AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Paris

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Monday, November 19th, 2012

French-Algerian sculptor Rachid Khimoune exhibits in New York City

Rachid Khimoune grew up in a small mining town in Northern France where his Algerian parents had settled. It was there that he saw first hand the end of industrialisation: his father lost his job at the local mine and the family moved to the suburbs of Paris. The waves of urban immigration to the cities

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Kehinde Wiley Goes To Paris

Perhaps it is simply through good timing that I am rereading Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark and lingering over one sentence: the subject of the dream is the dreamer. Such it is with artist Kehinde Wiley’s...

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Interrupting Paris Fashion Week

I wasn’t given very much information. Stumbling into the secretive meeting I’d been invited to, an all female brigade greeted me quickly as they pored over a hand drawn map of targets. Drawing on an apparently endless...

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Parisian Africa: The artistic intersections of the Métropole

Guest Post by Lara N. Dotson-Renta Paris has always been renowned for its culture and support of the arts. Yet, as France has grown into an ever more pluralistic society, the traditional image of what constitutes art...

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The other African election: France’s first round

What is there to say about that other African election, the one in France? Sunday was the first of two rounds in this presidential contest, which is a lot more about Europe—specifically Brussels, but also Berlin—than it...

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Bamako-sur-Seine

You don’t stand in one place to watch a masquerade, as Chinua Achebe famously said. It moves. You move with it. Same goes for demonstrations. On Saturday a few hundred people marched in Paris for peace in...

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

The World of Congolese artist Pume Bylex

In the introduction to The World According to Bylex, Filip De Boeck and Koen Van Synghel describe the Congolese artist Pume Bylex as “not interested in the day-to-day reality of Kinshasa. turns his attention to what...

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Paris is a Continent N°11

Sage poet Zoxea & Busta Flex battle it out in ‘C’est nous les reustas': Youssoupha (a name you must be familiar with by now), Indila and Skalpovich Dreamin':

Friday, March 30th, 2012

French Tropicalism

At the occasion of the recent publication of Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s book ‘African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson and the Idea of Negritude’ (originally published in French in 2007) and listening to this interview where...

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Music Break. Mokobe

Mokobe commentates on the actions of Rihannon, Naomi Campboule, Rachida Beckham and friends over a Coupé-Decalé riddim. The music production is pretty standard, but the video is at least funny. Update (3/19): Following heated reactions from fans,...

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

Five for the weekend. First up, via AfriPOP!, Nomsa Mazwai’s new video for her song ‘Nguwe.’ (The video comes with a translation.) Then, Vox Sambou (below) and The Narcicyst tell how they read ‘Article 14′ and its relation...

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Music Break. Gaël Faye

Bujumbura-born Gaël Faye (you know him from the Paris hip hop outfit Milk Coffee & Sugar) returned to Burundi to record this video with singer Francis Muhire for ‘Petit Pays’ (a first single off his upcoming ‘autobiographic’...

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Paris a Continent … the Nike edition

I like the tone and aesthetic of this commercial. It makes Paris look like parts of Brooklyn. We’ll leave the close reading for another day (the relationship between identity politics and consumption for example), except to note...

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Black Bazar

Alain Mabanckou’s 2009 novel Black Bazar spoke successfully to and about the African diaspora in France, their daily hustle, fashion, style and language. All through the eyes of the Congolese migrant nicknamed ‘Fessologue’, sapeur and pub philosopher,...

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Paris is a Continent N°8

Loads of Paris suburbs gets shouted out in this song by a cast of the city's rappers.

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The whole ‘Afrobeats’ thing

Two recent features in the mainstream British media turned out to be enough to spur some debate about the so-called "Rise of the Afrobeats" in the U.K. The Guardian interviewed DJ Abrantee (quoting Abrantee as him having...

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Get Up, Stand Up

Tunisian born artist Amel Bennys, who works between Tunis and Paris, has just had her first solo show at the Selma Feriani Gallery in London. 'Get Up - Stand Up' includes 'Fin de Partie', a series of...

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Music Break. YaoBobby ft. Fredy Massamba

There’s a fast growing collection of cross-over hip hop songs produced by Central and West African artists making a living in the diaspora (especially in French-speaking hotbeds like Marseilles, Paris or Brussels), lyrically reaching back to the...

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Paris is a Continent, N°2

This is the second in my weekly series of popular music from my hometown.  Here’s a link to my first contribution: Paris, France. N°1. This week’s it’s the world of popular rap. Algiers-born, Montreal-raised Zaho is big in Paris...

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Paris is a Continent, N°1

What do the masses listen to in Paris? I’ve promised to do an occasional round-up of what’s popular on the streets and on phones (and in car stereo systems) of the French capital. Here’s round one. It’s...

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Photography. Jean Depara

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

‘Emerging’ Photographers

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

‘Wax Museum Scenes’

Friday, July 15th, 2011

“Mabancool”

In France, Alain Mabanckou is known as “the African Samuel Beckett.” Mabanckou left Congo-Brazzaville in 1989 to study law in France, “but quit as a corporate lawyer within a decade,” according to The Economist. His first novel,...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Music Break / J Martins and Fally Ipupa

Nigeria and Congo. From 2010. J Martins featuring Fally Ipupa. It’s a remix. The latter owns the track. If you don’t want to wait, fast forward to the 1:49 mark.

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Music Break / Lokua Kanza

The music video for “Nakozonga” by Congolese musician Lokua Kanza.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Music Break

Femi Kuti and his band strip it down for La Blogothèque, some hours before they got on stage at the Bellevilloise earlier this year. Not sure what I like most here: the band braving the cold, the...

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Music Break

“Après Tintin au Congo j’ai lu Sarkozy à Dakar / 50 minutes d’insultes… accusé à la barre / Blague à part, un fantasme d’il y a 400 ans / Une vision de l’Africain rappelant Tarzan.” A translation...

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Photography / Brazzaville’s Sapeurs

Great series of photographs by Italian Francesco Giusti of purveyors of “le sape,” the fashion-obsessed La Societe des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elegantes, or the society of atmosphere setters and elegant people, something found among Congolese (both in...