AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Luanda

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Monday, April 14th, 2014

The last space of cultural dynamism in Luanda’s baixa is no more

Thirty years ago Joni Mitchell sang: “They paved paradise/ And put up a parking lot/ With a pink hotel, a boutique/ And a swinging hot spot. /Don’t it always seem to go/ That you don’t know what you’ve got/ Till it’s gone.” Who knew her words would resonate in today’s Luanda?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Smells like Brazil

For the past week I’ve perused a steady stream of facebook posts about Movimento Revolucionário’s peaceful protest planned for Thursday September 19, 2013. A week prior to the planned ‘manif’ (Angolan shorthand for manifestação or protest), police arrested...

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

A Conversation with the curators of the Angolan Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale

Beyond Entropy works around the concept of energy for producing new forms of spatial practice. It is directed by Stefano Rabolli Pansera, an Italian architect based in London. The Africa projects are co-directed by Paula Nascimento, an...

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Luanda Can Cook

I have always been into food and restaurants. I blame my parents. My mother is an excellent cook – my uncles swear that her home cooking is “better than restaurant food” – and it was not uncommon...

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°16: Rui Sérgio Afonso

Born in Huambo but raised in Luanda, Rui Sérgio Afonso is one of my favorite Angolan photographers. The man is prolific on Instagram. After working for Angola’s biggest communications and marketing group, Grupo Executive de Angola (Executive...

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Angola: One Party, One Voice

Angola is a country that has been ruled by the same party, the MPLA, since independence in 1975. The party has effectively transformed itself from a socialist bloc into a purely capitalistic organization with a diverse array...

Monday, March 18th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°15: Indira Mateta

Indira Mateta is a young Angolan photographer who is taking her first steps in professional photography, transforming her hobby into a promising career. In 2008 she won the BESA Award for Photography in Luanda and has since...

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

There’s more to Angolan music than Kuduro

Angola has an underappreciated independent music scene. It’s no worth denying that kuduro is our biggest export, and when you mention Angola to most savvy music fans they will instantly identify it with Cabo Snoop and perhaps...

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

God is a profitable and deadly business in Angola

Sometime after the end of the São Silvestre foot race through the streets of Luanda and the start of any of the many New Year’s Eve parties (this one, worthy of both Marilyn Monroe and De Beers,...

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Os Kuduristas: Hip as Nationalist Project

Let’s say you’re the son of a very wealthy political leader, from a country that was fighting a long war for independence in the 1970s (remember, that war that’s been reduced to a subplot in a video...

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Paulo Flores’s Ex-Combatentes

Earlier this summer Paulo Flores launched Ex-Combatentes Redux, a 15 track version of his 3 CD Ex-Combatentes (2009) at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and then played at the Rio Loco Festival in Toulouse. If...

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Goldman Sachs’s Angolan interests

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Cobalt International Energy, a Houston based company with investments in the Angolan oil sector, for possible violation of anti-corruption legislation. Last week the Financial Times reported that three Angolan officials –...

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Brand Kuduro

Kuduro has already received some attention on AIAC. (Is this Cabo Snoop clip intra-continental cultural colonialism?) Kuduro means ‘hardass’ or ‘in a hard place’ in Angolan Portuguese or a mix of Portuguese and Kimbundu, depending on how...

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Angolan politics online

It’s been a busy week for Angolan politics. Elections are precisely six months away. On Wednesday, the long-time second-generation UNITA politician Abel Chivukuvuku officially split with his party to declare his candidacy for the presidency and his...

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Introducing: Angolan singer Aline Frazão

Aline Frazão joins a long line of exceptional female voices from Angola. Belita Palma, Lourdes Van Dunem, and Dina Santos from the golden years of semba in the 1960s and 1970s, Nany and Clara Monteiro from...

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Angolan Solutions

The Angolan anti-corruption activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais recently made the pages of Africa Confidential, which discussed his having filed a criminal complaint against three prominent Angolans with the Angolan Attorney General’s Office.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

We’re suppose to celebrate Miss Universe

Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, was crowned Miss Universe over the weekend. One of the judges, a former American TV newsreader, Connie Chung, told the AP:”… You have to keep in mind that these women are not objects...

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Luanda is Expensive

By Marissa Moorman, Guest Blogger This is “The Economist” recently on the Angolan capital: The Angolan capital calls itself the “New Dubai” and there certainly are similarities with the emirate. Luanda has vast oil wealth. If they...

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Africans Prefer English Soccer

These scenes of Angolan football fans at the recent African Nations Cup captured by Al Jazeera may give the impression that Africans still value the continental game. Actually they prefer English football, argues sports writer Simon Kuper...

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

A Decade of Kuduro in Angola

Kuduro literally translates as ’stiff bottom’ in Angolan-Portuguese.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

“THE AFRICA THEY NEVER SHOW YOU”

I’d be interested to hear people’s responses to this video that try to counter Western stereotypes of African economic and social life with its own selective, glossy images of a largely urbanized, clean, ordered–oddly without any people–Africa....

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

TV’s “THE SIMPSONS” MOVE TO ANGOLA

No, the characters of the FOX TV animated show have not left their home in Springfield. It’s just a TV ad campaign promoting the show on Angolan TV. Apparently Homer is drinking the local brew, Cuca, “the...