AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Nigeria

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Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

How to deal with reporters like Alex Preston

So journalist Alex Preston jetted into town from a posh Western capital. Alex Preston went to a Nigerian city of eerie silence, billowing clouds of dust, darkness and war. Alex Preston wrote a sexy story about a not-so-sexy subject for a sexy magazine. Alex Preston is white. 

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The Rediscovery of William Onyeabor

I had an American friend Facebook me with a link to Onyeabor and a comment to the effect that they really liked him and wanted to know more. I sent back a link of WizKid and Olamide,...

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Watch: Short documentary on Lagos performance artist Jelili Atiku

From the perspective of one who appreciates Nigerian art, it seems as if a disconnect persists between those artists, almost exclusively painters and sculptors, who work in a mimetic realist representational mode and cater directly to wealthy...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The social history of a ‘moral panic’ in Nigeria

It’s déjà vu all over again. Thirty five years ago, Stuart Hall and colleagues wrote one of the founding works of Cultural Studies, Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order. They wanted to understand...

Monday, January 27th, 2014

A Visitor’s Guide to India

Last weekend in Khirki Village, Delhi, a late-night mob led by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti went looking for "some Nigerians or Ugandans." They pulled four young African women out...

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

#Watch Binyavanga’s brilliant YouTube documentary calling out the BS behind “African” homophobia

We’ve been looking forward to this one. When our friends at the Guardian and BBC (and plenty of other outlets) finally reported on Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderful essay yesterday, we learned that he had a documentary up his sleeve as...

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Nigeria’s Gay Problems

let’s raise our hats to the biggest global news of the week thus far, after all this is Africa is a Country, not Earth’r’us: Nigeria, that giant town in Africa, declaring its disdain for any form or...

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

When Miley Cyrus met Nigerian parents

It is very likely that Miley Cyrus will end up somewhere in a number of “best of 2013″ lists, for reasons many still struggle to understand. Maybe for culturally appropriating ‘twerking’ and making it popular with white...

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

How much is an African body worth? Ask Theresa May

December 1, 1834, slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony. Around the world, people are watching, often aghast, more often with clenched jaws and more, Twelve Years a Slave, and then talking, or not, about the back-then....

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The Big Boss

“I would like to dedicate the trophy to all African coaches. We’re not yet there, this team has taken just months to build. We will continue building.” It was a surreal moment on the night of...

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

P-Square are Investigative Journalists

For a while now we've been toying with the idea of starting a Tumblr called "Shit The Nigerian Elite Wastes Nigeria's Money On." Since the country's vast piles of cash are certainly not being spent on...

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Not Nollywood: An Interview with Nigerian Filmmaker Tunde Kelani

Tunde Kelani is a seasoned Nigerian filmmaker wrapping up his sixteenth film, Dazzling Mirage. On the film’s website Mainframe Movies, his production company founded in 1991, promotes this as a “movie and a movement.” This is not...

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Kenneth Gyang’s “Confusion Na Wa” and the growing desire for variety and novelty in Nigerian cinema

In the discussion that followed the first public screening of Kenneth Gyang’s ‘Confusion Na Wa’ (2013) at the Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival in Lagos, audience members drew comparisons to Crash, Pulp Fiction, and Quartier Motzart as...

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Artifact Restitution and the Silken Gag of Co-operation

It was so successful it had to be hunted down, packed up and sent out again. The travelling exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria (tiresomely renamed “African Masterpieces” — but that’s another story) has come to...

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Review: Andrew Dosunmu’s “Mother of George”

From the opening moment of Andrew Dosunmu’s magnificent new film, “Mother of George” (we’ve talked about the film before here and here), the viewer is immediately transported into a dream space – one of deep indigos, radiant golds,...

Friday, September 13th, 2013

“The New Black” Films

Creatively Speaking is a monthly curated film series offering a diverse forum that highlights independent film by and/or about people of color. It is curated by Michelle Materre (a New School media studies professor) in partnership with...

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The Love Affair between Nigerians and Arsenal

The love affair between Nigerians and Arsenal is an enduring one. Other English teams are also popular in the country, but the attachment many Nigerian football fans formed with the club during Nwankwo Kanu’s five year spell...

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Controversy surrounding the National Theatre in Lagos

The National Arts Theatre is visible from the motorway system which connects Lagos Island and the mainland: an iconic modern structure which rises, it is often noted, like the peak of a military cap from the surrounding...

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Photographing the African Diaspora in New York City

In a world ever more saturated by images, understanding how to read pictures has never been more important. In a course this summer at the New School in the GPIA, students learned how to read images, and...

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune

In his new book, Soldiers of Fortune, the historian and commentator Max Siollun argues that the years 1984–1993 — a period of military rule in Nigeria — ‘crafted modern Nigerian society.’ Siollun is well qualified, having published a book on...

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Linda Ikeji should drop the homophobia on her blog

A lot of people like Linda Ikeji’s blog. With The Punch and Nairaland it probably has the most readers of any Nigerian site out there. And most of the time there’s a lot to like, or at...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

What can Barack Obama’s “Power Africa” program achieve?

Seven billion dollars is a lot of money—except when it goes into infrastructure. Then, $7bn, the sum that the US has committed to spend over the next five years on the Obama administration’s newly-announced Power Africa initiative,...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Gideon Mendel’s photographs of people affected by flooding

South African photographer Gideon Mendel is best known for his work on HIV/AIDS in the monograph “A Broken Landscape” (2001) and in projects with big-name NGOs. He is a six-time winner of the World Press Photo Award...

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Weekend Special N°1002

Here’s a couple of links we’ve bookmarked for reading and watching this week. Chadian director Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s new film “Grigris” premiered in Cannes. First reviews are up in Variety, the Guardian, Hollywood Reporter and rfi.fr. Rfi also has an interview with Haroun about...

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

African Perspectives in Comics and Animation: The Agbaje Brothers

And now for something completely different: Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with John and Charles Agbaje, the two brothers behind The Elite Comics & Art Studio at Central City Tower. Their now concluded and...

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

In Search of the “African Middle Class”

“Africa Rising” stories have become old news in English-speaking media, so much so that Africa is a Country called them a meme not long ago. But only a few have run in French news outlets, and one...

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Weekend Special, N°1001

1. The gray lady will sing. The New York Times has now featured two West African marriages in its Sunday “Vows” section in a matter of weeks. The first is of a Nigerian wedding (ceremonies in Abuja...

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Big Brother Goodluck Jonathan

Late last year, we ran a piece on the documentary Fuelling Poverty, a 30 minute crash course on the politics, implications, and significance of #OccupyNigeria and the fuel subsidy protests of January 2012. Made by Ishaya Bako and...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Chinua Achebe: A Poet of Global Encounters

The first time I met Chinua Achebe I had just started teaching at Bard College, where I had been hired as Director of Africana Studies. I saw Chinua one evening at a campus event and nervously approached...

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

I Sing the Desert Electric: Sights and Sounds from the Sahel

“I Sing the Desert Electric” is a collection of video material shot over the past three years by Sahel Sounds founder Christopher Kirkley in different locations in the Western Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria), representing distinct and highly regionalized musical...

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