Christoph Schlingensief’s utopian vision for an opera village in Burkina Faso, where a stage, rehearsal space, school, hospital, hotel, church, and large communal kitchen, would be constructed for the community to produce work and live within was grand and commendable but as Kerstin Eckstein and Michael Schönhuth of [the German paper] Der Zeit see it, perhaps not fully planned through. The theoretical gesamtkunstwerk was initiated before the late Schlingensief’s death and has since been taken on by his wife, Aino Laberenz. Yet it is struggling to meet the late artist’s somewhat opaque vision. In March 2011, following FESPACO, the Goethe Institut organized a series of conversations in Ouagadougou about the project. Schönhuth and Eckstein point out that it may have been more beneficial to have representatives from neighboring villages or members of the local cultural scene rather than art experts and curators who knew Schlingensief. Furthermore, in a place with no tradition or concept of opera, but rather a tradition of suspicion towards bourgeois European cultural elites, it may be hard to find community support for the project. While Schlingensief was careful to avoid the clutches of neocolonialism through irony, self-accusation, and exaggeration, he also fell into the discourse of wanting to be healed and purified by what he called Africa’s “purity and originality.” Schönhuth and Eckstein acknowledge that this opera village has been conceived of in an entirely different way than Schlingensief’s earlier projects, and that in these beginning stages of its construction and development it must work with a large network of local initiators and actors to sustain itself. However, they seem to see that this process is underway with the help and moderation of the Goethe-Institut. Only time will tell.
I had told many half-truths before, but those little lies were cute compared to this, the first time I told a big lie.
The Jacob Zuma years were especially damaging for re-introducing South Africans to political leaders who did not fear shame.
Today marks ten years since Aimé Césaire’s death. What would he have thought about the state of the former French colonies today?
Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.
The Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar aims to show that music is much more than a collection of tunes.
The murder of Abu Asvat has clouded Winnie Mandela’s legacy. Their deep friendship symbolized what could have been in the struggle for freedom.
Striving to be both European and black requires some specific forms of double consciousness — Paul Gilroy in The Black Atlantic.
What use are academic categories when they reinforce conservative concepts scholars seek to challenge?
Does Julius Malema’s EFF in South Africa do better by its local party machinery–especially its women officials–than the ANC
Uber’s usual tricks — to provoke price wars in an attempt to increase their share of markets, evade taxes, and undermine workers’ rights — are alive and well in Africa.
How black women shaped black nationalist and internationalist movements in the twentieth century US.
Land reform dominates public debate in South Africa. But it comes with a lack of data and a clear policy.
It is key that peacemaking in the CAR prioritize inclusion of minorities, especially Muslim and Peuhl Central Africans.
New York’s Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute seeks to “document and present the creative genius of African Diaspora cultures.”
When rain falls on a leopard, it does not wash off his spots. The same can’t be said of Kenya’s media and the opposition after Uhuru Kenyatta’s crackdown.
Social media group-think derails any chance for a progressive political movement.
30 years ago, free speech advocates were more willing to tolerate far-right voices than oppose them. It’s now happening again.
Is the US military on its way to Ghana to set up base? What do Ghanaians think.
Living in the city that hosted the 1884 conference where Western powers divided up Africa for themselves