626 posts tagged with africa.
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Imperial History and Film Culture

Having fallen down the rabbit hole of British colonial cinema history, I thought to share some of the wonderful discoveries with you.
posted by infini on Feb 9, 2016 - 3 comments

Red Africa

The Calvert Journal's Special Report: Red Africa: When international socialism met the developing world [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 6, 2016 - 6 comments

Ninja Eagle on Stilts - The Secretary Bird

Secretary birds can be found striding through the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. They cut a striking and unmistakeable profile, with light grey bodies, black wing tips and shorts, a red mask, and a crest of black quills. The latter, according to one dubious-sounding hypothesis, look like the quill pens that secretaries once tucked behind their ears—hence the bird's name. A more plausible alternative is that “secretary” is a bastardization of the Arabic “saqr-et-tair” for “hunter bird.” [more inside]
posted by narancia on Jan 26, 2016 - 12 comments

By Wambui Mwangi

Silence Is a Woman
posted by infini on Jan 15, 2016 - 4 comments

The Preservation Of A Nation

Robbie Judkins visits Tanzania to witness first hand the attempt to save a quarter of a century of musical history from oblivion. Listen to an exclusive mix of tracks newly digitized by the Tanzania Heritage Project
posted by infini on Jan 13, 2016 - 5 comments

Habibi Funk

Fadoul et Les Privileges, Morocco's answer to James Brown.
posted by ChuraChura on Jan 4, 2016 - 6 comments

Selling Solar Like Cellphones

The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans
posted by StrikeTheViol on Dec 31, 2015 - 22 comments

Goodnight, gorillas!

Sleepy gorillas make their nests in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. You can visit these gorillas by going on a virtual gorilla trek in Democratic Republic of Congo!
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 22, 2015 - 9 comments

Radical Acceptance in the Pearl of Africa

Cleopatra Kambugu was outed as a trans woman following the passage of extremely punitive anti-gay bills in Uganda. She, her boyfriend, and her family are the subject of a series of short documentaries about life in East Africa for openly LGBTQI individuals. "I was born here - a land with beautiful mountains and deep dark forest - a country blessed with diversity in ethnicity, gender, flora and fauna. Yet in all this richness, as a people and as a nation, we still struggle to recognize and appreciate this diversity." links and videos contain some disturbing transphobic and homophobic rhetoric and violence. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 17, 2015 - 4 comments

Outsourcing, exploitation and the new reality of work

As you read this story you will recognise that the economic system that continues to keep black people very, very poor in this country has been broken for so long, and the private sector has been so strong for so long, that we have a vast imbalance that has been allowed to flourish unchecked. We the people have not been demanding when it comes to scrutiny of corporate conduct. [...] This story – this one you will read about Coca-Cola - is part of a rich canon. It exists because of First and Gqabi and Nxumalo and Jaffer and countless others.
via [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 10, 2015 - 2 comments

Polly-glots

Hundreds of languages are spoken in Nigeria - so which one do you teach a parrot?
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 2, 2015 - 22 comments

You won't get a better collection of AfroSFF

Nigerian AfroSFF writer Wole Talabi shares links to his favourite 10 short stories of 2015 with a short intro.
posted by infini on Nov 29, 2015 - 11 comments

South African Safari time lapse

Gorgeous time-lapse video of South Africa and its wildlife. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Nov 20, 2015 - 14 comments

“Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It”

"A revolutionary story of guitars, motorcycles, cell phones – and the music of a new generation” is how director Christopher Kirkley describes his West African re-imagining of Purple Rain. Set in the Saharan city of Agadez in Niger, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Akounak for short) is a visually sumptuous and musically thrilling movie that works splendidly with or without the Purple Rain mythos. But riffing on Prince’s tale locates Purple Rain’s universal heartbeat
posted by infini on Nov 15, 2015 - 10 comments

The Chanel of Africa

As the main supplier of fashion prints to nearly half a continent, the textile company has continued to dominate that fashion scene there for almost 170 years. How’d that happen? Rooted in European colonialism and a testament to African ingenuity, creativity, and cultural pride; it’s a surprising story
posted by infini on Oct 30, 2015 - 28 comments

The biggest raise our mothers will ever receive

On Friday, South African university students achieved a historic victory; after a week's protest they ensured there would be no fee increases at universities in 2016. This has been led by women. [more inside]
posted by infini on Oct 24, 2015 - 9 comments

"This is how they protect me."

"Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention." NYTimes. Links contain upsetting images and video. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Oct 11, 2015 - 6 comments

Good women seldom make history.

