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The Makeni Children

Everything went silent, Judi told me, as if she'd been pulled underwater. She read the sentences over and over, trying to comprehend them.
The boy Sulaiman Suma had been looking for all these years was her 16-year-old son, Samuel.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 10, 2011 - 12 comments

African electronica comes into its own

Want to know what's going on in African electronic / dance music? The BAZZERK blog will help bring you up to speed. Chock full of fun, fresh stuff. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2011 - 6 comments

Africa in India

The African Presence in India: A Photo Essay : The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental answers. This series of articles, "The African Presence in India: An Historical Overview," is designed to provide some of those answers.
posted by infini on Jul 30, 2011 - 14 comments

Famine in East Africa

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Alan Taylor's In Focus quickly brings home the scale of the suffering, with a link to the CNN article listing several ways to donate.
posted by bwg on Jul 27, 2011 - 33 comments

Traffic Drives Nigerians Nuts, but a Trip to a Shrink May Go Too Far

People often think that other drivers are nuts. The Nigerian authorities have taken things a step further, now requiring drivers accused of going the wrong way down a one way street to get psychiatric exams.
posted by reenum on Jul 27, 2011 - 22 comments

Evidence-Based African First Aid Guidelines and Training Materials

Evidence Based, Culturally-relevant African First Aid Guidelines and Training Materials, from researchers at the Belgian Red Cross and Stellenbosch University. [more inside]
posted by The White Hat on Jul 20, 2011 - 3 comments

Genetics, PR, and meeting new people.

Non-Africans Are Part Neanderthal, Genetic Research Shows. [more inside]
posted by dglynn on Jul 19, 2011 - 139 comments

Agony and Ivory

Agony and Ivory. "Highly emotional and completely guileless, elephants mourn their dead—and across Africa, they are grieving daily as demand from China’s 'suddenly wealthy' has driven the price of ivory to $700 a pound or more. With tens of thousands of elephants being slaughtered each year for their tusks, raising the specter of an 'extinction vortex,' Alex Shoumatoff travels from Kenya to Seattle to Guangzhou, China, to expose those who are guilty in the massacre—and recognize those who are determined to stop it."
posted by homunculus on Jul 16, 2011 - 26 comments

Africa: History, Cartography and Exploration

Evolution of the Map of Africa [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 7, 2011 - 15 comments

Birth of a Nation

Birth of a Nation: Republic of South Sudan. [more inside]
posted by - on Jul 6, 2011 - 21 comments

Go Back to Where You Came From

Six westerners make the same journey that thousands of desperate people make every year to Australia, but in reverse. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jun 21, 2011 - 105 comments

Barbet Schroeder's "General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait"

Amin's hunger for publicity was so great, in fact, that in 1974 he became the first dictator in history to agree to be the subject of an independent documentary film. The resulting movie, Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada... is a devastating look at despotism in action and a riveting, and strangely entertaining, portrait of Amin. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 16, 2011 - 31 comments

Wondeful Dog

Dead Mary, Swart Cat, and many, many other posters from Ghanaian video clubs.
posted by theodolite on May 23, 2011 - 13 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

Mo Ibrahim: Entrepreneur, Visionary, Philanthropist

Mo Ibrahim (wikipedia) is a Sudanese-born billionaire with opinions and goals for modern Africa. A recent New Yorker article profiled him. Earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and subsequent employment in telecom led him to found Celtel, the wildly successful(LGT PPT file) corporation that brought the mobile telephone revolution to Africa, despite a corporation-wide refusal to participate in the rampant corruption and bribery seemingly required at the time (~9:30 in this interview). He eventually sold Celtel to MTC Kuwait, which allowed him to focus on other pursuits, namely further development and investment within Africa. [more inside]
posted by knile on Mar 27, 2011 - 15 comments

The first nuclear reactor was in Africa.... a long, long time ago

The first nuclear reactor was in Africa, 2 billion years ago. Two billion years ago, there was enough uranium 235 in a naturally occurring deposit in Africa to fuel a nuclear fission reaction. In 16 separate locations, spontaneously occurring fission reactions went on for some hundreds of thousands of years, cycling multiple times per day. A picture of Fossil Reactor 15. The American Nuclear Society info site.
posted by bq on Mar 20, 2011 - 46 comments

Poverty pr0n

Hiding the Real Africa [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 18, 2011 - 23 comments

Guitar Music From Western Sahara

The Music of Group Doueh. Doueh is a guitar genius from the disputed territory of Western Sahara. [more inside]
posted by TheCoug on Mar 12, 2011 - 9 comments

Just Another Day at the Office...

