AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Congo

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Hulk Hogan in Kinshasa

Kinshasa’s unique brand of professional wrestling culture has suddenly attracted a number of artists and photographers to the city. They include Colin Delfosse (above), Benedicte Kurzen, Gwenn Dubourthoumieu, Vincent Boisot, Pieter Hugo and Keith Harmon Snow. Like you, we also want to figure out why. It must be the costumes and the lively crowds or

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Music Break. Alec Lomami

Dapper Congolese-American rapper Alec Lomami (interviewed here by MTV Iggy) shouts outs his old hometown Kinshasa over a disco beat. Photo Credit: Shako Oteka

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Viva Kinshasa

One of the most exciting films to come out of the continent recently is the Congolese gangster noir, ‘Viva Riva!’ Sean already blogged about it here when it just started to attract a lot of hype. I...

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Photography. Jean Depara

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Tupac in Africa

This week, fifteen years ago, the rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down on a Las Vegas street. The combination of his personality–he was a “gifted storyteller“, an explosive personality and had an intensity that was unrivaled among...

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Vargas Llosa in Congo

Not sure whether Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa’s new novel, El Sueño del Celta (The Dream of the Celt), has been published in English yet — so I might be spoiling it for some future interested readers...

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

TMZ’s Harvey Levin and the murderous ‘natives’ in the Congo

I grew up in the Copperbelt Province, near the small mining town where Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane crashed in September 1961, as he was en route to negotiate a cease-fire in Katanga Province in the Congo. My father, who stuck a small...

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

‘The last photo before leaving’

Kwa Heri Mandima (Goodbye Mandima) is a short film by the French-Dutch director Robert-Jan Lacombe doing multiple film festival rounds over the last year. Born in 1986 in Mandima, Robert-Jan — and his family — left Mandima,...

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Baloji on Tour

Baloji is back in North America, and while we’re a little late on the draw, you can still catch him in a few cities this summer. Two dates in Quebec (tonight and tomorrow night) and the final...

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

‘The Best African Movie’

Last week the Congolese film “Viva Riva” won “The Best African Movie“* award at the MTV Movie Awards. That’s the kind of publicity African films can’t buy and should count for something when the film opens in...

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

No more plastic

Congo-Brazzaville will ban the production, import, sale and use of plastic bags in a move to fight environmental pollution, government spokesman Bienvenu Okiemy Okiemy said. Plastic bags have been blamed for causing floods and landslides by blocking drains, especially in urban...

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The Belgian Color Bar

Roland Gust was born to a Congolese mother and a Belgian father. He grew up in Congo, believing he was white. That is, until his family decided to return to Belgium when he was twelve. Twenty years...

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold’s “Surprise Hotel.” The group started as a side project of two young LA musicians, vocalist/bassist Luke Top and lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov, who set out to explore their shared love of various forms of African...

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Music Break

Nodding my head to this tune by Congolese artist Pathy Patcheko, a former member of Papa Wemba’s band Viva la Musica. ‘Tchaku’ is a first single from his self-titled solo album. — Tom Devriendt

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

‘The Media-Savvy Autocrat’

Adam Hochschild, in the New York Times Book Review, writing about Jason K Stearns’ new book, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa: Stearns is somewhat easier...

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Music Break

Remember the Belgian-Congolese project Héritage? It took them a while to record a video for one of the featuring songs. The two singers on this track are Stefy Rika and Nina Miskina. You’ll recognize the infamous Africa...

Friday, March 18th, 2011

This is about Congo

ABC News on Ben Affleck’s “time with the people of Congo” and his “odd couple” pairing with Cindy McCain. There’s also this.

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Music Break

French-Congolese musician Abd Al Malik’s star is rising fast in Francophone Europe. Behind his, say, rather straightforward song titles are some revealing lyrics, so we don’t mind his songs here being played on the radio over and...

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Rap Visionaries

Two AIAC favorites, Baloji and Blitz the Ambassador have been busy.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

America has ‘blood on our hands’ in Congo

Author Adam Hochschild interviewed by PBS program, Need to Know, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Congo’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. A conspiracy of American, Belgian and Congolese military and diplomatic operatives played a...

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Music Break

Last month, Alex Dende aka Lexxus Legal was awarded the ‘African Renaissance Prize’ at the Black World Festival in Dakar for his long-time commitment to and support of the rap scene in Kinshasa. We think it’s much...

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Fela In The Low Countries

The “Fela! The Musical” craze hasn’t reached the Low Countries (yet), but that doesn’t stop Dutch ZAM Magazine from including in its latest issue some old, but previously unpublished pictures, of Fela in Paris shot by Anton...

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Swahili Cipher

Thomas Gesthuizen, known by followers of Africanhiphop.com as Juma4, has been running the number one African Hip Hop site and radio show in the world for a few years.  The site, which has had various incarnations over...

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Baloji Live in NYC

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Goalkeeper Shuffle

Check out Congo’s Tout Puissant Mazembe’s goalkeeper-dance (at the end of the clip). If you’re impatient fast forward to 0:22 and 1:22. (Later today TP Mazembe play Samuel Eto’o’s Inter Milan in the final of the FIFA World Club...

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Uganda is Sinking

Increased flooding of the Semliki river, forming the official boundary between the DRC and Uganda, has led to major shifts in its course. As James Randerson reports in the Guardian the moving river has meant the loss of farmland...

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Gal draws Belgium and Congo

Belgian cartoonist GAL turned 70 this year. The relations between Belgium and Congo haven’t been absent in his work. (I provided some context below each cartoon.) Happy birthday, Gal. January 2001. Belgian foreign minister Louis Michel (he...

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Do you know Omar al Bashir?

I recently ask students in a graduate class I teach on ‘media, culture and international affairs’ to do an experiment: take a camera, go outside (really downstairs on the New School ‘campus’) and test people’s knowledge of...

Monday, November 8th, 2010

‘Blood Diamond Bazaar’

“Searching for the world’s newest blood-diamond bazaar …” Yes, that’s the opening lines in a story in this week’s “Time” (by the magazine’s South Africa-based correspondent Alex Perry) about Zimbabwe’s diamond mines (production could reach US$1.7 billion a...

Friday, October 1st, 2010

No surprises, rappers JJC and Sway “are Africans”

Today, Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence. To mark the occasion,* we bring you Nigerian-British rapper JJC’s collaboration with Ghanaian-British rapper Sway, and their remix of a song that Sean recently characterized as “hip hop meets twentieth...

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