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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

Editing the Globe

Bono and Bob Geldof worked in The Globe and Mail newsroom on Saturday to guest-edit a special edition of the paper on the future of Africa for today... Monday, May 10, in advance of the G8/G20 summit in Huntsville, Ontario, from June 25-27, 2010.
posted by netbros on May 10, 2010 - 38 comments

To sing? Or blow the flute? How about both? Yeah!

When you think of African music, flutes may not be the first instruments that come to mind, but across West Africa there are some flute traditions that often involve a unique combination of vocalizing and blowing into the instrument, resulting in some amazing music that's a hella lotta fun to listen to. There are some nice examples on YouTube here, here, here and here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 9, 2010 - 16 comments

New Math

A family in Atlanta sold their house and donated half the proceeds to villagers in Ghana.
posted by reenum on May 6, 2010 - 72 comments

In To Africa

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 seems insatiable. 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 - 20 comments

Featuring the mild curiosity of the notoriously bad-tempered Cape Buffalo

Wildlife photographer mauled by African lion, with pictures recovered from the body. Of course, this is not exactly what it seems, and there are other pictures as well.
posted by davejay on Apr 19, 2010 - 21 comments

The danger of a single story

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie on the danger of defining a place or a people by a single story. From TEDGlobal 2009 and via Feministe.
posted by peacheater on Apr 17, 2010 - 8 comments

Bambino, rocking the guitar, Tuareg style

The other day someone asked me "who's the most deeply grooving and truly exciting electric guitar player you've heard lately?" and I said "this guy".
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 10, 2010 - 82 comments

Better than Paganini

Condomise, sings Babsi! Babsi, born 1933, playing the song Mabelete (Bitches) on the "Fenjoro" which he built from a plastic container, wood and strings from a handbrake cable of a car: it normally has 4 strings like the violin, but one broke.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 5, 2010 - 10 comments

Did American conservationists in Africa go too far?

A fascinating piece by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker investigates the anti-poaching activities of Mark and Delia Owens in Zambia's North Luangwa National Park. Goldberg's essay focuses on the uncertain circumstances surrounding the killing of an alleged poacher by an unidentified member of Mark Owens' team of park scouts that was broadcast on national television in 1996. [more inside]
posted by jckll on Apr 1, 2010 - 15 comments

Circles of Violence

Africa's Forever Wars - Why the continent's conflicts never end. There is a very simple reason why some of Africa's bloodiest, most brutal wars never seem to end: They are not really wars. Not in the traditional sense, at least. The combatants don't have much of an ideology; they don't have clear goals. Terror has become an end, not just a means. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Apr 1, 2010 - 55 comments

50th anniversay of the massacre at Sharpeville

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the massacre at Sharpeville. Amandla! Awethu!
posted by quodlibet on Mar 21, 2010 - 7 comments

Ronnie of Botswana, on guitar

OK. Alright. That's it. Ronnie of Botswana is my new favorite guitarist.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 19, 2010 - 67 comments

Millennium Villages

Shower of Aid Brings Flood of Progress - "An experiment that is bombarding a Kenyan town of 65,000 with health care, education, and job training seems to be achieving its goal of rapidly lifting people out of poverty, but can the results be magnified?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 8, 2010 - 6 comments

Final Stage Boss Battle with Infant Mortality

Ever wondered what would happen if all those people playing Farmville and Mafia Wars were trying to save the world instead? Enter Urgent Evoke, "a ten week crash course in changing the world," designed by Jane McGonigal (who previously designed World without Oil) for the World Bank Institute. Players take on tasks like the UN Millennium Development Goals. Wanna play? [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Better Than We Thought

"The conventional wisdom that Africa is not reducing poverty is wrong." [PDF, 339.97 KB] [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Mar 2, 2010 - 21 comments

Whop!