This is Professor Wangari Maathai. The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first Kenyan woman to earn a doctoral degree. An icon of Kenya’s democratic movement who repeatedly put not just her mind but also her body on the line in order to secure a better future for Kenyans and their natural environment. But Maathai’s standing in Kenya is definitely ambiguous. She is beloved by feminists and environmentalists, and tolerated by everyone else... Women are expected to look backwards on guidance on what it means to be “good” – where “good” is primarily defined by men – but not too good because that makes women less interesting to men. This was not Wangari Maathai.
posted by ChuraChura on Oct 6, 2015 - 5 comments

It's electric

Aby Ngana Diop was a practitioner of taasu (alternately spelled "tassou"), a form of performance poetry practiced by female griots in Senegal. In the 90s, she was "a sought-after performer at the weddings and funerals of the rich and powerful" (according to a tangentially related article from The Verge). In 1994, she released her only widely distributed album, Liital, which fuses traditional taasu with the more modern mbalax, a popular style of Senegalese dance music. It's worth it for the title track alone. [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Sep 30, 2015 - 6 comments

The Little Prince Only Had Three

Baobab Trees I was not aware that baobab trees grew anyplace but Africa, so it blew my mind to find out that they also live in India and Australia. They were likly introduced by Africans in both cases.
posted by Katjusa Roquette on Sep 24, 2015 - 19 comments

I am Fundi

"I Am Fundi" is a short documentary depicting the education system in Uganda and the measures that the organization, Fundibots, is taking to create change. Victor, a Fundi teacher with a challenging past, is changing the future of Uganda by preparing and instilling excitement for science in young children so that when they grow, they will be confident, supported, and prepared for contemporary practices and technological advances.
via
posted by infini on Sep 22, 2015 - 1 comment

The inner life of the fig

The Queen of Trees is a documentary (52 minutes) on the sycomore fig tree, focusing on the intricate mutualism between a fig tree and its fig wasp. Filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble spent two years camped out in the Kenyan bush to capture fascinating scenes of life around the sycomore, including inside the figs.
posted by parudox on Sep 13, 2015 - 17 comments

How to Survive a Footnote: AIDS activism in the "after years"

"When protease inhibitors arrived, one era of the AIDS crisis was over. Many stories of the plague years in America end with this victory. Sometimes a coda is appended to acknowledge that the crisis itself isn’t over, referencing ongoing epidemics in Africa and, less often, in black and brown populations in America. What’s often missing from these analyses is an era that I’ve come to think of as the “footnote years” of AIDS activism: a sliver of about five years, from 1996 to 2001, in which a specific urban, queer-identified American activism played a role in changing the global response to HIV, and sought, less successfully, to use this work as a jumping-off point for a broader quest for justice."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 2, 2015 - 3 comments

Going back to summer in Igboland

“Before the trip, Nigeria was a dim set of associations in my mind: my parent’s stories of their childhood, highlife cassette tapes, dated images from Google searches, negative news headlines, the taste of rice and stew. Going back gave me vivid experiences to call part of my life, to draw from when I talk about the country, my identity, what kinds of people I come from, and the roots of why I do what I do.”
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 2, 2015 - 2 comments

Mapping the beautiful chaos of informal transit

As transit systems go, the matatus in Nairobi exist somewhere between underground gypsy cabs and MTA bus service. The minibuses themselves aren't owned by any government agency. The fares aren't regulated by the city. The routes are vaguely based on a bus network that existed in Nairobi some 30 years ago, but they've since shifted and multiplied and expanded at the region's edges... Riders who navigate the matatu system rely on it in parts, using only the lines they know and the unofficial stops they're sure actually exist. As for the network as a whole – there's never even been a map of it... In the absence of a formal public transit system in Kenya's capital, people have created a comprehensive – if imperfect – one on their own. And now we know that it looks like this. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 27, 2015 - 21 comments

World Jollof Rice Day, you say?

Today is World Jollof Rice Day. Jollof rice is a traditional West African dish, but not a humble one. Subject of #JollofGate, the outraged social media response to chef Jamie Oliver's patently inauthentic recipe, aficionados debate the merits of special ingredients. Others prefer joining the loud brangling online over Ghanaian vs Nigerian Jollof. Regardless of your beliefs, join the world today in celebrating the tasty goodness of this much loved dish.
posted by infini on Aug 22, 2015 - 53 comments

The Village Where Men Are Banned

The Village Where Men Are Banned (and accompanying photos). Julie Bindel at the Guardian writes about the Kenyan village of Umoja, where for 25 years, since the village was founded by survivors of sexual assault, only women and their children have lived.
posted by Stacey on Aug 20, 2015 - 15 comments

you write because no one is coming

An essay somewhat in the spirit of Montaigne that discusses reading and writing, Nigeria and Biafra, bystander reactions to tragedy, an novel I've never read named Half of a Yellow Sun, early Christianity, and more. As is often the case on Crooked Timber, many of the comments are worth reading too.
posted by kingless on Aug 12, 2015 - 2 comments

Why would a tiny dose of estrogen derivative cause infertility, anyway?