3 Men vs. 15 Lions [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by jnnla on Feb 22, 2011 - 34 comments

Its only words, and words are all I have

Binyavanga Wainaina remembers one night in the Kenyan countryside as a young man, an excerpt from his soon to be published memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place. [more inside]
posted by infini on Feb 22, 2011 - 4 comments

How Unknown Pretty Girl Got Her Name

Artist Paul Jackson posts to Flickr using the ART NAHPRO account. [more inside]
posted by scrump on Feb 9, 2011 - 2 comments

Animal Farm

Animal Farm by Daniel Naudé: Dogs Hunting :: Donkey :: Xhosa cattle :: Persian sheep
posted by puny human on Feb 2, 2011 - 7 comments

"Our Shooter's A Military Man"

Emergency is a webcomic about pre-independence Kenya. Start with the first issue. [more inside]
posted by squishles on Jan 27, 2011 - 7 comments

Nollywood

Nigeria's film industry produces 50 films a week. "Nigerian films are as popular abroad as they are at home. Ivorian rebels in the bush stop fighting when a shipment of DVDs arrives from Lagos. Zambian mothers say their children talk with accents learnt from Nigerian television. When the president of Sierra Leone asked Genevieve Nnaji, a Lagosian screen goddess, to join him on the campaign trail he attracted record crowds at rallies. Millions of Africans watch Nigerian films every day, many more than see American fare. And yet Africans have mixed feelings about Nollywood."
posted by artof.mulata on Dec 29, 2010 - 10 comments

Across Africa for Love and Glory

Ewart Scott Grogan was a British-born figure of controversial sorts, the kind of fellow who would either end up buried in Westminster Abbey-or hanging from a yard-arm. After he survived as soldier in the Second Matabele War, he went on to be the first European to traverse the distance of the African continent from the South in Cape Town to Cairo in the North to win the hand of his bride-to-be from a skeptical father. He started the trek with the uncle of his bride-to-be in February 1898. Two years later, Grogan returned to London, a lone hero (the uncle turned back part way through). In 2007, MeFite Julian Smith retraced Grogan's path, "in part to dispel [his] own pre-wedding jitters," and wrote a book about Grogan's journey, and his own. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 14, 2010 - 5 comments

Music from Saharan Cellphones

Sahel Sounds is the blog of ethnomusicologist Christopher Kirkley, a.k.a. MeFi's own iamck. It's about the contemporary music of the Sahel, which is the Southern border of the Sahara, focusing on West Africa. It has long been a region of great musical ferment. The most famous musicians today are Tinariwen (previously), but there's a great deal more out there. Kirkley travels around trading music, Western songs in exchange for Saharan, which he mostly receives off cellphone memory cards. Kirkley has made three compilations, Sahelsounds, the Promo CD and Music from Saharan Cellphones volumes 1 and 2 (the numbers link to downloads). Kirkley has also collected and recorded videos. The Guardian interviewed Kirkley on the subject of cellphones' effect on Saharan music, which he has written about. Mark Richardson of Pitchfork was prompted by one of Kirkley's collections to write about musical scarcity in today's infoglut society. Besides the collections, there are a lot of other songs on the blog, the entire archive is wonderful and worth reading through.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Cursed By Gold

Georgina Cranston travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to photograph the women who work deep inside some of the country's disused gold mines. [more inside]
posted by gman on Dec 4, 2010 - 13 comments

Research, exchange, and online portal

The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Makerere University (MAK), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Africa Portal offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component—all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa’s current policy issues. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Nov 30, 2010 - 8 comments

Josephine and Frederick's grand adventure

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 - 167 comments

The bizarre, sad tale of Togo's fake national team

Since the attack on the Togolese national team in Angola (previously), soccer in Togo has descended into a freefall. In a strange turn of events, a fake national team recently represented the country in a tournament in Bahrain. The soccer loving people of Togo were outraged when the truth about the situation came out.
posted by reenum on Oct 8, 2010 - 4 comments

A Complete Waste of Money That Succeeds Primarily At Keeping Westerners Employed

Michael Maren, an outspoken critic of foreign aid and development assistance, gave an interview to Might Magazine about the flaws in the current models for aid to Africa.
posted by reenum on Sep 29, 2010 - 17 comments

Armed Mercenaries to Protect Corporate Interests At Sea

Insurance companies are considering forming a "private navy" of quick-response boats, crewed by armed mercenaries, to protect Western shipping from attacks by so-called Somali pirates.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Sep 28, 2010 - 49 comments

Welcome to the Evil Federated Empire of Europe

Europe according to... is a project to map stereotypes of European countries according to other countries and groups of people. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 22, 2010 - 57 comments

Jane Goodness

National Geographic has digitized all of Jane Goodall's articles for the publication from the past five decades. They've also added a galley of photographs documenting her extraordinary work with chimps.
posted by gman on Sep 16, 2010 - 12 comments

The largest aircraft ever to have disappeared without a trace.