Waka Waka Hey Hey - tracing a tune's spread across the world.
posted by jtron on Mar 2, 2010 - 7 comments

Luna Commons

Luna Commons is a database of sixteen free digital image collections built using Luna Imaging's Insight software. And there's a lot of cool stuff, well over a hundred thousand images all available for download in good resolution. Here are some of the collections featured: Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, The Farber Gravestones Collection, Maps of Africa, Cornell Political Americana Collection and the The Estate Collection of art by HIV+ artists. The advanced search allows you to search across all collection, for example seeing everything across all collections about animals or New York or your birthyear. Whatever you look for, it's gonna bring up a boatload of interesting images.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 20, 2010 - 4 comments

Africa, the New Carribbian - For Cocaine, That Is.

So what is an enterprising cocaine cartel to do when tight airport and border security threaten to cause one to miss out on a massive boom in european cocaine use? Well, for starters one sets up shop on Africa's west coast where the police often aren't paid for months and the 4 cars of some country's police force can mostly sit idle due to a lack of gas money. Oh, and in Guinea Bissau - no coast guard! In addition to bringing even more corruption and violence to Africa, the status of being the transhipment point of about 3/4 of all cocaine heading to Europe brings a Miami-style economic stimulus. And as colombian cartels are generally more concerned with getting cocaine out of Colombia at a profit than getting it all the way to its destination, we're probably only a few years away from a senegalese Scarface.
posted by jake1 on Feb 12, 2010 - 26 comments

"The soil is our bank."

African land reform, plot by plot, may be the foundation for solving so much else – from famine to poverty to genocide.
posted by lullaby on Feb 3, 2010 - 6 comments

Far Blue Horizon

Morocco by Motorbike. The perfect escape for a lazy weekend day. Just watch out for ancient tombs. [more inside]
posted by Eideteker on Jan 30, 2010 - 10 comments

The Vice Guide to Liberia

The Vice Guide to Liberia (trailer & parts 1-4 of 8). [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 23, 2010 - 56 comments

This youth, it bulges?

More than 15 years again Robert Kaplan wrote in his occasionally prescient essay, "Though Islam is spreading in West Africa, it is being hobbled by syncretization with animism: this makes new converts less apt to become anti-Western extremists...." Glossing over the omission that Islam has been in West Africa for centuries, the recent exploding underpants incident has cemented the idea that a form of violent religious extremism has found root in West Africa, leaving many to wonder why and how. Some argue it's the inevitable result of dangerous demographics.
posted by Panjandrum on Jan 20, 2010 - 17 comments

the trouble with cabinda

Cabinda is an exclave of Angola with extensive oil fields and a troubled history. Left out of the negotiations that granted Angola independence from the Portuguese, separatist movements in Cabinda have a history nearly as long as that of modern Angola itself. These movements are in the news again, thanks to an attack on the Togolese national football team ahead of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations that has other clubs calling their players back, Cabinda losing the right to host matches, and South Africa reassuring the world that security there will be adequate ahead of this summer's World Cup.
posted by jackflaps on Jan 9, 2010 - 11 comments

John Storm Roberts, 1936-2009

John Storm Roberts, 1936-2009. A magnificent scholar and record producer, and the author of great classics including The Latin Tinge and Black Music of Two Worlds,, and the founder of Original Music, John Storm Roberts passed away at the age of 73 back on Nov. 29. Few figures have had such a profoundly intertwined influence on both musical scholarship and popular musical culture. [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Jan 8, 2010 - 4 comments

Love, sayang, pyaar, bhalo bashi, amore...

All you need is love - from 156 countries, all at the same time. Join in the chorus; each video leads to a 5-cent donation from Starbucks to the RED Global Fund for AIDS in Africa.
posted by divabat on Jan 2, 2010 - 44 comments

"How fortunate are the dead" -- Dennis Brutus dead at 85

Noted anti-apartheid activist and poet Dennis Brutus has died. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Dec 28, 2009 - 11 comments

To dye for

Best known as an Indonesian handicraft, batik is a distinctive technique for textiles that has been used for millennia and can be found as far away as Egypt, Ghana, China and India. An integral part of daily life in Java, batik has spread around the world as a wellknown artform as well as clothing. From its hippy heyday to the smart couture outfits of the Singapore Girl, batik is still daily wear for many and the equivalent of black tie in the ASEAN. [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 19, 2009 - 13 comments

