Perched high up above the Thames in downtown London
every month this past year a different writer has spent four days living in a replica of the Roi des Belges, the boat Marlow travels up the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
. Each author would write a short text during their stay "which explores London, rivers, the work of Joseph Conrad, or even all three." They would be visited on the last day by a journalist from The Guardian who recorded them reading their essay, poem or short story. Among the poets, historians and novelists were Adonis, Jeanette Winterson, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje and Kamila Shamsie. These recordings, each prefaced by a short interview, are all available on the Guardian website, to stream or download. Below the cut there is a link to each recording, with a short description. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 31, 2012 -
"Decades ago, the Mbuti typically sold about half the meat they captured; now they sell nearly every carcass, saving only the prized entrails and heads for themselves. The hunt, in essence, has devolved into an all-out commercial endeavor, staged not for subsistence, but to feed growing regional markets. And the impact is clear.
posted by Scientist
on Nov 13, 2012 -
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa.
We made the decision to tackle this part of Democratic Republic of Congo when we were in Egypt. It would take us about 4 months to drive from Cairo down to the Zambia/DRC border. We immediately started our quest for information. It would soon become clear that very little information was available. We did not know of a single traveler that did this in the last 20 years. We knew of two who tried (both on motorbikes) in recent years. One crashed after a few days and got evacuated. The other got arrested and deported. Both didn't get very far.
So we had to be creative and think of other sources of information. If there is one thing you can find anywhere in the world it is Coca-Cola. They should know how to get their goods in the country. We had no response via email, so we called them up. Their answer was pretty short: They do not have a distribution network outside the major cities in Congo. And it proved to be true, Congo is the first country we have visited were Coca-cola is hard to get once you leave
the major cities.
The moral of the story was: nobody knew anything about the road conditions.
posted by bluesky43
on Nov 15, 2010 -
A Glimpse of the World
All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built, ports deepened, commercial contracts signed
-- all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities
. Do China's grand designs promise the transformation, at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author
travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 26, 2010 -
General Laurent Nkunda
is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga
who was recently interviewed
by the Huffington Post. The BBC
believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd
has come to his defense
, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside]
posted by Pseudology
on Jan 11, 2009 -
The full-on, amped-up sanza
sounds of Konono No. 1
have been celebrated here at MeFi not once
, and they are indeed wonderful. Björk
's been working with them a bit lately, too. But let's go back a few decades, and take a listen to the unplugged version of this type of music: mesdames et messiurs, Papa Kourand
, the grand old man of the sanza! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Oct 10, 2007 -
Mawangu Mingiedi, 72, a musician and truck driver from Kinshasa, was simply trying to allow the music of his street band, Konono No. 1
, be heard over the traffic and street noise, but when he fashioned home-made amplifiers out of junkyard parts he created something raw and distorted with a sound all its own
(quicktime). (via MonkeySARS
, where an MP3 awaits you)
posted by Robot Johnny
on Nov 22, 2005 -
: He fled the war in Congo for America. The I.N.S. greeted him by putting him in jail. -- this week's nyt mag
has stories of people who have been in new york city for one year. this one is especially powerful.
posted by palegirl
on Sep 18, 2000 -