AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Italy

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Thursday, September 25th, 2014

‘The Italian Joseph Conrad’

Described by the literary press as the “Italian Joseph Conrad” and “a 20th century Balzac”, Alessandro Spina–the pen name of Basili Shafik Khouzam–was a Syrian Maronite who was born in Benghazi in 1927 and died in Milan in 2013. Despite winning universal critical praise, Spina’s works were mostly ignored: nobody bought them, and nobody read

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Remember the name: Keita Baldé Diao

SS Lazio is a club with a long history of fascism. Currently their biggest talent is Spanish-born Senegalese player Keita Baldé Diao. Remember the name.

Friday, October 4th, 2013

What the Italian press said about Lampedusa

After the death of at least 130 Somalian and Eritrean migrants off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Italian (and European) press is once again filled with words of pathos: the human tragedy, the pictures...

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

What is wrong with Italian Reality TV?

In a new reality TV show, "Mission," eight Italian celebrities embark on a mission to help aid workers in refugee camps in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali. To prevent it from airing...

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Is Italy Ready for an African-born Government Minister?

Two months after the recent elections, Italy has a new government. And Cécile Kyenge, 48 years old, an eye surgeon and Congo-born Italian citizen, is the new Minister for Integration in the cabinet of Prime Minister Enrico...

Friday, December 14th, 2012

All the immigrants’ crimes in Italy

“Content is king,” say the marketers, and even racist bloggers are aware of the main principle driving traffic to a new website. That’s why a group of rightwing bloggers and activists behind the Facebook page Resistenza Nazionale...

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Africa by Night (in Milan)

Before it closed, Bar Etiopia had been running for ten years by the graceful Abeba. It was located on Via Tadino, P.ta Venezia, a neighborhood close to downtown Milan, where many different communities found their home and...

Friday, October 26th, 2012

When Italian politicians threaten to move to Africa

What would you do with old politicians who just won’t give up their seats in the Italian Parliament after too many years of service? Tell them to go to Africa. That’s what people on Twitter and Facebook suggested...

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Five alternative filmmaking collectives

Theatrical release is the holy grail of filmmaking. Well, it was until relatively recently. But, since the internet, dvds, digital files and all the other ethereal modes of sharing and circulating became available to the masses, alternative...

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Diplo in the dock

Chief Boima was invited to OPEN ARTI in Milan recently to talk about art and politics and to DJ. In the video of the event (above), Boima is joined by fellow DJ, Venus X (profiled here in...

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Paolo Patrizi’s photographs of ‘shrines to the shortcomings of globalization’

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Funky Liberia

  Italy based, UK Funky influenced, electronic music purveyors Pepe Soup recently released the above song and video, a proud recollection of Liberian childhood punishment survival. The Italian-Liberian duo have been busy this year, releasing a string...

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Malaika

Rare footage of Miriam Makeba performing her standard “Malaika” (a Kenyan love song in Swahili) on Italian television in 1969.  Meanwhile, the song has been covered by a lot of people–like Angelique Kidjo, Boney M(yes Boney M)...

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Gaddafi like ‘… a depressed Nigerian grandmother at a wedding’

One of the myriad references thrown into this part-imitation, part-rant by sharp, madcap British comedian Charlie Brooker (on his BBC show), of the Brother Leader, Muammar Gaddafi’s most recent utterings, style, as well as of Gaddafi’s son,...

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Africa, Assume the Position?

I love that African artists are getting exhibition space in European galleries. But being told to “Assume Art Position” by a Milanese gallery?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Monkey Business

On Sunday, October 17, 2010, history was made in the Italian serie A: a match was stopped due to fans’ racist chants. It happened at the Sant’Elia stadium in Cagliari (on the island of Sardinia). Just two...

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Afronline

The writer Ryszard Kapuscinski once remarked that “Africa is silently dying because nobody is listening to its voice.” The good people at the Italian site Afronline does not believe that should be the case and started a...