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Creative Urban Momentum: Witnessing the Black Unity Trio

In anticipation of the release of Black Unity Trios’ legendary album, Al Fatihah, Hasan Abdur-Razzaq recalls witnessing their rehearsals in the late 1960s.

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Chimurenganyana: Becoming Kwame Ture by Amandla Thomas-Johnson (Oct 2020)

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) was viewed by many during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s as the dashing and eloquent heir to Malcolm X. His call for Black Power and his fiery speeches led to his ascension as the foremost symbol of black militancy. But the threat posed to white America by the triumvirate of Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X would be suppressed as the decade declined to a close. Indeed, X and King would meet death at the escort of gunmen, in ‘65 and ‘68, respectively, and in ‘69, Carmichael would board a plane bound for Guinea, never to return on a permanent basis.

But Kwame Ture lived on for another 30 years and he was as politically active as he had been in the ‘60s. At the time of his death, Ture had become perhaps the foremost Pan-Africanist of his day. He co-founded (with Kwame Nkrumah) and led the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, arguably the most significant Pan-African political party in its heyday, and he established himself as the leading black advocate for Palestinian rights. Why do we know so little about the last 30 years of his life?

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FESTAC 77 BOOK (Oct 2019)

Early in 1977, thousands of artists, writers, musicians, activists and scholars from Africa and the black diaspora assembled in Lagos for FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. With a radically ambitious agenda underwritten by Nigeria’s newfound oil wealth, FESTAC ’77 would unfold as a complex, glorious and excessive culmination of a half-century of transatlantic and pan-Africanist cultural-political gatherings.

As told by Chimurenga, this is the first publication to address the planetary scale of FESTAC alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible. Featuring extensive unseen photographic and archival materials, interviews and new commissions, the book relays the stories, words and works of the festival’s extraordinary cast of characters.

With: Wole Soyinka, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Archie Shepp, Miriam Makeba, Allioune Diop, Jeff Donaldson, Louis Farrakhan, Stevie Wonder, Abdias do Nascimento, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Mario de Andrade, Ted Joans, Nadi Qamar,Carlos Moore, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo, Johnny Dyani, Werewere Liking, Marilyn Nance, Barkley Hendricks, Mildred Thompson, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Jayne Cortez, Atukwei OkaiJonas Gwangwa, Theo Vincent, Lindsay Barrett, Gilberto de la Nuez, Sun Ra and many others.

And featuring new writing from: Akin Adesokan, Moses Serubiri, Harmony Holiday, Semeneh Ayalew, Hassan Musa, Emmanuel Iduma, Michael McMillan, Dominique Malaquais and Cedric Vincent, Molefe Pheto, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Hermano Penna, Alice Aterianus.
.

Published by Chimurenga and Afterall Books, in association with Asia Art Archive, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and RAW Material Company, 2019.


The FESTAC 77 publication is available for purchase through our online shop.

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A TRIBUTE TO DON CHERRY’S ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY (1967 – 1978)

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Who Killed Kabila I

From December 13 – 17, 2017, Chimurenga installed a library of books, films, and visual material mapping extensive research that ask “Who Killed Kabila“, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination. This book catalogues all the research material produced and collected for this installation.

The equation is simple: the length of a Congolese president’s reign is proportional to his/her willingness to honour the principle that the resources of the Congo belong to others. Mzee Kabila failed.

Who killed Kabila is no mystery either. It is not A or B or C. But rather A and B and C. All options are both true and necessary – it’s the coming together of all these individuals, groups and circumstances, on one day, within the proliferating course of the history, that does it.

So telling this story isn’t merely be a matter of presenting multiple perspectives but rather of finding a medium able to capture the radical singularity of the event in its totality, including each singular, sometimes fantastical, historical fact, rumour or suspicion.

We’ve heard plenty about the danger of the single story – we want to explore its power. We take inspiration from the Congolese musical imagination, its capacity for innovation and its potential to allow us to think “with the bodily senses, to write with the musicality of one’s own flesh” (Mbembe).


The catalogue is now available for sale in the Chimurenga shop.

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BECOMING KWAME TURE – OUT NOW!

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) was viewed by many during the civil rights […]

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Chimurenganyana: Rumblin’ by Dominique Malaquais (June 2012)

A text and image reflection on the “Rumble in the Jungle”, the Muhammad Ali / George Foreman boxing match held in Kinshasa in 1974. Norman Mailer started The Fight, Dominique Malaquais punched back. Artwork by Kakudji.

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A Petition for Mongo Beti

Patrice Nganang recalls the duel between politics and the literary sphere in 1990s Yaoundé – a time when the campaign for ‘democracy’ exposed the chiasmus that is the Cameroonian intelligence, and the words of Mongo Beti ignited a movement for dissent, return and reconstruction.

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Chimurenganyana: In Search of Yambo Ouologuem by Christopher Wise (June 2012)

Yambo Ouologuem, the Malian author of Le devoir de violence and other literary works, has been shrouded in mystery since he disappeared from the West, effectively turning his back on literature. Christopher Wise goes in search.

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Chimurenganyana: The Making of Mannenberg by John Edwin Mason (June 2012)

On a winter’s day in 1974, a group of musicians led by Abdullah Ibrahim entered a recording studio in the heart of Cape Town, and emerged, hours later, having changed South African music, forever. John Edwin Mason pens notes on the making of the icon and the anthem.

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The 12th Annual Abdullah Ibrahim Festival

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THE BARD OF BLOEMFONTEIN

Achal Prabhala goes to the heart of the Free State literary renaissance with the “deliberately mysterious and prodigiously talented” Omoseye Bolaji.

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Chimurenganyana: In Defence of the Films We Have Made by Odia Ofeimun (2009)

Odia Ofeimun is one of Nigeria’s foremost poets and political activists, and the author of the acclaimed collection The Poet Lied. Ofeimun was at one time the personal secretary of the Nigerian politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was also a member of the radical collective of The News, a weekly newspaper, which contributed to the downfall of Nigeria’s last dictatorship.

