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 most pop stars. As Robert Pierre writes on his blog at The Washington Post: “… Whatever he was

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...

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

More to Staten Island than ‘Mob Wives’

Photographer Glenna Gordon, no stranger to AIAC, is working on a new project in Staten Island, home to the largest population of Liberians outside of Liberia. I asked her if I could publish some of the work...

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Princess Fatu

Back in the states, I’m going to be able to fulfill my promise to post on Liberian music, and the vibrant growing scene there. I’m publishing another couple of articles for Cluster Mag about it, and am...

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

July 26, Liberia

The oldest republic in Africa, Liberia–formed in 1847–celebrates its independence today.  Chances are Dumyarea, the song we wrote about earlier will pump from stereos and in cars, but there’s more. Right now you have two major styles Gbema...

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Review: The Redemption of General Butt-Naked

“The Redemption of General Butt Naked” is an admirable attempt to paint a complex picture of a difficult subject, the former Liberian child soldier, Joshua Milton Blahyi. While I found the film compelling, I couldn’t help but...

Monday, July 11th, 2011

The most heard phrase on the streets of Monrovia

Liberian music is going through a creative explosion. Cultural singers are taking to the studio and creating an exciting, high-energy, danceable sound. Young urban folks have invented a local Hip-Hop style called Hipco which talks to their...

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Assumptions about Technology

Patrick Meier, Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi (amongst other titles), has some refreshing thoughts about the limits of technology adaptation across different contexts: I’ve spent the past week at the iLab in Liberia and got what I...

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

‘Imagine life without photos’

A worthwhile project by two Canadian brothers who grew up in 1970s Liberia–it still feels like 25% of the city are expats–to restore photo memory because so many people here don’t know what Monrovia looked like before...

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

New Documentary Films

A clip from Ann Buford’s new film, “Elevate,” about four high school athletes recruited from Senegal to play basketball at upscale prep schools in the US. Then there’s “The Redemption of General Butt-Naked” directed by Eric Strauss...

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Africa’s media considered

By Elliot Ross, Guest Blogger We don’t give Africa a pass just because we are Africans. It’s a mistake to respond to blanket negative coverage with blanket positive coverage. Africa is overexposed not underexposed. We just get...

Thursday, May 5th, 2011


Earlier this week ESPN won seven Sports Emmy Awards, including one for music during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, like the video–played at the start of broadcasts and during breaks from the studio in South...

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Miss Liberia

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Libya and Liberia are neighbors

This is not an April’s Fool Joke. New York Magazine‘s reporters and editors need to go back to school: … Fighting continues to rage in Libya, thousands of Libyans have crossed the border into neighboring Liberia, a country...

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

The Land Deals

Examine the 21st century’s land deals in African countries, and it’s mostly a collection of unequal “agreements” struck with wealthy nations and companies, busy securing land on which food will be produced.  The International Institute for Environment...

Friday, February 18th, 2011

‘100% Liberian’

African nationalism from an unlikely quarter;  rapper I-20 from Ludacris-owned label, Disturbing Tha Peace. Great hook too.  (Actually scrap the stuff about unlikely quarters.) via Bombastic Elements

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Joseph’s Journey

Al-Jazeera follows Joseph, a Liberian man on his journey to New York City. He gets randomly selected in the US green card lottery system. The 22-minute film is currently showing on their English language broadcast station. (Most...

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Supermodel’s Revenge

For a brief moment this past August, the world worked itself into a frenzy over Naomi Campbell’s “hostile” turn on the witness stand at The Hague. Finally, it seemed, we had the perfect ammunition to level at...

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Sunday Ephemera No. 4

Sean Jacobs This is worth remembering. In 2004 the Liberian footballer George Weah was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the Espys. (For those who don’t care: that’s sports channel ESPN’s versions of the Oscars.) This...

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Who will play George Weah?

Liberia and Friends report that the Hollywood actor/director Dermot Mulroney (what does he know about football?) will develop and probably direct a biopic on the life of Liberian football legend George Weah.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

‘Symbols of Liberia’s Struggle’*

Rapper Nas narrates a short insert on ESPN’s “E:60″ on the Liberian national amputee team made up of men, often former enemies, who lost the use of their legs or arms in Liberia’s very recent civil war. ...

Monday, May 10th, 2010

The Model and The Activist

We’ve all heard the one about the model and the dictator. The setting is South Africa, 1997. President Nelson Mandela is hosting several prominent figures as guests in his home. Quincy Jones is there (the...

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Jim Goldberg’s Photography

The work of photographer Jim Goldberg who documents the experiences of people who travel to Europe to start new lives, in search of stability and “the promise of a better future.” They end up in Greece. Some of...

Friday, February 12th, 2010

The Vice TV Guide to Liberia

The hipsters at Vice.TV produce original video reporting–which sways between brilliant and annoying. They’ve also become more important now that CNN has signed a deal with them to put Vice content on CNN’s platforms. About being brilliant...

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Surfing Liberia

Great travel piece–apart from the Robinson Crusoe reference in the sidebar–by Helene Cooper, a New York Times reporter who grew up in Liberia.

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Six Degrees of Charles Taylor

The former Liberian warlord, who is being tried for war crimes, is in mainstream American news again this week:

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Soldier Boy

I don’t have much time for the phenomenon that is Soulja Boy and his nonsensical lyrics. Like in “Turn My Swag On.” But a German group, Die Orsons, took the song, slowed it down, gave it a...

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009


The Guardian has a story on the growing crop of farmers in Africa’s ever expanding cities: “… Across Africa, political leaders, long dismissive of rural concerns, have woken up to the importance of agriculture and the role...

Friday, September 11th, 2009


If you’re in Washington D.C: African poets Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and Gabeba Baderoon will give a joint reading at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on September 19 as part of the annual Fall for the...

Monday, August 31st, 2009


Jendayi Frazer, who was George W Bush’s assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2005-2009, has an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, going on about “four things” the Obama Administration can do to help...

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