This is brilliant. The BBC, working with the Royal Geographical Society, has posted an audio slideshow showing how the continent’s been depicted on maps from the 14th century onward. A few highlights: we get one theory how the continent got its name from a tribe of Berber who lived in what is now the Sudan, early Jewish presence in North Africa; and that the South Atlantic was known as the Aethopian Sea. We also notice the rich and detailed maps of Africa in the 17th century–drawn with the aid of Africans–as opposed to the deliberately more sparse, color-coded maps of the late 19th and early 20th century that facilitated colonialism. The maps will be exhibited at “Rediscovering African Geographies” at the Royal Geographical Society in London between 22 March – 28 April 2011.

See the audio slideshow on the BBC website.

H/T: Suren Pillay.

Further Reading

Reading List: Mutt_Lon

The books that the author, a Cameroonian novelist, has been reading share an ethics of political engagement, a quest for identity and cultural inventory, and an ear for the voices and harmonies of African languages.