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Chimurenganyana: Variations of the Beautiful in the World of Congolese Sounds by Achille Mbembe (2009)

Achille Mbembe is a research professor in history and politics at the University of the Witwatersrand and a senior researcher at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research). He is the winner of the 2006 Bill Venter/Altron Award for his book On the Postcolony (University of California Press, 2001).

Lenwo Jean Abou Bakar Depara, known as Depara (1928-1997), was one of the leading documentarirts of Kinshasa’s post-independence social scene, and the official photographer to the Zairian singer Franco.

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STAFFRIDER

Borrowing its name and image from township slang for black youth who rode the overcrowded African sections of the racially segregated commuter trains by hanging onto the outside or sitting on the roofs, Staffrider had two main objectives: to provide publishing opportunities for community-based organizations and young writers, graphic artists and photographers; and to oppose officially sanctioned state and establishment culture.

Produced by the same Durban “moment” that saw Steve Biko begin the South African Students Association, Staffrider had a view of literature with a small “I”: it’s base was popular rather than elite and it sought to provide an autobiography of experience in its witness of daily black life in South Africa. The magazine’s nonracial policy and choice of English as a non-ethnic mode of communication attracted a cross-section of writers, artists and other contributors to the magazine. Debates around Staffrider‘s “self-editing” editorial policy were ongoing and the magazine eventually adopted quality control measures under the editorship of Chris van Wyk. But the magazine’s early flexibility ensured that the work of previously unpublished writers and artists appeared alongside that of many South African notables including Nadine Gordimer, Lionel Abrahams, Rose Zwi, and Mtutuzeli Matshoba.



Staffrider
A Film by Khulile Nxumalo & Tracey Rose

“Here platform politics rhythmically play out the politics of the land; white against black, rich against poor, workers against bosses, people against machines. But the staffriders lived and died in that little space between train and platform, between roles.A split second of misreckoning and it’s all over. Here timing is a matter of life and death. “

Of “Brothers with Perfect Timing” – An Essay by Mike Abraham
2008


” The resonance of such a simple idea is almost impossible to recapture now, but in the demented, divided space of apartheid it was bracing. All the other borders the magazine crossed between fiction and autobiography, written and spoken word, lyrical flight and social documentary rest on that first idealistic gesture. The magazine belongs to all who live in it.”

Staffrider – An Essay by Ivan Vladislavić


“Famed, Nobel laureates, wilful amnesiacs, first millionaires, years soweto’s only legit nightclub, the super-astral, the subterranean, original spot-runners, groaners & croakers, mass child-murderers, priests pimping for more than just Jesus, blades having dice & eyes vie for space in the dust between the intestines & the worms… boots squashing all… muddy beginnings, those… Call Me Not a Man, the searing bleeding cry of a book was titled… chopped & cut up bits first floated to surface in Staffrider.”

Staffriding the Frontline – An Essay by Lesego Rampolokeng


traduction française par Maymoena Hallett

Empruntant son nom et son image de l’argot du township pour les jeunes qui voyageaient dans les sections africaines bondées des trains racialement ségrégués, se pendant aux portes ou s’asseyant sur les toits, les deux objectifs principaux de Staffriderétaient: de fournir des opportunités de publication aux organisations de communauté et aux jeunes écrivains, graphistes et photographes ; et d’officiellement opposer l’état sanctionné et la culture d’établissement.

Produit par le même ‘moment’ sur Durban qui vit Steve Biko commencer la South African Students Association, Staffrider avait un point de vue de la littérature avec un petit ‘l’: sa base était populaire plutôt qu’élitiste et cherchait à pourvoir une autobiographie d’expériences dans son témoignage de la vie de tous les jours des noirs en Afrique du Sud. La politique non raciale du magazine et le choix de l’anglais comme mode de communication non ethnique attira toutes sortes d’écrivains, d’artistes et autres contributeurs. Les débats autour de la politique éditoriale ‘d’édition par soi-même’é taient constants et le magazine finit par adopter des mesures de contrôle de qualitésous la direction de Chris van Wyk. Mais la flexibilité des débuts du magazine garantit que des écrivains ou artistes qui n’avaient jamais été publiés parurent aux côtés d’éminents Sud-Africains tels Nadine Gordimer, Lionel Abrahams, Rose Zwi, et Mtutuzeli Matshoba.

PEOPLE

Mothobi Mutloatse, Mike Kirkwood, Kay Hassan, Njabulo Ndebele, Achmat Dangor, Paul Weinberg, Mafika Gwala, George Hallet, Mzwakhe Nhlabatsi, Sam Nhlengetwa, Malopoets, Es’kia Mphahlele, Kelwyn Sole, Chris van Wyk, Andries Oliphant,Thami Mnyele, William Kentridge, Gerard Sekoto

FAMILY TREE

  • The Classic (1970)
  • Pen Johannesburg (1978)
  • Wietie (1980)
  • Botsotso (1994)

RE/SOURCES

  • Staffrider on Wikipedia
  • Ten Years of Staffrider, Oliphant, A. and Vladislavic, I. (eds.), Raven Press: Johannesburg, 1988.
  • Oliphant, Andries. Staffrider Magazine and Popular History: The Opportunities and Challenges of Personal Testimony. Temple University Press: Johannesburg, 1991.
  • Gardiner, Michael. South African Literary Magazines, 1956-1978. Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art: Johannesburg, 2004.
  • “Rose Zwi in conversation with Mothobi Mutloatse,” Interview conducted 09-09-2006.
  • Gwala, Mafika. “Writing as a Cultural Weapon.” In Momentum, Margaret Daymond, Johan Jacobs, and Margaret Lenta (eds.). University of Natal Press: Pietermaritzburg, 1985. 37-53.
  • Manganyi, Chabani N. Looking Through the Keyhole. Ravan Press: Johannesburg, 1981
  • Mutloatse, Mothobi. Forced Landing. Ravan Press: Johannesburg, 1980.
  • Ndebele, Njabulo. Rediscovery of the Ordinary. Congress of South African Writers: Johannesburg, 1991.
  • Newell, Stephanie. Readings in African Popular Fiction. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2002.
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Chimurenganyana: Thinking of Brenda by Njabulo Ndebele (2009)

Njabulo Ndebele is a writer and an academic. He is the author of The Cry of Winnie Mandela, Fools and Other Stories and Rediscovery of the Ordinary, a collection of essays.

