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Qalqalah

Through the fictional character Qalqalah, Sarah Rifky, grapples with the question what is an institution? Speaking to art institutions and their futures she asks: what is the future of art? And more importantly, what is the future of language? In keeping with time, before I tell you a story and talk about the future,  let us travel back to a […]

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The University of Soweto

Frank B. Wilderson draws from his memory of student protests in 1993 at Vista University in Soweto, a “historically black” institution created in the early 1980s and run, in no uncertain terms, by the long arm of Afrikaner establishment.   From July 1992 to February 1993 I’d worked at Khanya College in a special programme […]

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The Mission of Forgetting

Joshua Craze offers a sobering analysis of the fantasy that is the United Nations mandate and presence in South Sudan, where civil war is the order of every day. The organisation’s peacekeeping mission, Craze argues, is based on the fundamental logic of the UN’s functioning: to recreate the image of its membership wherever it goes […]

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Sister Outsider

Yemisi Aribisala rails against the new fundamentalism cresting the wave of global feminism sweeping Nigeria. She challenges the gender imperialism implicit in its aspiration to uniform ideas of celebrity, power, erudition and beauty. Speaking from her own everyday lived experience, she rejects the “distasteful vitriol” that characterises its social media discourse, and grapples to give words […]

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Reform and Revolution at the Univesity of Lovanium

In this essay on the gestation, articulations and manipulations of student politics in 1960s Congo, Pedro Monaville explores the ways in which one particular massacre on a campus in Kinshasa ignited protracted protests and responses from the state that echo to this day in the physical and intellectual decay of the country’s tertiary institutions. On […]

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