Catholic Bishops In Kenya Call For A Boycott Of Polio Vaccines Fearing a UN plot to sterilize the populace with vaccines containing estrogen derivatives, Bishop Philip Anyolo and others have been encouraging others not to immunize their children. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Aug 9, 2015 - 47 comments

Game changer

New Ebola vaccine shows 100% success rate in clinical trial. Today the World Health Organization has announced that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine had a 100% success rate in preventing onset of the disease if administered within 10 days of exposure (n=4,000). In response to the current outbreak in West Africa that has afflicted over 27,000 and killed over 11,000, this collaborative effort led by the WHO pushed the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months. Official paper from The Lancet here (pdf).
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 31, 2015 - 23 comments

MOAR Supa Action!!!!

"Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie was produced, written, directed, shot, and edited by Nabwana IGG from his home in Wakaliga, Uganda. Made for under $200 - using real blood and a modified car jack for a tripod - the film became a sensation in the slums of Uganda while the trailer went viral in Europe, South America, and the US." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jul 27, 2015 - 7 comments

Obama-mania, a political minefield, and changing narratives.

It will be Barack Obama’s first visit to the land of his father as American president and a far cry from a 1988 trip when his luggage got lost. Obama will be visiting only Kenya and Ethiopia. Yet each is the base for two Africa-wide trends. In Ethiopia, he will give a speech at the headquarters of the 54-nation African Union, the main body trying to lift the standards of governance among its members. But the White House appears more focused on Kenya, which is Africa’s center of innovation and host to a global “summit” of entrepreneurs.
posted by Sir Rinse on Jul 23, 2015 - 14 comments

Music always finds a way...

The Banjo Bands of Malawi is a video clip featuring three different performances of a certain strain of folk music from the small African nation. Totally raw and homemade instruments are employed in the service of urgent, percussive music (some of it a bit reminiscent of bluegrass) topped off by tight harmony vocals. What's not to like?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 21, 2015 - 19 comments

Sugar Plantations in the West Indies

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed The T71 files have been converted into an online database; a free, publicly available resource.
posted by infini on Jul 12, 2015 - 38 comments

The weird worlds of African sci-fi

African sci-fi features all manner of weird and outlandish things, from crime-fighting robots to technological dystopias. But could they be closer to predicting the future than they realise?
posted by infini on Jul 10, 2015 - 24 comments

The Internet History Sourcebooks

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use. The main sourcebooks cover ancient, medieval, and modern history. Subsidiary sourcebooks cover African, East Asian, Global, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Lesbian and Gay, Science, and Women's history.
posted by jedicus on Jul 9, 2015 - 6 comments

Africa's Innovators

As part of our special focus on innovation in Africa, we have developed a list of 40 remarkable African innovators. Actually, it’s more like 47 but we counted teams as one. Our decision to celebrate these idea creators and solution providers stems from our belief that the true wealth of Africa is not buried under its soil, but in the brains of its best minds. This list is a testament to that belief.
posted by infini on Jul 1, 2015 - 3 comments

Older and Wiser

What Ten Years in Kenya Have Taught Me
posted by infini on Jun 14, 2015 - 11 comments

These Chimps Helped Save Human Lives: Now We've Left them to Die

In 1975, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) decided to bring 100 chimpanzees to Liberia to conduct research on hepatitis and other human diseases. The research worked: we now have a vaccine for hepatitis B, and the research project ended in 2005. But NYBC left the chimps in Liberia, promising that they could retire there and be cared for until the natural end of their lives. In March 2015, NYBC abruptly ended funding for the chimp sanctuary. The chimps are slowly starving to death, dependent on the charity of unpaid caregivers for food and fresh water. NYBC says they have no legal or moral obligation to help. [more inside]
posted by decathecting on May 29, 2015 - 41 comments

Chicken or the Egg?

