AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Mozambique

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Friday, July 4th, 2014

Film: Guerilla-Core or Militant Image? On Göran Olsson’s ‘Concerning Violence’

How do you tell a story about African liberation through the lens of an outsider? Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense, the 2014 documentary by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, attempts to answer this question through presenting a sequence of episodes in the struggle for liberation in colonial Africa. Consisting exclusively of footage drawn from

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

New Sounds from Mozambique

Most of Mozambique’s music stars and musical genres known abroad come from the south of the country and the capital Maputo. That’s why Wired for Sound—the mobile recording studio we wrote about previously—toured the central and northern regions...

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Friendship Between China and Mozambique Will Last Forever Like the Heavens and the Earth

In Maputo, the “Garden for Sculptors” behind the Museu Nacional de Arte on Avenida Ho Chi Minh has become a kind of prison yard for Mozambique’s various Ozymandiases, a semi-public dumping ground where colonial monuments now crumble...

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: When Salazar met one of Lumumba’s murderers

António Oliveira Salazar founded Portugal’s New State dictatorship in 1933. Some historians like to argue over whether it was fascist or not. And these days, some Portuguese remember him fondly. He presided over the late colonial administrations...

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Thanks to Eusébio, it’s common for European nations’ football fortunes to depend on African players today

Historian Eric Hobsbawn once wrote of the centrality of national soccer teams to national identity in Europe, that "the imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people." And that allows it...

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Mozambique: How serious is Renamo’s pro-war rhetoric?

On October 4th, the peace accord between the opposition Renamo and the party in power, Frelimo, signed after more than a decade and a half of civil war, celebrated its 21st anniversary. After several violent incidents over...

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Mozambique’s Pandza Music

The new mix by Bram De Cock (a.k.a. DJ LeBlanc of Rebel up! DJs) features Pandza music from Mozambique—a digital, more lo-fi interpretation of local Marrabenta mixed with Dancehall and Hip-Hop, and a mid-tempo, laid-back vibe. He...

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Mozambican Occupations: The Work of Photographer Felipe Branquinho

Photographer Felipe Branquinho’s work is an impressive recent contribution to efforts to move away from clichés of rural Africa and reminds us of the dynamic urban landscapes of African cities. Branquinho focuses on the majority of these cities’...

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

For young musicians in Mozambique, “a career in music is a pipe dream”

Young musicians in Mozambique don’t have much opportunity to record and distribute their music. “Wired for Sound,” a mobile recording studio that currently tours northern Mozambique seeks to change that. The team of the founding member of...

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Eating Nando’s in Gaborone

I spent part of last month at the biennial gathering of historians organised by the Southern African Historical Society. The conference at the University of Botswana was fantastic. Gaborone was, well, less so.* I think that the city is best...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A critical look into Mozambique’s past: Licínio Azevedo’s “Virgin Margarida”

In Frelimo’s (Mozambique’s party in power since independence) official story of its liberation struggle and its socialist project after independence, many aspects get silenced. One among these are the re-education centers to “purify” the “compromised” that had...

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Another Hero Story: CNN’s “Mozambique or Bust” Documentary

A story about “how ordinary people come together to do something extraordinary,” this is how the Actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking, Mira Sorvino, introduces the work of four white Americans who send over...

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dama do Bling, Mozambique’s Queen of Hip-Hop

“A young person with a university degree can’t sing, but a minister with a 6th grade education can legislate?,” Dama do Bling sang in her 2007 song “Sai,” a musical response to inquiries why, in spite of...

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Photographer Mário Macilau’s Portraits of the “Forgotten” Elderly

On display this month at the Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano in Maputo are Mozambican photographer Mário Macilau’s portraits he made of elderly people all over the continent (Nigeria, Congo, Mozambique, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, etc.) during the year 2012....

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Ronald Reagan’s Africa

Ronald Reagan will be celebrated again today (his birthday is February 6, 1911) as a world statesman and champion of democracy (mostly by Republicans and Conservatives in the United States), but this not how people in the...

Monday, February 4th, 2013

New web series, ‘African Time,’ focuses on individual experiences of Africans living in the United States

The lightheartedly named African Time is a lovely new web series produced by the Waave + Dada artist collective.  Each short episode consists of a different individual discussing their individual experiences as Africans living in the United...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The ‘Promised Land’ in Mozambique

Promised Land is the title of the German photographer Gregor Zielke’s feature about the relocation of 700 families in Mozambique’s Tete province to make space for the Brazilian company Vale’s construction of the Southern Hemisphere’s second largest...

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Mozambique, the new frontier of global capitalism

Recent business reporting on newly discovered natural resources in Eastern and Southern Africa evokes a new frontier for explorers on the Indian Ocean: Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania have become the center of an “energy boom” and thus,...

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Why didn’t Anthony Bourdain take his show to Cape Town?

Good on The New York Times for publishing an article on South African culinary options…I suppose something is better than nothing in this case. For those without a subscription, an article entitled “A Culinary Gateway to Cape...

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Euro 2012 Semi-Final Preview: Mozambique vs Spain

Here in Maputo there’s only one thing on tonight: Portugal’s clash with Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. Fancy bars are pushing up their cover prices and there are images of Cristiano Ronaldo all over the...

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°1: Zachary Rosen

We’re starting a new weekly series today. We ask photographers who make portraits of African subjects to introduce us to their work. Basically they pick their five favorite photographs, describe the subject matter, what brought them to...

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Lucy Liu’s Safari

At the moment when Africa is once again reduced to a cesspool of panga-slashing child soldiers and the abode of the world’s most dangerous man, a vanity piece on where Lucy Liu goes when she wants to...

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Thrones no one wants to sit on

Gonçalo Mabunda’s chilling constructions are now on display at the Jack Bell gallery in London. His thrones (above) and faceless masks (below) are made from weapons used in Mozambique’s civil war. These designs make dark mockery of ergonomics:...

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In Search of Maputo

David Patrick Lane writes on 'Searching for Pancho', a short film by South African filmmaker Christopher Bisset about the work of Pancho Guedes, perhaps the most renowned of all building designers -- about five hundred structures all...

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The business of selling beer

In the last two decades, SABMiller become one of the world’s biggest beermakers by buying domestic labels and marketing them locally. They’ve hired anthropologists, historians, and sociologists to help sell ‘local intimacy’ for 200 plus brands in...

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Wonder Woman can beat breast cancer

The Mozambican Associação da Luta Contra o Cancer (ALCC) enlists female superheroes to raise awareness around breast cancer. If you can’t read the small print copy: “Nobody’s immune to breast cancer. When we talk about breast cancer,...

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Economist’s Africa

In May 2000 The Economist ran a cover story: "Africa. The Hopeless Continent." People talked about it for a while afterward. It spawned countless op-eds about Afro-pessimism and -optimism. It even became the basis for...

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Found Objects No. 16

In 1978 Jean-Luc Godard and his partner Anne-Marie Miéville traveled to Mozambique on the invitation of the new government to advice the latter on the start-up of a national television system. Read about it here and here.

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Recycling Rubbish

Many of you know those spectacular images of burning computer parts and beautiful, sad young men, taken in some God-forsaken corner of polluted Ghana where the ‘West’ has dumped all its obsolete toys to be ‘recycled’. Now,...

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

June 25th, Mozambique

We had much fun selecting recent videos coming out of South Africa last week, so we decided to follow up on this. At the occasion of each country’s independence day, over the next months we’ll try and...

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