18 posts tagged with Africa and culture.
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Nature's Perfect Killing Machine Can Be Killed With Soap

Ebola is nightmare fuel: a biological doomsday device conspiring with our bodies to murder us in uniquely gruesome fashion. It’s also killed fewer than 2,000 people. How has a virus with such a modest body count so fiercely captured the darkest corners of our imagination? - Leigh Cowart for Haziltt.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 8, 2014 - 56 comments

The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean

Over the course of nearly 20 centuries, millions of East Africans crossed the Indian Ocean and its several seas and adjoining bodies of water in their journey to distant lands, from Arabia and Iraq to India and Sri Lanka. Called Kaffir, Siddi, Habshi, or Zanji, these men, women and children from Sudan in the north to Mozambique in the south Africanized the Indian Ocean world and helped shape the societies they entered and made their own. Free or enslaved, soldiers, servants, sailors, merchants, mystics, musicians, commanders, nurses, or founders of dynasties, they contributed their cultures, talents, skills and labor to their new world, as millions of their descendants continue to do. Yet, their heroic odyssey remains little known. The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World traces a truly unique and fascinating story of struggles and achievements across a variety of societies, cultures, religions, languages and times.
posted by infini on Feb 6, 2014 - 9 comments

How African Feminism Changed the World

'Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
posted by infini on Mar 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Border crossings and shifts

Who Draws The Borders Of Culture?(NYTimes) Cultural border, as opposed to national borders, are funny things. One country can contain many (Coke vs. Soda. Vs. Pop, previously and previously-er). Cultural borders often appear as food and drink choices, like sweet tea, forms of alcohol, or BBQ sauce. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 24, 2012 - 61 comments

Twilight of the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys

You may have never heard of them, but they definitely have your email address. They are the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys; the young Nigerian men who cut wide swaths of cash by preying on the naiveté of moneyed Westerners vis a vis their dreaded 419 emails. ...But if you check your spam folder right now you might notice that it is slightly lighter these days. That's because it's been a tough week for Nigeria’s most infamous internet enthusiasts. Due to the week-long strike action that took place in response to the government’s decision to remove a national fuel subsidy, it has become increasingly difficult for the Yahoos to extract funds from their “clients”. [...] The Yahoos' disposition towards #OccupyNigeria is also worth paying attention to because 419 culture is essentially a street-level microcosm of the institutional corruption that has plagued Nigeria for the past forty years. And although the Yahoos are often blamed for distorting Nigeria’s image abroad, they've also become part of the cultural fabric.
posted by infini on Jan 22, 2012 - 26 comments

photographs of Africa by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher

Stunning photographs of the cattle farmers of Sudan | African ceremonies | Faces of Africa | video: African Ceremonies | Thirty years ago American-born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher met in Kenya and began a relationship with the African continent that would profoundly alter and shape their lives. Their journeys would take them over 270,000 miles, through remote corners of 40 countries, and to more than 150 African cultures. | About the photographers (opens with sound to the video) [all links slightly nsfw in a NatGeo kind of way] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 18, 2011 - 27 comments

Black and White Moors

"The Beydanes, also known as White Moors, are the ruling caste in Mauritania. They are Arab Berber tribesmen whose ancestors established control in the seventeenth century. The Haratin, also known as Black Moors, are the descendants of black West Africans conquered and enslaved by the Beydanes centuries ago." from the New Yorker story, A Slave in New York, about a former slave who escaped in 1978, came to live in America and now works with the American Anti-Slavery Group. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 6, 2009 - 25 comments

"social problems of a somewhat mixed-up but dynamic, even brash, modernizing community"

From the Bookstalls of a Nigerian Market. Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha [in then-newly-independent Nigeria]... In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers. Examples: How To Write And Reply Letters For Marriage, Engagement Letters, Love Letters And How To Know A Girl To Marry, Learn To Speak 360 Interesting Proverbs And Know Your True Brother, Struggle For Money [All full-text links are in pdf format, and some are quite large]. With links to additional resources.
posted by amyms on Jun 4, 2008 - 25 comments

Do you really care about the starving children of Africa.

