AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

slavery

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Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Cape Town company that designs and markets “slave ship” ironing boards and aprons

What is it with some white South Africans' penchant for living in an a-historical bubble? Gumtree, the South African Craigslist, is running an ad for an apartment in Randburg, a former white suburb of Johannesburg (with about 30% black residents) to which only "young white professionals" are invited to apply; then people who should know better (journalists,...

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Weekend in Stellenbosch

On Sunday, walking past the Exclusive Books store, it was interesting to see Kees van der Waal’s new edited text, Winelands, Work and Wealth: Transformations in the Dwars Valley prominently displayed in the window. I found it...

Monday, March 17th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Leather from Human Skin in 1880s Philadelphia

Time and again, somehow narratives of slavery miraculously seem to always absolve the northern states of the United States. Having recently watched "12 years a slave" (which I did not find violent at all), I was a...

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Canada’s Art History

In 1786, François Malépart de Beaucourt, a painter in New France (later Quebec), completed a portrait of a woman he owned. Though Canada’s slave-owning history is often whitewashed, it exists in documents such as the painting Portrait...

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Steve McQueen and the Dutch

The Best Picture win for 12 Years A Slave in the 2014 Academy Awards last weekend has not gone by unnoticed in the Netherlands. Not because of the thematic of the film but because ‘our Steve McQueen’--as...

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, August 13th, 2013

Hiding in plain view: Dealing with the legacies of Dutch slavery

The year 2013 marks 150 years since the abolition of slavery in the former Dutch colonies. It's worth mentioning that the Dutch abolished slavery a while after the British (1833) and French (1848) and, only after much...

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The trouble with the official Dutch commemoration of the abolition of slavery

On the first of July this year the Netherlands are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in their former colonies Suriname and their dependencies: the Dutch Antilles. The mayor of Amsterdam considered it a good...

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Slavery and ice cream at the Waterfront

Not today’s music break. No matter how big your star or fan-base is in Zimbabwe, Gabon or francophone Europe, if you intend to rap about slavery while eating an ice cream at Cape Town’s Waterfront, you’re making...

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Secrets of Slave Cities

What is it with these “facelifts” that tend to uncover the dirty sinews of yesteryear? Back in Cape Town, South Africa, as the “Mother City” attempted to cover up all its dirty divisions in preparation for meeting the...

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Beauty Shop

Via CNN. I know, I know, that Statue of Liberty reference at the end sounds forced, but this is a serious violation of people’s human rights right across the river in Newark and East Orange, New Jersey.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

John Edwin Mason’s photographs of Cape Town’s New Year’s Carnival

I really like this series of photographs by University of Virginia African history and history of photography professor (and photographer), John Edwin Mason, on the Cape Town New Year’s Carnival, a series of marches, competitions and celebrations...