Steve Gordon is a photographer and music producer based in Cape Town. He is the co-founder of Making Music Productions.

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Nigeria’s Superstar Men Of God

Who needs the God of the bible with his promises of trials and tribulations, crosses and paths of repentance? Yemisi Aribisala listens to the sermons, counts the money, watches the high-flying life of Nigeria’s mega-preachers and wonders.

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SPEAR

Spear: Canada’s Truth and Soul Magazine launched in Toronto in 1971 with distinctly middlebrow ambitions. Under the helm of publisher Dan Gooding, Jr. and editor J. Ashton Brathwaite, it aimed to become a Canadian version of Ebony, Jet, Tan, and Essence, the pretty, vacant African-American rags appealing to Black upward mobility and the iridescent accessorizing of Black Power as Black consumerism. However, budget constraints prevailed and Spear quickly became something of an anomaly, a self-published “little” magazine that ran centre folds, a popular magazine that tackled political issues and featured poetry, a celebrity tabloid that covered cultural events.

After Brathwaite went into self-imposed exile in Brooklyn, Brand was one of a number of editors including Ghana-born journalist Sam Donkoh, future Share publisher Arnold Auguste, and the Guyanese-Canadian polymath Arnold Itwaru, who manned the helm of Spear through to the 1980s. With the changes, the journal’s quality improved and Spear‘s pages came to embody something of the cultural paradoxes of Black Canadian middle-class being. Sometimes the juxtapositions were sublime. Spear occasionally found a sort of harmonic convergence of the parallel galaxies of Black political and aesthetic radicalism. In one issue, a profile of Jamaican diva Grace Jones ran next to an interview with Trini Trotskyite CLR James.

The moment wasn’t sustained. By the early 1980s, whatever radical edge Spear maintained was dulled. For the final few issues before it suspended publication in 1987, what was once Spear: Canada’s Truth And Soul was re-tagged as Spear: Canada’s Black Family Magazine. Brathwaite’s initial vision appeared fulfilled.



“Wow! Sister Lyn, you sure got a fine brown frame. Your hot pants look fine too, but with a figure like that who do you think will bother about whether your pants is hot or cold! Hmn!” Or “The Sister with the hotpants on is Vie Anderson, a receptionist aspiring to be a model. Quite a hot pair of pants! But that brown frame is definitely a much hotter item!”

SPEAR: CANADA’S TRUTH AND SOUL MAGAZINE by Peter James Hudson


PEOPLE

J. Ashton Brathwaite, Odimumba Kwamdela, Danny F. Gooding, Jr., Dionne Brand, Sheldon Taylor, Arnold Itwaru, Femi Ojo-Ade, Gerson Williams, Sam Donkoh, Harold Hoyte, Dalton Clarke


FAMILY TREE

  • At the Crossroads
  • Black Images: A Critical Quarterly of Black Culture
  • Black Youth Speaks
  • The Canadian Negro
  • Contrast
  • Cotopaxi
  • The Dawn of Tomorrow
  • The Harriet Tubman Review
  • The Islander
  • Jet
  • Kola
  • Pride
  • Share
  • Uhuru
  • West Indian News Observer
  • Word Magazine

RE/SOURCES

  • George Elliot Clarke, “A Primer of African-Canadian Literature,” Books in Canada 25.2 (March, 1996): 5-7
  • Odimumba Kwamdela, Soul Surviving up in Canada (Brooklyn: Deep Roots, 1998)
  • Odimumba Kwamdela, Niggers This is Canada (Kibo Books: 1972)
  • Katherine Mckittrick, “Their Blood is There, and They Can’t Throw it Out: Honouring Black Canadian Geographies.” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 7, (2002): 27-37.
  • Norman (Otis) Richmond, “Bathurst St. has always been part of Black life in T.O.,” Share (October 14th, 2009)
  • Theodore Jurgen Spahn and Janet Peterson Spahn, “SPEAR: Canadian Magazine of Truth and Soul,” From Radical Left to Extreme Right: A bibliography of current periodicals of protest, controversy, advocacy, or dissent, with dispassionate content-summaries to guide librarians and other educators (Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1972), 1517-8

CREDITS

Peter James Hudson

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Chimurenganyana: Blood Money – A Douala Chronicle by Dominique Malaquais (2009)

Dominique Malaquais is a historian of contemporary African art and culture & the author of Architecture, Pouvior et Dissidence au Cameroon.

Malam is a sculptor, painter and installation artist. He lives and works in Douala.

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De l’art de vivre l’art

Goddy Leye nous a quittés. C’était le 19 février 2011, peu après minuit. A Karachi, au bord du désert, où jamais il ne pleut en cette saison, le ciel s’est ouvert. Averse. A l’aube, à l’heure du premier appel des muezzins, il pleuvait encore. J’écris là-bas ces mots pour l’ami, le mentor, le camarade Goddy. Douleur sourde, de celles qui ne passent pas. Qui ne peuvent et ne doivent pas passer.

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THE POETRY OF ABBEY LINCOLN

Live from 5pm
Friday 21 August 2020
panafricanspacestation.org.za

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SAVACOU

In 1974 Barbadian poet Kamau Braithwaite summarized the overlapping realities, the cross-cultural roots, diversity and integration of the Caribbean by declaring, “The unity is submarine.” This idea of a fluid submerged geography, a black Atlantic continuum comprised of flows, passages and displacements also encapsulates the spirit of Savacou Magazine.

Founded in 1970 by Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Andrew Salkey, and John La Rose, Savacou grew out of a Caribbean Arts Movement (1966) that was doubly concerned with Caribbean artistic production and with consolidating a broad alliance between all ‘Third World’ peoples. But Savacou was more than just an archipelago for new black voices; it sought to critically challenge Eurocentric norms through which the postcolonial nation-states in the Caribbean were being imagined and constructed. Central to this challenge was its development of a new critical vernacular, a practice of criticism that both gave form to, and spoke from within, a Caribbean cultural-political tradition.

