AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

colonialism

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Monday, July 28th, 2014

Africa’s Last Colony

Earlier this year I flew to the Algerian military town of Tindouf, as part of a Vice News crew, to help make a documentary and write an article about the struggle for an independent Western Sahara. Tindouf sits outside a network of five camps housing Sahrawi refugees from the war between Morocco and Polisario, the

Monday, May 26th, 2014

The complicated politics of conversion in Northern Nigeria

In Boko Haram’s video released earlier this month, a member of the group (presumed to be Abubakar Shekau, the group’s leader and spokesperson) claimed that the kidnapped girls in northeastern Nigeria, many of them born to Christian...

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Heathrow Airport maps the world, and it still belongs to Britain

I was sitting in the tube recently and browsing through one of those free morning papers that no one really reads when I stumbled on a new Heathrow Airport ad with the legend: “Only Heathrow takes Britain further.”...

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Aimé Césaire on Europe

I’ve been reading Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism. He puts it all plainly. In the flurry of theory, tangles of citational prose, and the demands for refereed this, that, and the other that ping throughout an academic’s...

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Know your Dutch history

Twenty years ago, Teun van Dijk published the book Elite Discourse and Racism, in which he discusses the subtle ways that racial discrimination pervaded Dutch society at the time. To van Dijk it appeared that, as pivotal socializing agents,...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie met Sweden

Last Sunday the Göteborg International Film Festival and International Writers’ Stage Gothenburg co-hosted a conversation between Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Swedish film critic Jannike Åhlund (JÅ). It got weird quickly.

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Why are historians suddenly looking at Sweden’s colonial past?

It is, to a surprisingly large extent, a story that’s been going on since the Second World War. Sweden–it is said–is different from the rest of Europe. After all, “The world’s conscience” (as newspapers in the West...

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

File under: Dutch Liberalism

In the Netherlands, many people convince themselves that racism is something that exists elsewhere–in South Africa, for example, or in the United States. For this is a ‘tolerant,’ liberal nation. To maintain the facade, often blatant...

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Aidan Hartley’s Africa

In Aidan Hartley’s Africa, the progress of the continent is measured by its hospitability to white people and animals. Hartley was a war correspondent turned Wild Life columnist for The (British) Spectator magazine. A white Kenyan, he...

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

What are the “unintended consequences of Dutch colonialism”?

In their documentary installation piece "Empire: The unintended consequences of colonialism," filmmaker team Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill seek out the residue of centuries of Dutch imperialist projects, highlighting what they have referred to as the “humanity”...

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Eating Nando’s in Gaborone

I spent part of last month at the biennial gathering of historians organised by the Southern African Historical Society. The conference at the University of Botswana was fantastic. Gaborone was, well, less so.* I think that the city is best...

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Did Britain’s MI6 have Patrice Lumumba murdered?

Africa is a Country readers may not regularly check the London Review of Books, a British literary magazine with a circulation just over 50,000–it’s meant more for Bloomsbury than Bamako or Bloemfontein (though some readers could probably...

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Africa is a Board Game

While shopping for Christmas presents this past December in a local gaming store, this little number caught my eye. Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa is a variation of a popular board game in which players...

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Adventures of Tintin in a Belgian Court

Jogchum Vrielink, in this guest post, writes about the attempt by a Congolese student to obtain a ban on the comic book ‘Tintin in the Congo.’ A Brussels court rejected their claims. Despite this outcome, the reasoning...

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The geo-branding war

Geo-branding is a serious thing. It is particularly serious when people from other geographic areas decide to brand your geographical area and the people in it, the way they see fit and the way that fits their...

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Reverse Colonization

NPR’s European correspondent Sylvia Poggioli filed this piece on Friday. Titled “Portuguese Seeking Opportunities in Former Colonies” it takes a breezy look at how the economic crisis in Portugal has sent the Portuguese to the shores of former...

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The Hall of Shame

Before Boima rides us out this year with West Africa’s best dance tunes, we couldn’t resist including a post with some of the lowlights of 2011. Colonial Themed Weddings New South Africans can’t help themselves. The white...

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Translating Angola

Rhett McNeil’s translation of Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes’s “The Splendor of Portugal” received a lot of attention from the literary world when it was released earlier this fall. And with good reason. McNeil has interpreted Lobo...

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Fighting somebody else’s war

By Basia Lewandowska Cummings We British are very good at honoring the dead. Last Friday Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg et al attended the annual Remembrance Day ceremony; our political elite competed to appear...

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Music Break. Dengue Fever

A lot of music we like don’t come from Africa. Like this one from Dengue Fever, the California-Cambodia combo: an Indonesian protest song “Gendjer Gendjer.”

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Louboutin’s Emancipated Breast

Christian Louboutin is known for the same impossible stiletto heels as Jimmy Choo, but with an added attraction: a strip of carmine-red leather, sewn to cover the underside of each shoe. As a woman walks (or totters)...

Monday, July 25th, 2011

What white faces did to the Mau Mau

Looks like toothfish won’t save the British Foreign Office this time. The judge presiding over the matter, Justice McCombe, has ruled that the four Kenyan claimants, Jane Muthoni Mara, Paulo Muoka Nzili, Ndiku Mutua and Wambugu Wa...

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Colonialism

A satirical film made by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1986. Worth seeing again.  It should also be the dvd you pop in at your colonial-themed wedding.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Tartan Army

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Mau Mau and Toothfish

In the same week that the US attorney general, Eric Holder, announced that “key suspects” detained at Guantánamo would be tried through controversial military commissions, rather than in federal court—blaming members of Congress for intervening and imposing...

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

‘Mapping Africa’

This is brilliant. The BBC, working with the Royal Geographical Society, has posted an audio slideshow showing how the continent’s been depicted on maps from the 14th century onward. A few highlights: we get one theory how...

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

A view of Sierra Leone

Danish photographer Kim Thue has worked on his ‘Freetown Fifty’ project for around 6 months already, and in March he is going back to finish his work. AIAC got an interview with Kim Thue and the permission...

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Nastio Mosquito’s ‘African Mind’

The Angolan artist and provocateur Nastio Mosquito’s striking, new, animated film, “My African Mind,” recently described by Frieze magazine’s correspondent “… perhaps the most powerful piece the Biennial.” The film “… uses...

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Lunch at the Elysee

Sarko has, yet again, got into hot water with its former French colonies in Africa. Troops from France’s former French colonies are to march down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees during Bastille Day celebrations today to commemorate their...

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Africa on Film: Out of Africa

While reviewing this week’s film, Out of Africa (1985), for our series Africa on Film, I wondered what I would write about. Many people have bones to pick with this film but I was unable to distinguish...

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