AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

How does it feel to be an African asylum seeker in Europe

“Bon voyage” (“Have a nice trip”), a Swiss animated short movie by Fabio Friedli, seeks to convey how it feels to be an African asylum seeker in Switzerland, and it does so by capturing the experience in the simplest manner, with ballpoint pen and paper. Reactions to the movie show how divided the Swiss are

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

What’s new in South America? Blackface is okay in Peru

Peruvian media have revived the debate regarding Negro Mama, a popular character of the prime time TV show El Especial del Humor. The show, aired on one of the country’s main TV channels, Frecuencia Latina, features actor Jose...

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

The Story of a South African Farm

As of March 1 this year, the new base salary for farm workers in South Africa will be R105 a day (about US$11 per day). That’s a 52% pay raise, which sounds impressive until you realize that...

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Photographing Afcon 2013 in Yeoville, Johannesburg

On a recent trip to Johannesburg (which is in Gauteng Province), a couple of friends decided to invade a Congolese restaurant in Yeoville; Kin Malebo on 31 Raleigh Street in Yeoville. The game was between DR Congo...

Friday, December 14th, 2012

All the immigrants’ crimes in Italy

“Content is king,” say the marketers, and even racist bloggers are aware of the main principle driving traffic to a new website. That’s why a group of rightwing bloggers and activists behind the Facebook page Resistenza Nazionale...

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Us and Them: Rape and Racism in India

A year ago, there was some minor hullabaloo created when African students in India were not permitted in some bars. But yeah, it remained a minor tempest. Most likely, prevalent attitudes towards Africans (and dark-skinned people in...

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Only decent white people know how to insult in the Netherlands

The most talked about film in the Netherlands now is the comedy Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (“Only Decent People”), which, to be blunt, may shape Dutch views of its black citizens, and Afro-Surinamese in particular, in very...

Monday, October 15th, 2012

#Tintingate (in Sweden)

On September 25, one of Sweden’s most prestigious national dailies blew up an article on its front page about cultural director at Stockholm Culture House Berhang Miri (a Swede of Iranian descent) reshelving Hergé’s Tintin books because of their...

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Gay Shame

Dear Tanya Harford and Jenny Green, At 3am in my hotel room last night, jetlagged and sleepless, I was dawdling online and read about the confrontation at Johannesburg Pride between you and a group of black lesbians...

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Adventures of Tintin in a Belgian Court

Jogchum Vrielink, in this guest post, writes about the attempt by a Congolese student to obtain a ban on the comic book ‘Tintin in the Congo.’ A Brussels court rejected their claims. Despite this outcome, the reasoning...

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...

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Germany’s Namibian Legacy

So the Bundestag have once again refused to acknowledge that the systematic murders of four ethnic groups in Namibia between 1904 and 1908 wasn’t genocide.  Late last month, March 22, the German parliament debated a motion proposed...

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

‘Banana republic’

World Soccer magazine explains Russian football’s anti-racism strategies: Anzhi Makhachkala have expressed their disappointment over an “idiotic” banana throwing incident involving recent signing Christopher Samba. The Congolese defender had a banana thrown at him from the stands...

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The #Kony2012 show

The boy had lost his brother, and as he wept before Jason Russell’s camera, Jason Russell brushed back the loose strands of his magnificent blond coiffure (who will play him in the movie version?) and told the...

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Mexican dolls

How many times can you replicate an experiment before its underlying questions and possible conclusions turn banal? You’d think the conclusions of the 70 year old Kenneth and Mamie Clark doll experiment would have seeped into Latin...

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Year of Frantz Fanon

Four moments which rocked France this year were the cases against rapper Youssoupha and IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the unveiling of the Paris exhibiton Human Zoos: The Invention of the Savage, curated by former French footballer Lilian...

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I Remember Black Pete

As a child, I never believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Saint Nicholas and Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). I remember waking up as a child on December 6, 1983, three hours before daybreak. I also remember...

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Ingerland, Ingerland, Ingerland

Late last month the English goalkeeper David James wrote in The Observer that he was surprised at the accusations of racism against his national teammate John Terry. The latter was accused of racially abusing an opponent, QPR...

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Louboutin’s Emancipated Breast

Christian Louboutin is known for the same impossible stiletto heels as Jimmy Choo, but with an added attraction: a strip of carmine-red leather, sewn to cover the underside of each shoe. As a woman walks (or totters)...

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

White Wedding

UPDATED: The internets have been rightly outraged at a white couple, “Dave and Chantal,” who decided on a “colonial” (and Apartheid) theme at their wedding in South Africa complete with an all-black wait staff in red fezzes....

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Restaurant Manager

If you missed this: Lilian Thuram, the former footballer who won a World Cup medal with France in 1998 and sometimes philosopher, was in Brussels last week to promote his anti-racism campaign. While having lunch at a...

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

It’s Time To Be Offended

If the murder of Andries Tatane is a watershed moment in public perceptions of state violence after Apartheid, it is also teaching us a thing or two about South Africa’s media. Had this police murder happened in...

Friday, April 15th, 2011

‘An All Dutch Affair’

The Dutch could not win the World Cup (of football) so now they’re trying to ensure they win something. By changing the rules. The organizers of this year’s Utrecht Marathon has decided that while foreign, especially African,...

Friday, April 8th, 2011

“Your dad washes elephants, your mother’s a whore”

Tottenham Hotspur fans, reacting in disbelieve to how their team gets annihilated by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the first leg of the teams’ UEFA Champions League semi-final match, pull the race card: Tottenham are unlikely to...

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Mau Mau and Toothfish

In the same week that the US attorney general, Eric Holder, announced that “key suspects” detained at Guantánamo would be tried through controversial military commissions, rather than in federal court—blaming members of Congress for intervening and imposing...

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Jonathan Jansen’s Burden

Coinciding with a senior government official in South Africa channeling the views of Apartheid ideologues about race, the online publication The Daily Maverick Online features a profile of Jonathan Jansen, the current vice chancellor of the University...

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

‘The Way You Smell’

A Group of Namibians from the Zemba tribe were thrown off a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ aircraft in the Netherlands over the weekend “because of the way they smell”. The seven-member group, comprising four Zembas and three...

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

White History Month

… So much of Black History Month takes place in the passive voice. Leaders “get assassinated,” patrons “are refused” service, women “are ejected” from public transport. So the objects of racism are many but the subjects few....

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The Fire Next Time

Some Brooklyn business. You know I live here. Read it here.–Sean Jacobs

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

‘They’d love to meet you’

A new public service announcement by the South African alcohol beverage company Brandhouse, warning of the perils of drinking and driving, is perhaps a more powerful argument against copywriting while drunk. It’s also more evidence of the garden...

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