Savacou took the first bold step in 1970, with its combined third and forth edition of New Writing. Featuring oral-based poetics, performance poetry and Creole verse, the issued exploded traditional divisions between words and music, literature and street culture, textuality and orality, exposing the colonizing presence of Standard literary formats and provoking major critical fracas in literary circles.

For the next decade Savacou continued to challenge topographical and typographical boundaries, working between continents and restoring the fluid motion of performance to the frozen-word-on-page. This culminated in its 1979 anthology New Poets from Jamaica which introduced dub poetry to the literary world and launched the careers of a new generation of poets including Bongo Jerry, Oku Onuora and Mikey Smith.



traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

En 1974, un poète de Barbados, Kamau Braithwaite, résuma les réalités chevauchantes, les origines des cultures croisées, la diversité et l’intégration des Antillais en déclarant, “l’unité est sous-marine”. L’image d’une géographie fluide submergée, d’un continuum d’Atlantique noire englobant les courants, les passages et déplacements est également renfermée dans l’esprit du magazine Savacou.

Fondé en 1970 par Edward Kamau Braithwaite, Andrew Salkey et John La Rose, Savacou gagna de l’importance sous l’influence du Mouvement des Arts Antillais (1966) qui était doublement concerné par la production artistique antillaise et par la consolidation d’une large alliance entre tous les peuples du “Troisième Monde”. Mais Savacou représentait beaucoup plus qu’un archipel pour les nouvelles vois noires; il recherchait à défier de manière critique les normes européennes è travers lesquelles les états-nations post coloniales avaient été imaginées et construites. Le point principal de ce défi fut le développement d’un nouveau langage vernaculaire critique, une pratique de la critique qui à la fois donnait forme à, et venait de l’intérieur, la tradition antillaise culturelle et politique.

Savacou fit une première démarche audacieuse en 1970 avec la fusion de sa troisième et quatrième édition du New Writing (Nouveaux Ecrits). Mettant en vedette poétique orale, poésie spectacle et verse créole, les divisions traditionnelles, éclatées, publiées entre les mots et la musique, la littérature et la culture de la rue, la texte et le parler, exposant la présence colonisée des formats littéraires Standard et provoquant un fracas critique important dans les milieux littéraires.

Au cours de la décennie suivante, Savacou continua à défier les limites topographiques et typographiques, travaillant entre les continents et restituant le mouvement fluide de l’interprétation du mot-gelé-sur-page. Ceci se termina par son anthologie de 1979 “Nouveaux Poètes de la Jamaïque” qui introduisit une poésie avec sons et effets au monde littéraire et lança les carrières d’une nouvelle génération de poètes incluant Bongo Jerry, Oku Onuora et Mickey Smith.


PEOPLE

Kenneth Ramchand, Andrew Salkey, Wilfred Cartey, Merle Hodge, Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Elizabeth Clarke, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Stuart Hall, Derek Walcott, George Lamming, Cedric George Lindo, C.L.R James, Monica Skeete, Ras Dizzy, Bongo Jerrey


FAMILY TREE

  • Bim (1942 – 2007)
  • Jamaica Journal (1967)
  • Hambone (1974)
  • Voices
  • Renaissance Noire
  • Small Axe

RE/SOURCES

  • Savacou on Wikipedia
  • La Rose, John (ed); Salkey, Andrew (ed), Savacou 9/10; Journal of the Caribbean Artists Movement. Writing Away From Home.
  • Walmsley, Anne: “A Sense of Community: Kamau Brathwaite and the Caribbean Artists Movement” in (pp. 101-16) Brown, Stewart (ed.), The Art of Kamau Brathwaite. Brigend: Seren, 1995. p. 275 (1995)
  • Kelly Baker Josephs. “Versions of X/Self: Kamau Brathwaite’s Caribbean Discourse.” Anthurium, 1.1 (Fall 2003).
  • June Bobb. Beating a Restless Drum: The Poetics of Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott. New York: Africa World Press, 1997.
  • Stuart Brown. The Art of Kamau Brathwaite. Wales: Seren, 1996.
  • Loretta Collins. “From the ‘Crossroads of Space’ to the (dis)Koumforts of Home: Radio and the Poet as Transmuter of the Word in Kamau Brathwaite’s ‘Meridian’ and Ancestors.” Anthurium, 1.1 (Fall 2003)
  • Raphael Dalleo. “Another ‘Our America’: Rooting a Caribbean Aesthetic in the Work of José Martí, Kamau Brathwaite and Édouard Glissant.” Anthurium, 2.2 (Fall 2004).
  • Anna Reckin: “Tidalectic Lectures: Kamau Brathwaite’s Prose/Poetry as Sound-Space.” Anthurium, 1.1 (Fall 2003).
  • Kamau Brathwaite, Conversations with Nathaniel Mackey Savory, Elaine: “The Word Becomes Nam: Self and Community in the Poetry of Kamau Brathwaite, and Its Relation to Caribbean Culture and Postmodern Theory.” in (pp. 23-43) Hawley, John C. (ed.) , Writing the Nation: Self and Country in the Post-Colonial Imagination. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996. xxvii, 217 pp. ( Amsterdam: Critical Studies 7 ). (1996)
  • Savory, Elaine. “Returning to Sycorax/Prospero’s Response: Kamau Brathwaite’s Word Journey.” Brown 208-230.
  • Thiong’o, Ngugi wa: “Kamau Brathwaite: The Voice of African Presence”, Genova, Pamela A. (ed. and introd.) , Twayne Companion to Contemporary World Literature: From the Editors of World Literature Today, New York, NY: Twayne; Thomson Gale, 2003
  • “Black British Literature Since Windrush” by Onyekachi Wambu
  • Dr. Marlene A. Hamilton, “Books and Reading in Jamaica.” UNESCO, 1984
  • Gordon Rohlehr, “Some Problems of Assessment: A Look at New Expressions in the Art of the Contemporary Caribbean” Caribbean Quarterly, 17:3/4 (1971: Sept/Dec) p. 92-113
  • Breiner, Laurence. “How to Behave on Paper: the Savacou Debate.” Journal of West Indian Literature. 6.1, 1993, p1-10.
  • Brathwaite, Edward Kamau, ed. Savacou 3&4: New Writing. Kingston: Mona, 1970.
  • Brathwaite, Edward Kamau. “Contradictory Omens: Cultural diversity and integration in the Caribbean,” Monograph 1; Mona, Kingston, Jamaica: Savacou, 1974, p64
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Chimurenganyana: A Silent Way: Routes of South African Jazz, 1946-1978 by Julian Jonker (June 2009)

“Where to begin? There are, firstly, names:

Mankunku, McGregor, Brand.