The 727 that Vanished. Interesting article that recounts a mystery still unsolved. Prev, from 2003.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 15, 2010 - 39 comments

None On Record - Stories from queer Africa

None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones on Aug 3, 2010 - 8 comments

The Food Crisis in Niger

An ongoing drought in Niger has resulted in a famine that threatens millions of people. "These are very high levels of child malnutrition, the situation is bad," said Gianluca Ferrera, deputy director for the UN world food programme (WFP) in Niger. "The loss in harvest last year was worse than expected, and the lean season started earlier than anticipated for a larger share of the population. "In some areas, there is a 50% malnutrition rate for children under 2. Many of these children will not survive." [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Aug 2, 2010 - 64 comments

Mediaeval Arabic Manuscripts in Private Libraries in Mauritania

Ancient books inherited in private family libraries could change our knowledge of late mediaeval arab culture, but most are hidden in private libraries. Gripping article about the unknown treasures that may be lurking in Mauritanian family libraries, considering the little that has already been found, resistance to cataloguing and problematic future if the region continues to be destabilised. How the manuscripts are famous in the muslim world.More on the open libraries and archive efforts. Some years back on bbc i saw an explorer track down some ancient ethiopian christian manuscripts to an ethiopian monastery, only to be shown some burnt remains from a fire a few months back. What treasures must lurk in this continent, and with digital cameras, how easy to document them without damage or intruding on their owners! Being christians, there are pictures and some history.
posted by maiamaia on Jul 27, 2010 - 13 comments

Because at least 64 people died?

As Uganda reels following a bombing that killed at least 64 people in Kampala watching the World Cup final, CNN tells us "why the world should care." [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 12, 2010 - 36 comments

Hans Rosling on global population growth

Hans Rosling, who helped usher in TED talks way back when using stunning visuals, envisions how the world will look in 50 years as global population grows to 9 billion. To check further population growth, which might have disastrous consequences, he exhorts us to raise the living standards of the poorest. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 11, 2010 - 14 comments

Football in Africa

Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

not those kind of mods

Motorcycle modification means something entirely different across the developing world. You can deliver cold drinks, cargo, one person, three or even more with a special sidecar. You can cook hot food and sell it. Or critically, you can quickly transport someone in need of emergency medical care when roads are bad and facilities remote. They're supported by roadside repair shops, tyre shacks, petrol pumps and more. Bonus FTW
posted by infini on Jun 30, 2010 - 13 comments

Mickey and Goofy sell speed in Africa.

Mickey and Goofy sell speed in Africa.
posted by pollex on Jun 20, 2010 - 33 comments

Vuvuzela Time!

Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
posted by GuyZero on Jun 17, 2010 - 112 comments

got mny in yr pkt? kthxbai

M-Pesa, the mobile platform based money transfer system launched by Safaricom in Kenya, is changing the landscape of money in Africa, and around the world. Competition is heating up even while the service expands internationally allowing transactions to occur between Africa, UK and Asia. Bankers, regulators, startups and operators all want a piece of the pie as even the phone manufacturers themselves get into this potentially lucrative business.
posted by infini on Jun 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Street View

Google Street View has come to Africa. A lot of stadiums, notable landmarks so far. Little villages later.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 9, 2010 - 20 comments

West African Masquerade

Large-scale color photographs from 2005 to 2006 reflect the ritual adornment and spirituality of masquerade in Nigeria, Benin and Burkina Faso in West Africa. These portraits of masqueraders build on Galembo's work of the past twenty years photographing the rituals and religious culture in Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti, as well as the homegrown custom of Halloween in the United States. West African Masquerade. [more inside]
posted by Rinku on May 30, 2010 - 5 comments

Perspectives of Poverty

...The development sector, just like any other business, needs revenue to survive. Too frequently, this quest for funding uses these kind of dehumanizing images to draw pity, charity, and eventually donations from a largely unsuspecting public...

This is not to say that people do not struggle, far from it, but the photos I was seeing only told part of the story. I thought that these images were robbing people of their dignity, and I felt that the rest of the story should be told as well.


Duncan McNicholl, a Canadian volunteer with Engineers Without Borders, is embarking on a photography project in which he photographs low-income rural Malawians as they'd be seen by Westerners, and as they prefer to see themselves.
posted by emilyd22222 on May 29, 2010 - 19 comments

Azawad

Borne in the succession of rebellions, Tichumaren has redefined the image of the Tuareg. Popularized on the international stage in 2001 via the success of Tinariwen, the "desert blues" has changed the conception – from the exotic blue men of the desert to the Kashniklov/guitar strumming desert rebels. [more inside]
posted by iamck on May 26, 2010 - 14 comments

Interiors

Roma/Gypsy Interiors and African Interiors by photographer Carlo Gianferro + a collection of imaginary interiors from artist Anne Hardy.
posted by puny human on May 19, 2010 - 17 comments

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