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WHAT AFRICAN WRITERS CAN LEARN FROM CHEIKH ANTA DIOP

In a country that “obstinately clings to its francophone ‘roots’”, on a continent where success as an African writer depends, in part, on the use of a colonial lexicon – stories spun in the tongue of the French, the English, the Portuguese – the idea of a black African transitional literature sits uncomfortably with those […]

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PORTRAITS OF POWER

The president’s portrait holds a venerable position in post-independence Zimbabwe. Not unlike its colonial predecessor’s (and in keeping with entrenched social hierarchies and royal patronage that persist in Britain), it looks down upon the toiling citizenry, casts its gaze on every space imaginable, and frames the notion of identity. Farai Mudzingwa writes about the power […]

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OF TOTEMS, HISTORY AND POLITICS

In Shona cosmology, people are understood to be more than the sum of their material or physical parts. The metaphysical and spiritual makeup of people is manifested through totems – revered animals – that expand one’s identity to include milieu, behaviour and way of thinking. Robert Machiri (drawings) and Mike Mavura (words) offer a brief […]

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The Making of the Impossible

Review by GWEN ANSELL October: The story of the Russian revolution China Mieville Verso, 2017 The Last Days of New Paris China Mieville Picador, 2016 “There is a brand of naive anticolonialism,” China Miéville has said, “that falls back into the ‘Noble Savage’ narrative; that simply replicates a notion of beautiful natives and a place […]

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THE BLACK BOMB

Mamadou Diallo channels Carlos Moore, the exiled Cuban who traversed most of Africa and its diaspora, and, along the way, the lives of some of the most revolutionary thinkers the continent has produced. Moore’s special relationship with Cheikh Anta Diop and their foremost, but failed collaboration to launch an organization of scientists of the black […]

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