Moeketsi, Moholo, Dyani.

Pukwana, Gwangwa, Coetzee.

Nkanuka, Ngcukana,

Mongezi Feza.

Just a few, to give you a taste. Don’t fret because you haven’t heard their records before. Say the names slowly, as you would recite a poem. Let the consonants roll languidly off your tongue and stretch your lips to pronounce each vowel, and you will already hear distant strains of music.

There are also photographs. Photographs by Basil Breaky, who documented the scene in Johannesburg and Cape Town just before its hottest players made their ways to Europe, leaving the cities to grow dark and silent. One picture: Abdullah Ibrahim, head bent over the keyboard of his piano, his arm stretched over into its gut, plucking its strings. Arched over, listening to some deeper music from the piano’s heart.”

Julian Jonker is a writer and cultural producer living in Cape Town. He is also a member of the Fong Kong Bantu Sound System, a DJ collective, and performs appropriationist sound as liberation chabalala. Basil Breakey is a photographer based in Cape Town. He is the author of the acclaimed Beyond The Blues – Township Jazz in the 60s and 70s.


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Abbey Lincoln’s Scream: Poetic Improvisation as a Way of Life

We are standing under a glaring spotlight screaming at the tops of our lungs, from the backs of our throats which we grind together to access black blues unwords, thymus against heart, blue in green meridian, that aquamarine plexus that water and sky correct and regulate in us.

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REVUE NOIRE

Inspired by the growing, vibrant global community of pan African artists and propelled by the need to challenge reductive exotic and ethnographic approaches to African culture, Jean Loup Pivin and Simon Njami launched Revue Noire in 1991. Conceived as a printed manifestation of the arts at the time, it covered anything from art, architecture and photography, to cinema, literature, theatre, fashion, African cities, AIDS and even gastronomy. Design played a key role in forwarding its objectives. Revue Noire was glossy, fashion savvy and distinctly Parisian.Striking images were combined with largely informative texts that highlighted artistic responses to the international media and the touristic gaze; the production of discourses of cultural identity on the continent; the framing the African body; urban sites; and rapidly changing dynamic between African aesthetic values and Western influences.

As Simon Njami explained, “Dealing with Africa and all the preconceived ideas people have of the continent, we wanted from the very beginning to use the best paper, the best layout, full colour, and at a size that would do justice to the artists that we were introducing. We had to face a double challenge: at the time we started, contemporary African art barely existed. So we were introducing something to an audience that was not aware of what was going on. Therefore, we had to emphasize not only the contents but also the physical look of the magazine.”

From the beginning Revue Noire was aimed at the widest possible audience: “Art lovers,” “Africa lovers,” “general readers interested in other cultures” as well as “specialists.” Distributed internationally, it was bilingual (English/French), sometimes even trilingual. This language policy and its focus on specific regions – from Abidjan to London, Kinshasa to Paris – not only facilitated access to information on African artistic production but also forged new links between artist based on the continent and those working in the diaspora.

After 34 issues Revue Noire interrupted the printing of the journal in 2001 and refocused its attention on publishing books, curating exhibitions and posting occasional online content.



traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Inspirés par la communauté mondiale, croissante et vibrante du creuset des artistes africains et poussés par le besoin de défier les approches réduites, exotiques et ethnographiques de la culture africaine, Jean Loup Pivin et Simon Njami ont lancé la Revue Noire en 1991. Conçue comme une manifestation imprimée des arts de l’époque, elle couvre tout de l’art, l’architecture et photographie, au cinéma, littérature, théâtre, mode, citées africaines, SIDA et même la gastronomie. La conception joua un rôle clé dans la manière de transmettre ses objectives. Revue Noire était une revue de luxe, avec un bon sens de la mode et distinctivement parisienne. Aux images frappantes se joignaient des textes pour la plupart informatifs qui soulignaient des réponses artistiques à la presse internationale et aux regards touristiques; la production des discours de l’identité culturelle sur le continent; la charpente du corps africain; les citées urbaines; et changeant rapidement la dynamique entre les valeurs esthétiques africaines et les influences occidentales.

Ainsi que l’expliquait Simon Njami, “En traitant de l’Afrique et de toutes les idées préconçues que les gens ont du continent, nous voulions depuis le tout commencement utiliser le meilleur papier, la meilleure mise en page, plein de couleurs et à la taille qui ferait justice aux artistes que nous présentions. Nous avons du faire face à un double défi: à l’époque où nous avons commencé, l’art contemporain africain existait à peine. Aussi nous présentions quelque chose à une audience qui n’était pas consciente de ce qui se passait. Nous avons du, par conséquent, accentuer non seulement le contenu mais aussi l’apparence physique du magazine.”

Depuis le début, la Revue Noire visait une audience la plus large possible: “des amoureux de l’Art”, “des amoureux de l’Afrique”, “des lecteurs en général intéressés aux autres cultures” ainsi que “des spécialistes.” Distribuée internationalement, elle était bilingue (anglaise/française), quelques fois même trilingue. Cette question du langage et son centre d’intérêts sur des régions spécifiques  d’Abidjan à Londres, de Kinshasa à Paris non seulement facilitaient l’accés à l’information sur la production artistique africaine mais aussi forgeaient des liens nouveaux entre artistes centrés sur le continent et ceux travaillant dans le Diaspora.

Après 34 éditions la Revue Noire cessa l’impression du journal en 2001 et centralisa son attention sur la publication de livres, la conservation des expositions et émettant à l’occasion leur contentement en ligne.


