AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Review

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Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Angola’s Forgotten Massacre

In her famous tract on literature and trauma, Cathy Caruth writes: “If Freud turns to literature to describe traumatic experience, it is because literature, like psychoanalysis, is interested in the complex relation between knowing and not knowing…” Lara Pawson’s In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (2014) is literary reportage that flirts with

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

New Film Explores Homophobia and Hatred Towards LGBTI Community in Cameroon

The silhouettes of two women are concealed amongst the gradients of quivering candlelight. The interviewer asks, “Can you kiss each other in public?”, one women responds “We hug each other in public. Even the hugs are discreet....

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Before And After The Disco: Ibibio Sound Machine’s Self Titled Debut Album

Ibibio Sound Machine’s debut offering is a distillation of a day, shaped from a twenty-four hour palette of light, as their sounds are filtered through its unstable changes in tone and texture. If silence is the canvas...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Shado’man: A Documentary about Freetown’s Handicapped ‘Street Boys’

Out of the shadows a massive procession of handicapped young street dwellers appears. We are in downtown Freetown, Sierra Leone, and they move slowly like zombies of the night whilst parts of metal on crutches and wheelchairs...

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Somali author Diriye Osman’s “Fairytales for Lost Children”

In a dark couple of weeks for LGBT rights, the Indian government’s supreme court has re-criminalised gay sex, ensuring men and women now face police harassment and potential life imprisonment, stating gay sex is “unnatural, immoral and...

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Apartheid in Manhattan: The International Center for Photography’s “Rise and Fall of Apartheid”

The International Center for Photography (ICP) is located in the heart of Manhattan, at the corner of West 43rd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. Nearby, Times Square’s mirages—brilliant expanses of neon fantasies, some spanning the...

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Book of Marikana

Guest Post by Christopher Webb The day after the police shot 34 miners at Marikana a small group gathered outside the gates of parliament in Cape Town. Barely 100 people, holding signs calling for answers and justice,...

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Race politics in Ghana

Jemima Pierre (above), professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University, has written an ambitious book in The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race (University of Chicago Press 2012). She engages Ghanaian and African diasporan...

Monday, December 24th, 2012

The Top 10 Films of 2012

As always, end of year lists are met with anticipation; either by those eager to see the year in review, or by critics ready to decry what has been left off. No list is definitive, so please...

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Next James Bond

If you believe the rumours, sex appeal’s Idris Elba — half Sierra Leonean, half Ghanaian, fully a Londoner — will be the next James Bond, although Daniel Craig may clench and mumble his way through a couple...

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Film Africa (5): ‘The Assassin’s Practice’

Somewhere in the opening shot of The Assassin’s Practice there is a woman crying alone in bed, tangled in a blue room. If the sound of her racking sobs is enough to turn your stomach, you won’t...

Friday, October 12th, 2012

“To Bring the Beat Home”: Soul Power in Kinshasa

The opening scene: Soul Brother No. 1 dressed in a skin tight matador-cum-gimp suit, drop-kicking the mic, screeching, roaring, galvanising a Congolese crowd into pure hysteria, while chanting ‘I’m black and I’m proud’, so camp as to...

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Madala Kunene for all seasons

Guest Post by Deon-Simphiwe Skade Last Saturday, Cape Town was furiously cold. The weatherman predicted a wet and cold front to last well over a week. Naturally, the spirits of most people are low, except for those...

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Dear Mandela, …

Midway through ‘Dear Mandela’, Mazwi Nzimande, one of its young protagonists, is rallying a crowd. He’s young, nervous. He looks down at his hands as he takes the microphone, wearing his organisation’s trademark red t-shirt. “We are...

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

The online exhibition, The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World, put on by the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture provides an overview of the transit of East Africans into Diaspora...

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Classic African Films N°1: ‘Xala’ by Ousmane Sembène

We hope to build an archive of reviews of classic films in African cinema to build a resource, but also to help readers learn more about the history of different film cultures on the African continent. Where...

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The Security Guard

To call Jane Alexander’s “Yield”, a montage of her sculptures from 1997-2000, is to reduce the power of her work. The sculptures, arranged in one of the inner rooms of Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town (South...