conservative Party of Canada has finally “discovered” Africa. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper undertook a four-day trip to Senegal and the DRC—only his...

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

The Vershtunkende Toronto Zoo

The sprawling Toronto Zoo clearly never heard about the controversy surrounding the German Augsburg Zoo’s experience of setting up an “African village” in the summer of 2005. If they had, perhaps they would’ve been more circumspect before...

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The United States of Africa

The rapper Awadi was a founder of a Senegalese’s brand of political hip hop. As ‘kola wrote on this blog, Awadi was at the forefront of a 1990s social movement that helped to galvanize a youthful constituency...

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

First as tragedy, then as farce

What is it with the conviction, that you can save yourself and the world by shopping? Last week the tony Canadian chain, Holt Renfrew, began selling “the bag that can change the world.” For just $50, consumers...

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Dancing to the Lijadu Sisters

The music of the Lijadu Sisters can make the twins' fans do all sorts of things.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The official Canadian view of South Africa

The Canadian High Commission to South Africa, probably meaning well or deliberately unaware of the emptiness of rainbow metaphors, is looking for photographs capturing “the Rainbow Nation”. They’re working with the Johannesburg Bailey Seippel Gallery on this....

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Photography. The Jews of Morocco

An interview with Aaron Elkaim, a documentary photographer based in Toronto, whose photo-essay "Exodus" explores the remains of the Jewish communities in Morocco.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Music Break. Mufasa

Somali-Canadian R&B Singer A’maal Nuux wants to be Mufasa.  The description of the song on Youtube says, “This song touches on the devastation and upheavals afflicting Somalia… offers a message of hope calling on the people that a devastated...

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Music Break. Corneille and La Fouine

Crooner Corneille (born in Germany, raised in Rwanda and now a Canadian citizen) performs two of his songs with the help of rapper La Fouine (French of Moroccan descent)–we’ve featured them here before separately–live on French radio...

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Music Break / Nomadic Massive

New video for the Montreal-based all-star (and all-country) band Nomadic Massive. Not sure why they haven’t got a bigger following.

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Oh Canada

A long, long time ago when there was still Apartheid, I needed a passport to travel by bus from Cape Town to Durban in South Africa. That meant going through the “independent homeland” of Transkei in South...

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

T.I.A: Soldiers for the Motherland

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The Narcicyst

Live performance in Rennes, France, by the Dubai-born, Iraqi-Canadian rap MC, who is now a solo performer but for a while fronted the hip hop band, Euphrates. It is worth your 50 minutes. (BTW, Narcicyst...

Monday, September 14th, 2009

WEEKEND LINKS, AUGUST 14, 2009

* The photography of Bronwyn Lace (via Feizel Mamdoo). * The short film project, 15 Malaysia. You can watch all the films online.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

TWO MEN, TWO COUNTRIES

I co-wrote (along with my friend Herman Wasserman) this op-ed, copied below, for Canada’s leading daily, “The Globe & Mail,” commenting on the case of the young white South African, Brandon Huntley, who was granted refugee status...

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION

South African cartoonist Jeremy Nell comments on the case of Brandon Huntley, the young white South African, who applied to, and was granted refugee status from the Canadian government because should he return to South Africa, he...

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

MUSIC BREAK: K’NAAN LIVE

“Democracy Now!” recently interviewed the smart Somali-Canadian rapper, K’Naan, in the program’s Manhattan studio. K’Naan also performed a few songs live–like the one above. All the songs here and the interview here.