PEOPLE

Jean Loup Pivin, Simon Njami, Ngone Fall, Yacouba Konate, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Sony Labou Tansi, Cheri Samba, Xuly Bet, Patrice Tchikaya, Akoyo Mensah, Alain Mabanckou, Sokari Douglas Camp, Jean Claude Fignole, Andre Magnin, Kossi Efoui, Oswald Boateng, Yvone Vera, Jose Eduardo Agualusa, Rui Tavares, Jean-Luc Raharimanana, Georges Adeagbo, Djibril Diop Mambety


FAMILY TREE


RE/SOURCES

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OKYEAME

The post-independence era in Ghana saw the rapid rise of a new generation of thinkers, writers and poets. Freed from colonial oppression and political determinism and inspired by the radical Pan Africanist thinking of philosopher, revolutionary and then Ghanaian Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah, they sought to explore the experiences of the African from a new intellectual framework. Founded in 1961 by The Writers Workshop, literary organ Okyeame was key in this development.

Taking its name from a traditional Ghanaian figure, the “spokesperson” or “linguist” responsible for channelling communication between a leader and his people, Okyeame sought to give voice to Nkrumah’s dream of a new African identity. Articles calling for a Ghanaian poetry whose content and form was based on oral tradition, drum poetry, and the dirge ran alongside traditional oral works translated by leading contemporary poets such as founding editor Kofi Awoonor, and texts were interspersed with icons and Adinkra symbols. But Okyeame, like its namesake, was not simply a mouthpiece. It was also an “interpreter” and an “ambassador in foreign courts.” It provided a platform for a new generation of writers to experiment with a versatile, hybrid Pan-African linguistics that combined African oral influences with African American literary devices; rural with urban imagery; phonetic innovations with lyricism and wordplay; and dirge rhythms with jazz free-play. As Awoonor recalls, “we were like the foot soldiers of Nkrumah in the cultural field.”



PEOPLE

Kwesi Brew, Atukwei Okai, , Efua Sutherkland, Geormbeeyi Adali-Mortt, Michael Francis Dei-Anang, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo


FAMILY TREE

  • Phylon Magazine, US (1940)
  • Presence Africaine, France (1947)
  • Black Orpheus : A Journal of African and Afro-American Literature, Nigeria (1957)
  • Transition Magazine: An International Review, Uganda (1963)

RE/SOURCES

  • Okyeame on Wikipedia
  • “Forward”, Okyeame, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1961.
  • Kwame Botwe-Asamoah. Kwame Nkrumah’s Politico-cultural Thought and Policies, Routledge, 2005
  • Gerald Moore. “Review of Okyeame, No. I (1961)” in Black Orpheus, No.10, 1988, p. 66
  • Atukwei Okai. “The World View Of The Psyche Of A Poet: A Tribute To Mr. Kwesi Brew”, Accra Daily Mail, October 22, 2007.
  • Ata Britwum. “New Trends in Burning Issues in African Literature”, University of Cape Coast English Department Work Papers Vol. 1. 1971.
  • Edwin Thumboo, “Kwesi Brew: the poetry of statement and situation,” African Literature Today, London, 4, 1970, p. 322-330
  • Solomon Iyasere. “Cultural Formalism and the Criticism of Modern African Literature”, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1976, p. 322-330
  • Richard Priebe. Ghanaian Literatures, Greenwood Press, University of Virginia,
  • Donatus Nwoga. “West Africa: Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone”, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 6, 1971, p 15-24
  • Albert S. Gerard. European-language Writing in Sub-Saharan Africa, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1986
  • Ben B. Halm. Theatre and Ideology, Associated University Presses, 1995, p 181
  • Christel N. Temple. Literary Pan-Africanism: History, Contexts, and Criticism, Carolina Academic Press, 2005
  • Kwesi Yankah. Speaking for the Chief: Okyeame and the Politics of Akan Royal Oratory, Indiana University Press, 1995
  • Pan African Writers’ Association website
  • Thanks to Manu Herbstein for his assistance
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MOTO

Moto was founded in 1959 in Zimbabwe’s Midlands town of Gweru as a weekly community newspaper by the Catholic church. From these modest beginnings, Moto fast became one of the most outspoken voices in the liberation war, providing scathing criticism of the colonial government and support for African nationalist parties. Banned by the British regime in 1974, it re-emerged in 1980, first as a newspaper and then as one of the first magazines to provide content in ChiShona, SiNdebele and English.

Moto faced a new set of challenges in the post-liberation era. Firstly, it needed to make the transition from the campaigning stance it adopted in the days of UDI, to a critical, independent voice in the era of majority rule. Under a mandate of being “the voice of the voiceless and defender of the downtrodden”, it switched its focus to issues generally marginalised by the state-controlled press, running socio-economic and human-interest stories, often set in rural communities. The magazine also had to negotiate the sometimes awkward relationship between its church base and its outspoken political stance. In this regard it regularly ran features on the formation of the African clergy, paying particular attention to the elevation of Africans to the hierarchy and the ranks of the canonized. Despite ongoing economic difficulties and opposition from the Mugabe government, who made several attempts to shut down the publication, Moto‘s readership continues to grow, amongst intellectuals, professionals and students, as well as rural readers.



traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Moto a été fondé en 1959 par l’église catholique dans la ville de Gweru dans les régions centrales du Zimbabwe comme un journal hebdomadaire local. De ses débuts modestes, Moto est vite devenu une des voix les plus franches dans la guerre de libération, procurant une critique acerbe du gouvernement colonial et un soutien pour les parties nationalistes africains. Interdit par le régime britannique en 1974, il refit surface en 1980, en premier comme un journal et ensuite comme un des premiers magazines à offrir un contenu en ChiShona, SiNdebele et en anglais.