Development porn and Humanitarian badges. A moment of Truth
posted by Student of Man on Feb 27, 2008 - 56 comments

witness the strangest customs of the red, white, brown, black and yellow races ... attend their startling rites, their mysterious practices ... all assembled for you

The Secret Museum of Mankind :: "Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index ... The tone of the commentary is dated, and uniformly racist in the extreme, often hilariously so. It reads like the patter of a carnival sideshow barker, from a time when the world was divided between "modern" Europeans and "savages" ... Presented here is the Secret Museum in its entirety, all 564 pages scanned and transcribed-- nothing is omitted or censored ... Treat it as entertainment instead of education (don't take it seriously and don't believe a word it says!), adjust for the blatant racial bias of the time, and enjoy."
posted by anastasiav on Feb 14, 2008 - 67 comments

I've stolen all my wives

Wife thief - the Wodaabe of Nigeria are one of the world's few remaining Nomadic peoples, retaining age-old customs and ways. Physical beauty and charm are highly prized, qualities much in evidence at the annual Gerewol ceremonies. After donning elaborate makeup and clothing, men engage in stylized dance and preening to win the favor of a desired woman - often one who is already married. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 26, 2007 - 20 comments

"We, who are elders, will instruct you in their true meaning..."

Shakespeare in the Bush: in which an anthropologist tells the story of Hamlet to a group of Tiv, and ideas about the universal nature of literature get the worst of it.
posted by a louis wain cat on Jun 11, 2006 - 27 comments

National Geographic on Africa

National Geographic has a special issue on Africa out this month. There's also their Africa resource site.
posted by Gyan on Sep 21, 2005 - 17 comments

Vagina Monologues promotes sin in Africa

The Vagina Monologues is, to the outrage of many, being staged at a cultural center in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa. For the past few weeks, the play has been a key topic of debate, with many radio stations even refusing to utter the name of the play out loud, and shaming call-in listeners that do. Today, the local media council announced that “to the extent that the play promotes illegal, unnatural sexual acts, homosexuality and prostitution, it should be and is hereby banned, citing the play as "a smokescreen for graphic lesbian pornography" and that the play's "graphic descriptions of masturbation, rape, and genital mutilation in a manner that is “abhorrent, outrageous and disgusting." Local NGOs are even refusing to accept funds generated by the sale of tickets.
posted by Kololo on Feb 17, 2005 - 32 comments

Mutilation losing favor in Africa

Female genital mutilation is a blight on women's lives in many parts of Africa. Today's NY Times has a story, "Genital Cutting Shows Signs of Losing Favor in Africa" by Mark Lacey, that gives grounds for optimism:
Slowly, genital cutting is losing favor. Parliaments are passing laws forbidding the practice, which causes widespread death and disfigurement. Girls are fleeing their homes to keep their vaginas intact. And the women who have been carrying out the cutting, and who have been revered by their communities for doing so, are beginning to lay down their knives.
(If you don't want to register with the NYT, here's the Mathaba.net copy.)
posted by languagehat on Jun 8, 2004 - 52 comments

Africaserver

Africaserver. Contemporary African art and culture - San art from Botswana, Arms into Art from Mozambique, Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue - a cross-cultural comparison of favourite objects, Marthe Nso Abomo from Cameroon, a Rwanda Genocide Monument, and more.
Related :- Meshu, an artist and political activist from Lesotho who may have been southern Africa's first streaker.
posted by plep on Jun 16, 2003 - 2 comments

Art & Life in Africa.

Art & Life in Africa. A resource on African art and culture. Key Moments in Life is an interesting page which deals with different phases of life. The Peoples Index gives overviews of the different cultures. The snapshots of daily life in Mali and Burkina Faso are also worth a look.
posted by plep on Mar 7, 2003 - 7 comments

The power of Western culture

The power of Western culture illustrated with the story of Miss World 2001. Agbani Darego of Nigeria is single-handedly responsible for a radical change in the feminine beauty ideal in her native country: voluptuous women are out, thin girls are in. A stunning illustration of the cultural power of the West, and a good example to think about what it means - for the better and for the worse - to those under its spell.
posted by ugly_n_sticky on Oct 3, 2002 - 14 comments

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