Picturing Climate Change

Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 10, 2009 - 3 comments

The Ultimate Dr. Sir Warrior

Forty years ago, just after the Biafran War, Nigeria was home to a cultural boom that paralleled its skyrocketing oil revenues. These heady days not only produced afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, but also, in the genre of music called highlife, created a star known as the Ultimate Dr. Sir Warrior (born Christogonus Ezebuiro Obinna) a member of the nebulous Oriental Brothers International Band. Listen to the music of Dr. Sir Warrior and the Oriental Brothers International Band. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 10, 2009 - 15 comments

Circle of death :(

In 20 years, according to one estimate, wild lions could be extinct in Kenya. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Nov 24, 2009 - 38 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

A Walk to Beautiful

The documentary A Walk to Beautiful, follows five women in Ethiopia suffering from fistula, isolated from their villages and some from their families, seeking treatment at one of the few charity clinics. It can be viewed online at the PBS NOVA site. Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who runs the hospital in Addis Ababa, is interviewed here. There's also been a couple of recent articles on fistula: one from Nicholas Kristof who's been one of the most prominent voices on this issue, a piece by Kate Harding, and an older piece where Abby Frucht describes living with fistula in a developed country with a supportive family. For those inclined to donate, links to charities can be found in the Kristof op-ed. Other Metafilter posts on fistula: 1, 2
posted by BigSky on Nov 2, 2009 - 14 comments

Not a Halloween Post.

The Maskatorium: hundreds of masks collected from around the world over the past 20 years.
posted by gman on Oct 30, 2009 - 6 comments

The James Koetting Ghana Field Recordings

The James Koetting Ghana Field Recordings has 142 reels of Ghanaian music, almost all of which have more than one track, collected by ethnomusicologist James Koetting. There is a glossary of musical terms should you want to know a bit more about Ghanaian music and Koetting's notebooks should you want to know a whole lot more. All the music is wonderful but here are a few that stood out to me. Here are two tracks featuring postal workers whistling over a rhythm beat with scissors and stampers. Flute and drum ensemble. Brass band blues. And finally, twenty teenage girls singing over some nice rhythms. [requires RealPlayer]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 6, 2009 - 35 comments

The Doers Club

The Doers Club
posted by ryoshu on Sep 30, 2009 - 14 comments

UK Asylum Seekers: Let The Right Ones In

The Home Office, the UK government department responsible for immigration control, has initiated a program to test the DNA from of potential asylum seekers in an attempt to confirm their true nationalities. The initial program is a six-month pilot limited to claimants arriving from the Horn of Africa. The program, currently using forensic samples provided on a voluntary basis, could potentially expand to other nationalities if successful. The Home Office spokeswoman said ancestral DNA testing would not be used alone but would be combined with language analysis, investigative interviewing techniques and other recognized forensic disciplines, but many are decrying the "deeply flawed" program, from refugee support groups to scientists in the genetic forensics fields (via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 30, 2009 - 55 comments

albino magic

Albinos often face mistrust and discrimination, perhaps because they tend to be portrayed as evil in popular culture. But in Tanzania and Burundi, weird delusions that albinos have magical powers mean that they are actually being hunted down, murdered and dismembered to harvest their supposedly magical body parts. One group of albino kids are trying to spread some sense by forming their own "magic" sports team.
posted by w0mbat on Sep 27, 2009 - 19 comments

Somalia's refugee camps

Inside Somalia. Mike Thomson of the BBC makes a rare visit to the refugee camps in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 18, 2009 - 11 comments

To Cape Town..

The Big Africa Cycle. Peter Gostelow is cycling from Dorset, England to Cape Town to raise funds for The Against Malaria Foundation. And it's not his first big adventure. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on Aug 28, 2009 - 2 comments

A Whole New Meaning to 'Forefathers.'

The Circumcision v. HIV debate rages on. [previously and previously-er and previously-er still] The debate has been rekindled due to new findings. It is expected to be one of the main topics during the CDC's National HIV Prevention Conference this week, as the CDC is considering endorsing routine circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also considering revising their circumcision policy, thus making it covered under Medicaid. Naturally, there is a lot of criticism of the evidence. In related news, it appears that there is a modicum of the so-called 'Birthers' who believe Obama's citizenship can be proven by his penis.
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 25, 2009 - 378 comments

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