3050
3 mins read

‘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…..

1607
5 mins read

#WhiteHistoryMonth: When the FBI set-up a Chicago street gang to be tried as a terrorist organization

Living in Rio de Janeiro now, and witnessing the pacification of the favelas by Brazilian federal troops from a close(r) distance, I can’t help but think back to my faded memories of the ‘war on drugs’ while growing up in the U.S. So when–in the wake of the occupation by the Army of the Maré Complex in Rio’s North Zone–I went online to read a little about the history of Rio’s gangs, I noticed some mention of populist roots in the beginnings of the Commando Vermelho, which is quite similar to the history of the gangs that occupied the Midwest American city I grew up in. I hit Wikipedia to refresh my knowledge of the Almighty Black P. Stone Nation–a gang whose name rings clear in my memory from adolescence.

2189
5 mins read

My Favorite Photographs: Arnaud Contreras

The Sahara is changing fast. Still a beautiful desert but not just that. Most populated cities such as Tamanrasset or Timbuktu are microcosms that reveal all the problems of those former touristic regions: threats of terrorism, trafficking, illegal migration and pressures on cultural and natural heritages. The only ways to escape this harsh reality for Saharan and Tuareg youth are cybercafés, mobile phone culture, festivals and soirées guitare (“guitar evenings”) celebrating their guitar heroes, the “Ishumar”, such as Tinariwen, Terakaft, Tamikrest, Bombino and many other bands. In their songs they celebrate the link between desert nature, old poetry, and of course women, whose role is essential in their society. Some texts may seem like calls for rebellion, but mainly those are calls for a self-consciousness as a people, of their identities.

5728
6 mins read

Whose “New African Writing”?

The latest issue of the Journal of Postcolonial and Commonwealth Studies takes on “African writing in the twenty-first century” and presents views on topics as varied as South African theater, queer Kenyan bloggers, digital…..

15 mins read

The Unfinished Revolutions

What is the nature of the Arab Revolution? Why did it start and where is it headed? Most important, what is the potential for the emergence of new forms of political democracy, social equality, and regional autonomy in the Arab world? Let me introduce my position by stating what the Arab Revolution is not.

4 mins read

David Cameron’s Libya Doctrine

The British media has, in the last few weeks, been working through allegations that the nation’s secret services helped Gaddafi’s spies track down Libyan dissidents. On 21 April the Mail…..

2306
3 mins read

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…..

1 min read

"Iconic" Africa

Time  unveiled its “Top 10 Photos of 2011″ online last week. At least four of the photographs cover African topics: they’re all from “conflict” situations–two in Libya’s civil war (view…..