"Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, acclaimed in part for his groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," has died, his British publisher, Penguin Books, said Friday."
Set in precolonial Nigeria, Things Fall Apart
portrays the story of a farmer, Okonkwo, who struggles to preserve his customs despite pressure from British colonizers. The story resonated in post-independent Africa, and the character became a household name in the continent. [more inside]
posted by jquinby
on Mar 22, 2013 -
How Things Fell Apart
, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 25, 2012 -
The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialism Moreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy.
posted by infini
on Jul 29, 2012 -
It's a day of high jinx, high revelry and high people in Australia; a day when a large and vocal majority come together to "celebrate what's great" about this country. But what is the meaning of all this fanfare? What is the true origin of this passionately marked day of facepaint and binge drinking? Is everyone in Australia so keen on this particular anniversary? To get to bottom of these questions, and more, join your amiable host Robert Foster [previously]
as he conducts a high-octane, high-frequency satellite link-up with a representative of the Mainstream Australian media: multi-Logie award-winning broadcaster, entertainer, emu-wrangler and true blue Aussie, Kenneth Oathcarn. Rap News Episode 11: Australia DayWARNING: contains adult Australian vernacular - viewer discretion is strongly advised.
posted by finite
on Jan 25, 2012 -
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 -
An internationally recognized Kanien'kehaka (Mohwak) intellectual and political advisor, Taiaiake Alfred is well known for his incisive critiques and groundbreaking work in the fields of Indigenous governance and political philosophy.
In the past, Taiaiake has served as an advisor on land and governance and cultural restoration issues for many indigenous governments and organizations, and he has authored several important books including Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom and Peace, Power, Righteousness. Currently, Taiaiake serves as a Professor of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria.
Recorded March 23, 2009 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, University of Victoria Professor of Indigenous Governance; a broad, deep, and beautiful discussion of pathways toward the future for indigenous people, Gerald Taiaiake Alfred talks about the “Resurgence of Traditional Ways of Being: Indigenous Paths of Action and Freedom” [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Oct 26, 2010 -
Objects Through Time
tells the story of immigration and the changing ethnic diversity of New South Wales, Australia through "movable heritage
" - that is, artifacts and objects with historical resonance. While almost ignoring 50,000 years of aboriginal occupation, the site does a nice job of both familiar topics through a fresh lens (e.g., Captain Cook's "secret instructions
"), but also takes pains to look at those lesser known topics which may be more accessible through material culture than through texts. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Sep 14, 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 -
With all the dust that's been
* riled up
by Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (previously
), everyone is suddenly taking an interest in Puerto Rico
. A basic question that may come up is why we're there in the first place.
Understanding that, we can see how the complicated relationship
has played out between Puerto Rico, the US, and, most recently, the United Nations. Although the UN has urged
the US to take steps towards establishing Puerto Rico's sovereignty, referendums held on the
island have overwhelmingly preferred the status quo
and the US has been indifferent at best. But independence activists, after a twenty-year decline, may be on the rise
. The island's current governor, Luis Fortuño
, is pro-statehood. But the whole issue has taken a back seat since plans have been made to fire 30,000 government
, privatize some public services
, and sell
some the the government's US$3.2 billion debt. [more inside]
posted by krikkit261
on Jun 10, 2009 -
A representative of the World Trade Organization proposes foreign corporate "stewardship" of workers in Africa from the moment they are hired until they die, describing it as "the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory".
posted by Pastabagel
on Nov 14, 2006 -
Democratic presidential candidate rails against US imperialism. "The platform . . . condemns the experiment in imperialism as an inexcusable blunder, which has involved us in enormous expense, brought us weakness instead of strength, and laid our nation open to the charge of abandoning the fundamental principles of a republic."
A prominent American author who initially supported the conflict
, changed his mind, calling it "a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater.”
The US is “the kind of World Power . . . that a prairie-dog village is . . . it is the duty of our Government to stand sentinel
, with solemn mien, and lifted nose, and curved paws, on top of our little World-Power mound.”
posted by insomnia_lj
on Mar 20, 2006 -
It all comes down do one question: Must France stay in Algeria? “If the answer is yes,” he says, “then you must accept the consequences.” Gillo Pontecorvo
's "The Battle of Algiers
", now out
on a Criterion dvd
, is a film of quiet
power. The mix of subjective and documentary techniques
holds the viewer's trust so authoritatively that many scenes come close to sneaking out of the mental "movies I saw" box to mix with the viewer's own memories. No matter how complicated or fragmented the action becomes, Pontecorvo gets the pace, tone and rhythm exactly right, filling the screen with eloquent details.
(Last year, Pontecorvo's masterpiece was discussed here, too. More inside)
posted by matteo
on Nov 3, 2004 -
Kick A Brit In The Nuts:
We've heard enough about anti-Americanism. What about anti-British feeling? Check out the USian website
. Is there still a lingering, post-colonial resentment in the U.S., Australia and South Africa? Why not, apparently, in Canada or New Zealand? Is it anti-British
, i.e. including the Scots and the Welsh, or just anti-English
? Finally, is Usian
the best collective noun for citizens of the U.S.A.? Will American
eventually become politically incorrect, even though no one calls a Canadian an American? Sorry about so many questions. Me confused European!
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Sep 16, 2003 -
Getting The Hell Out Of Africa:
An excellent article by R.W. Johnson
describes the forces now driving out many African whites and quietly despairs. Post-colonial blues are sad and riddled with guilt and lost hopes. How far does collective guilt impinge on the individual? What if there is no guilt at all? What is the white man and woman's place in 21st Century Africa? I wonder whether it isn't still too early to think clearly about the many delicate issues involved. But then an all-black Africa wouldn't be Africa. Would it?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jun 25, 2003 -