Moto affronta une nouvelle série de défis durant la période post-libération. Premièrement, il avait besoin de faire la transition de la position de campagne qu’il adopta dans les jours de l’UDI à une voix critique, indépendante pendant la période du gouvernement majoritaire. Sous un mandat en tant “la voix des sans-voix et le défendeur des opprimés”, il détourna son attention sur les sujets généralement marginalisés par la presse contrôlée par l’état, présentant des faits socio-économiques et à intérêts humanitaires, survenant souvent dans les communautés rurales. Le magazine devait également négocier les relations parfois délicates entre sa fondation chrétienne et sa position politique clairement exprimée. A cet égard, il publiait régulièrement des articles sur la formation du clergé africain, payant une attention particulière sur la promotion des africains à la hiérarchie et aux rangs des canonisés. En dépit des difficultés économiques continues et l’opposition du gouvernement Mugabe, qui tenta de nombreuses fois d’arrêter la publication, le nombre d’abonnés au Moto continue de croître parmi les intellectuels, les professionnels et étudiants, ainsi que parmi les lecteurs du secteur rural.


PEOPLE

Bishop Haene established Moto magazine in Gwelo in conjunction with the Catholic African Association. It was edited by Paul Chidyausik in the late 60s and 70s, Onesimo Makani Kabwezaand saw Moto through Independence becoming one of the first Zimbabwean journalists to break the “culture of silence” around Zimbabwean government under Robert Mugabe. Tangai Wisdom Chipangura is the current editor-in-chief.


FAMILY TREE

  • Moto and the populist and politically-minded Parade were the only magazines at independence that targeted a “black readership”. Like MotoParade continued after Independence first taking on a tabloid format then moving to hard-hitting investigative news. In 1991, socially-mined popular magazine Horizon, established by former Parade editor, Andy Moyse, joined the ranks of Moto and Parade.

RE/SOURCES

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RIP PAPA GEORGE

Exile demands contemplation because it is unavoidably real for those who experience […]

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MFUMU’ETO

In the 1990s the self-declared “bedeaste and high priest of painting mystico-African religio-secret,” Mfumu’Eto (Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula) established a one-man guerrilla publishing empire on the streets of Kinshasa. His arsenal of little comic books, written in Lingala, Thiluba and French, made on low-quality paper, self-produced using stencils and photocopying machines and distributed informally in the market place, quickly gained notoriety for their virulent attacks against the political powers-that-be. Along with other low-cost and locally distributed magazines such as Fula Ngenge, Mfumu’Eto’s comics inaugurated the era of author as producer DRC’s literary world. Like other comics produced in Kinshasa at the time they were heavily influenced by urban culture, and smeared with local indiscretions known as “kinoiseries”. Mfumu’Eto however also drew inspiration from local traditions, combining black magic and religion, pulp fiction and politics, irony and attitude in a wild display of interdisciplinary bravado that directly contested dominant colonial systems of knowledge.

His most famous series includes the politically propulsive A Nguma Meli Muasi Ya Na Kati Kinshasa, first published in 1990 and finally banned by the authorities and his devilish Satan Mobutu series which re-imaged former dictator Mobutu as a contemporary Beelzebub. Mfumu’Eto work was recently exhibited in Europe and the US, following the international success of popular painters such as Cheri Samba and the growing interest in African comics.

traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Dans les années 1990, Mfumut’Eto (Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula), qui s’est déclaré être le bedeau et le grand prêtre de la peinture du secret mystique- religion africaine, à établi dans les rues de Kinshasa un empire de l’édition géré par un seul guérillero. Son arsenal de petits livres comiques, écrits en Lingala, Thiluba et Français, édités avec un papier de pauvre qualité, manufacturés de ses propres moyens en utilisant des stylos et des photocopieurs et distribués sans cérémonie sur la place du marché, ont rapidement gagné de la notoriét pour leurs attaques virulentes contre les pouvoirs politiques. En parallèle avec les autres magazines distribués localement à prix bas tel que Fula Ngenge, les comiques de Mfumu’Eto inauguraient l’ère de l’auteur en tant que producteur du monde littéraire de la RDC. Comme d’autres comiques produits à Kinshasa à cette époque, ils étaient influencés de manière importante par la culture urbaine et portaient atteinte aux indiscrétions locales surnommées “kinoiseries”. Cependant Mfumu’Eto tira également son inspiration des traditions locales, mélangeant la magie noire et religion, fiction à sensations et politique, ironie et une attitude de déploiement dépassée de bravade interdisciplinaire qui contestait directement les systèmes coloniaux dominants de la connaissance.

Ses séries les plus célèbres incluent le propulseur politiquement A Nguma Meli Muasi Ya Na Kati Kinshasa, publié la première fois en 1990 et interdit par les autorités et ses séries maudites Satan Mobutu qui remettait en images l’ancien dictateur Mobutu comme un Beelzebub contemporain. Le travail de Mfumu’Eto a été récemment exposé en Europe et dans les états américains, à la suite du succès international des peintres populaires tel que Cheri Samba et l’intérêt croissant dans les comiques africains.



“Household troubles and national grief, whether rooted in sorcery invasions, sexual rivalries, or human animosities, combine with wondrous flashes of celebrity and power. Through all of it the self-proclaimed Emperor and Majesty chronicles life in Kinshasa: past, present and future. “

THE EMPEROR OF KINSHASA’S STREET COMICS by Nancy Rose Hunter

PEOPLE

Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula


FAMILY TREE

  • Antilope (1959)
  • Jeunes pour jeunes (1968) which became Kake (1971)
  • Bede Afrique, Magazine panafricaine de la BD (1985)
  • Afro BD (1990)
  • Fula ngenge
  • Africanissimo
  • Bleu-Blanc
  • Yaya
  • Disco-magazine
  • Bilenge

RE/SOURCES

  • Mfumu’eto on Wikipedia
  • French wikipedia.
  • Africa e Mediterraneo.
  • The Africa Comics project.
  • “L’artiste solitaire des rues de Kinshasa”, Africinfo.
  • Lumbala, Hilaire Mbiye. “An inventory of the comic strip in Africa,” Africultures.
  • Hunt, Nancy Rose. “Tintin and the Interruptions of Congolese Comics”, Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, Paul Stuart Landau, Deborah D. Kaspin (eds), University of California Press, 2002. p p90.
  • Mfumu’eto. “Nguma ameliu Musai na Kati ya Kinshasa.” Menseul de Bandes dessinees 1, no.1 (April 1990) Kinshasa Editions Mpangala Original and Offest MGS.
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Reproducing Festac ’77: A secret among a family of millions

Kwanele Sosibo speaks with Ntone Edjabe about the creation of, and thinking behind, the FESTAC ’77 publication.