The Ecotourism Industry Is Saving Tanzania’s Animals and Threatening Its Indigenous People. "With much of the natural world in the Global North already past the point of no return, and with the effects of climate change multiplying yearly, more and more of the Global South is being cordoned off in service of a global patrimony that has little relevance to the lives of the people closest to the land. The collateral social damage of these conservationist policies presents a conundrum, a Sophie's Choice. Whose rights are preeminent—those of nature or those of the people who have always lived closest to it?"
posted by infini on May 13, 2015 - 16 comments

to our love, send a coffin of wood

From eagles and robots to wrenches and cruise ships, the artisans of Ghana's Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop ensure decedents will be ushered to the afterlife in meticulously detailed coffins designed to fit the dearly departed's lifestyle, in accordance with Ga-Adangme traditions. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Apr 29, 2015 - 14 comments

Ghanaian Hustle by Yepoka Yeebo

This is Suame Magazine. A vast, open-air industrial district in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. Here, 200,000 skilled workers manufacture everything from bolts to tanker trucks by hand. A million dollars passes through the factories and workshops here every day, and it’s the place where most of the country’s laborers learn their trades: the heart of Ghana’s informal economy.
Photos and Story
posted by infini on Apr 17, 2015 - 25 comments

Sailors and Daughters: Early photography and the Indian Ocean

Sailors and Daughters reveals the expansive maritime societies of Zanzibar, the east African coast, and beyond. From the 1840s, cameras traced the international migrations of traders, sailors, sons, and daughters through Indian Ocean ports, continuing trade that dates back over five millennia.
posted by bardophile on Apr 14, 2015 - 9 comments

The “nonbelievers” were killed on the spot.

Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University [New York Times]
Somali militants burst into a university in eastern Kenya on Thursday and killed nearly 150 students in the worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy here, laying bare the nation’s continuing vulnerability after years of battling Islamist extremism. A small group of militants, most likely between four and 10, roved from dorm to dorm, separating Christian from Muslim students and killing the Christians, the authorities said. Students described being awakened before dawn by the sound of gunfire and fleeing for their lives as masked attackers closed in.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Apr 3, 2015 - 51 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.

Incumbent President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan today conceded defeat in last weekend's election, and called President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him. The election has generally appeared to be the fairest in Nigeria's history and mostly free of the bloodshed of Jonathan's 2011 defeat of Buhari; this transition will mark Nigeria's first transfer of power to an opposition party after an election. Buhari's presidency will be his second administration as leader of Nigeria after acting as the head of a military junta from 1983 to 1985. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Mar 31, 2015 - 28 comments

African Game Development

Aurion looks to be a standard and mechanically unremarkable retro action RPG with heavy Japanese design influences. But its design and feel are unmistakably fresh, offering a bold color palette and interesting unit designs. Its fiction is rooted in stories of exploitation and division, and in a desire for harmony.
This review of Cameroon's Kiro’o Games latest release is just one of the increasingly visible ways Africa's game developers are beginning to gain traction in their domestic and international markets. Last fall, Lagos hosted the inaugural West African Gaming Expo, bringing together startups, gamers, developers and investors for the first time. Games range from mobile only, extremely local - smash the mosquito or drive your matatu like a maniac - to educational - to full fledged RPG like Kiro'o's Aurion. Women are as much a part of this nascent industry, breaking barriers and encouraging others to join. Watch this space.
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2015 - 7 comments

Amelia is an intrepid name

The biting cold of a March morning did little to dissuade fans of Amelia Edwards, founder of the Egypt Exploration Society, from turning out in force to watch the unveiling of her blue plaque at 19 Wharton Street in London this week. Edwards joins a small list of women writers including Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Shelley and Agatha Christie, chosen to be celebrated by the scheme as its first female Egyptologist.
As one dives deeper into Amelia Edwards' contributions to Egyptology, one begins to wonder*, was it she who was the real Amelia Peabody, so well known to us through the words of Elizabeth Peters? [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 28, 2015 - 5 comments

The Magic of the Groove

"Without Tony Allen [drumming], there would have been no Afrobeat 1" - Fela Kuti 2 3
posted by ChuraChura on Mar 20, 2015 - 5 comments

Jane Goodall's shadow

"In July 1960, Jane Goodall boarded a boat, and after a few hours motoring over the warm, deep waters of Lake Tanganyika, she stepped onto the pebbly beach at Gombe. Last summer, almost exactly 54 years later, Jane Goodall was standing on the same beach. The vast lake was still warm, the beach beneath her clear plastic sandals still pebbly. But nearly everything else in sight was different."
posted by ChuraChura on Mar 14, 2015 - 23 comments

Shame and Ideology

Study Confirms That Abstinence Education Has Utterly Failed At Preventing AIDS In Africa
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2015 - 22 comments

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