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 -
The Malayali Nurse on the Moon
She is everywhere, so it becomes difficult to see her. At some point you have to squint to see past the chimera that is the Malayali nurse. You have to ask why even Libya — broken, bullet-scarred and currently in possession of 14 psychiatrists for the whole nation — a better choice than any place in India? You have to ask why she chooses nursing at all. And if we don’t see her as a martyr to the family coffers, who is the woman emerging out of the smoke then?
posted by infini
on Jul 2, 2013 -
They wash dishes in restaurants, clean toilets and look after elderly incontinent people in the West. That makes the majority of the 30 million who have emigrated from Africa. Some are much luckier, they work in subaltern management positions in corporate America or in public institution in Europe. Few are real stars, successful with high pay and social status. Regardless of their current fate, they all share one thing in common: most of them want to return to Africa.
The recent medias’ drumbeat about “Africa is Rising” is making them restless and hopeful because most of them have quite a petty life in the West. They are constantly harassed by the state police, crushed by daily racism from their neighbors and strangers, economically and politically isolated, and with very little hope for a near-future improvement.
Unfortunately their dream to return home is painfully held back by deep fears and unanswered questions. Here are the top 10 fears of the African diaspora about Africa, and also the top 10 questions most of them are confronted with.
posted by infini
on Apr 28, 2013 -
The Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood
started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS. The majority of Nollywood films are still sold offline, in outdoor markets from wheelbarrows or by the roadside from street vendors. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online. iROKO, one of the first companies to take Nigerian films online, is carefully tracking the viewing patterns of its growing audience
. While Nigerian internet access is often subpar
, streaming services are catering to the international diaspora. iROKOtv is a hub for streaming movies
, with plenty of free movies alongside movies available as part of monthly membership. Their website grew out of their YouTube channel
, which had over 400 movies online in 2011
, though recently they are mainly posting trailers. If you're not sure which movies to see, Nollywood Forever has plenty of reviews
, and Nollywood.com has a ton of African movie trailers
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 16, 2013 -
When we started Diaspora two years ago, the project kicked off with amazing reception and support from people that believed in our ultimate goal: giving users ownership over their data. ... Today, the network has grown into thousands of people using our software in hundreds of installations across the web. There are hundreds of pods that have been created by community members, and it has become one of the biggest Github projects to date. ... Today, we are giving control of Diaspora to the community.
, the open social network, is now owned by its user base. [more inside]
posted by rebent
on Aug 28, 2012 -
tells the stories of 36 Sri Lankan elders, about their lives and work, and their connections to their hometown. ... With the movement of people away from their hometowns, particularly from Jaffna and Galle, I also spoke to the so called 'internal diaspora', about their longing for their hometowns and their sense of belonging to their adoptive homes."
posted by chunking express
on Jan 6, 2012 -
Soup Over Bethlehem
- The mloukhieh in the soup bowl represents the shared national heritage and the meal itself becomes a gastronomic anchoring of a Palestinian identity in eternal flux. [via]
posted by tellurian
on Apr 2, 2009 -
National Geographic Migration Study Rouses Indigenous Concern.
What do indigenous DNA donors have to gain from their involvement in the Genographic Project? As a First Worlder, I signed up, I swabbed, my genes are being shuttled through the Genographic study as we speak. Can't wait to see the results. And I'm not particularly paranoid, obviously, that the results will be used to harm anyone. But this article did make me curious as to exactly how the study could possibly benefit indigenous peoples. Will it be yet another strike against their origin stories? Will it be like a coke bottle dropping from the sky? Will it, instead, inspire non-indigenous peoples to treat their indigenous cousins with more respect?
posted by CrunchyGods
on Sep 22, 2005 -
:"For these people, Chutney was more than just music
), it was their life, it was their culture. For a people twice removed from their native land, Chutney was their connection to the traditions they might have otherwise never known." [via
posted by dhruva
on May 29, 2005 -