All of that was expressed through networks. Networks and crossroads. The importance of roads and crossroads in African literature is astounding. Read Soyinka, read Achebe, read Tutuola. Roads and crossroads are everywhere in their literature. So crossroads, flows of people and flows of nature…” – Achille Mbembe
NEW ISSUE OF CHRONIC: ON CIRCULATIONS AND THE AFRICAN IMAGINATION OF A BORDERLESS WORLD – OUT NOW
MOVEMENT OF JAH PEOPLE!
The Conquering Lion H.I.M. Haile Selassie, King of kings, Lord of lords – in full regalia on the front page of the new Chronic!
The new edition maps the African imagination of a borderless world: non-universal universalisms, the right to opacity, refusing that which has been refused to you, and “keeping it moving”.
Largely a bibliographic project, the maps produced for this issue are based on a growing library of books, recordings, essays etc produced on and by the African world. View the Circulations Bibliography here.
(Artwork by Neville Garrick – who made album covers for Marley, Spear and many other prophets)
HOME MEANS NOTHING TO ME
“There was a lot of dislocation, people have come back into the country, a lot of trauma, war trauma, so everyone has a story and they just didn’t know how to share the stories. And Marechera decided to be the story doctor.”
Tinashe Mushakavanhu talks about his mapping project, “Home Means Nothing to Me,” which documents the life and movements of author Dambudzo Marechera in the the city of Harare between 1982 and 1987 upon his return to Zimbabwe after forced exile in the United Kingdom. Created in collaboration with Nontsikelelo Mutiti, with whom his runs Black Chalk & Co. and readingzimbabwe.com, and Simba Mafundikwa, the map appears in full in the April 2018 edition of theChronic, The Invention of Zimbabwe. Get it in print or as a PDF from our online shop, or buy copies from your nearest dealer.
This piece was shortlisted for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards which seek to recognise the finest original pieces of writing by Africans published online. Read more on the awards and see the other 31 nominated pieces.
NO PASS, BUT NINE PASSPORTS
In her 30 years of exile, Miriam Makeba redefined pan Africanism – performing and speaking around the world, informing the Black Power movement, forwarding the liberation struggle and participating in events that shaped public cultures on the continent and around the world.
She was a woman with nine passports and honorary citizenship in 10 countries. But no home.
THE CONGOLESE WORLD OF SOUND
“Dislocation” is how Congolese rumba historians describe the incessant splinterings that are part of the story of every major band – in a music system where the “first to leave” holds the place of pride.
Between 1997 and 2008 the group Wenge Musica lived through 18 dislocations. Many of these ran parallel to the great war in Congo – another major site of dislocations.
In the new Chronic we map Wenge Musica BCBG family tree.
Preview the moves and breaks and explore Congolese World of Sound from the Chimurenga archive: Binetou Sylla – DJ, producer and Syllart label-boss – curates plays a set focused on Congolese rumba and its offshoots; Achille Mbembe explore Congolese music as “an experience of listening”, but also as a social and political act; dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula turns up the volume on a soundtrack of ndombolo: “So I can hear the sound of my body and then the sound will get the bodies to move;” and more…
CHIMURENGA LIBRARY – A MANIFESTO/ MEDIATION ON STATE OF BLACK ARCHIVES
After tracking Migus’s personal copy of Beneath the Underdog ( with a gun-shaped space cut out of it so he could hide his piece) to the Library of Congress and digging through to the stashes of FBI files, Harmony Holiday puts a call out to join in the building of a centralized database that will tell the story of where and when and to whom and for what expressed purpose, our stories or archives are sold.
PAN AFRICAN SPACE STATION – THOMAS SANKARA 31 YEARS ON
On October 15, 1987, Burkinabe revolutionary idealist and Pan-Africanist, Thomas Sankara was killed in a coup d’état organised by his former colleague Blaise Compaoré. In testimony to his ongoing pan African legacy, Casa Hankili So Africa, an art centre for exiled African writers, artists and creators in Mexico, celebrated his life and death in a tribute at last year’s Pan African Space Station (PASS) Popup at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City.
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