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LAMALIF

Published in Morocco in 1966, Lamalif took its title from two Arabic letters that form the word “la”, meaning “no”. This sly wordplay encapsulated the magazine’s objective. Launched after the defeat of the Moroccan opposition (Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires) by the monarchy, Lamalif was a form of challenge. “The goal in this tragic situation was not to lose hope, to build an alternative,” explained the founders, Zakia Daoud and Mohamed Loghlam.

Throughout its 22 years existence, Lamalif was characterised by its intellectual rigour and radical political stance. Covering social, cultural and economical issues, all from a political perspective it established itself as “a space for reflection and a force of significant challenge.” Its ideological debates amongst journalists, economists, academics, politicians and revolutionaries became global intellectual references and proved seminal in the development of many of Mocrocco’s best thinkers and writers. Its focus on arts and culture was equally influential. Lamalif‘s covers frequently featured work by artists and its writings on film contributed to the rise of Moroccan cinema in the 1970s.

Lamalif was however never exclusionary and it soon established a wide and diverse readership. Ironically it was this success that led to the publications ultimate demise. Its popularity and outspoken stance soon attracted the ire of the authorities and it didn’t take long before Daoud was “regarded as Public Enemy.” After years of threats, censorship and seizures, Lamalif was finally forced to shut down in 1988.



traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Publi au Maroc en 1966, Lamalif a pris son nom des deux lettres de l’alphabet arabe qui forment le mot “la”, signifiant “non”. Ce jeu de mots malin résumait l’objectif du magazine. Lancé après la défaite de l’opposition marocaine (Union socialiste des Forces Populaires) par la monarchie, Lamalif était une forme de défit. “Le but dans cette tragique situation n’était pas de perdre espoir, de construire une alternative,” expliquaient les fondateurs, Zakia Daoud et Mohamed Loghlam.

Pendant ces 22 ans d’existence, Lamalif était caractérisé par sa rigueur intellectuelle et sa position politique radicale. Reportant sur les problèmes sociaux, culturels et économiques, d’un point de vue politique, il s’est affermi comme “un espace pour la réflexion et une force de défit considérable.”

Ses débats idéologiques parmi les journalistes, économistes, académiciens, politiciens et révolutionnaires devinrent des références intellectuelles mondiales et ont prouvé être fructueux dans le développement de nombreux écrivains et meilleurs penseurs marocains. Son intérêt sur les arts et la culture était également influents. Les reportages de Lamalif mettaient fréquemment en vedette le travail fait par des artistes et ses articles sur les films ont contribué à l’essor du cinéma marocain dans les années 1970.

Lamalif n’a néanmoins jamais été exclusif et s’est vite établi une place parmi un grand nombre de lecteurs différents. Ironiquement, ce fut ce succès qui mena les publications à leur ultime fin. Sa popularité et sa position de franc-parler attira la colère des autorités et il n’a pas fallu attendre longtemps avant que Daoud soit “considéré comme l’Ennemi Publique.” Après des années de menaces, de censures et saisies, Lamalif fut forcé de fermer définitivement en 1988.


PEOPLE

Jean Gourmelin, Abdellah Laraoui, Paul Pascon, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Abdallah Laroui, Fathallah Oualalou Oualalou, Abdelaali Benamour, Habib El Malki, Khalid Alioua, Bruno Etienne, Mohammed Jibril, Mohammed Tozy, Aboubakr Jamai, Salim Jay, Najib Boudraa


FAMILY TREE

  • Almaghrib(1937)
  • Jeune Afrique (1960)
  • Al Mouharrir(1962)
  • Addoustour(1963)
  • Souffles (1966)
  • Anoual
  • TelQuel (2001), which founder Ahmed Reda Benchemsi initially wanted to call Lamalifin tribute.

RE/SOURCES

  • Lamalif on Wikipedia
  • Zakya Daoud, Les Années Lamalif, Tarik Editions, 2007
  • Laila Lalami, “The Lamalif Years”, February 15, 2007
  • Abdeslam Kadiri, “Portrait. Les mille vies de Zakya Daoud”, TelQuel, 2005.
  • “An interview with Zakia Daoud”, APN, March 9, 2007
  • “Rétrospectivee : Il était une fois la presse”, TelQuel
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LEPHEPHE PRINT GATHERINGS 5 – CAPE TOWN

Calling all printmakers and paper-peoples! In collaboration with our comrades at Keleketla! […]

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Urbanism Beyond Architecture – African Cities as Infrastructure

Vyjayanthi Rao, in conversation with Filip de Boeck & Abdou Maliq Simone […]

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HEI VOETSEK!

“This magazine is just to say we’re out there and we don’t buy your shit. It’s freedom of expression and the means by which a long-suffering artist becomes an entrepreneur, taking destiny into his own hands and out of the devious honkies who so love control,” wrote self-proclaimed culture terrorist Elliot Josephs aka Zebulon Dread in the editorial of the first issue of Hei Voetsek! (loosely translated: Hey! Get lost!). A diatribe-of-a-publication, the magazine burst upon the Cape Town writing and peddling scenes in 1997, at a time when the South African cultural journals happily basked under the rainbow. Written, designed, drawn, photoshopped and photocopied by Dread himself, Hei Voetsek! dissected South African politics, culture, society and sex. No one was safe from Dread’s virulent political tirades. Using Cape Flats taal, a street-smart mixture of English, Afrikaans and slang, Dread railed against everyone from corrupt politicians and conservative Afrikaaners and “darkies with a chip on their shoulders”.

After the publishing establishment, scared off by his politically incorrect satire, refused Hei Voetsek!, Dread turned to small independent black printers. Next he took to the streets, becoming his own walking and ranting marketing and distribution machine, hard-selling the magazine to oft unwilling victims at book fairs, street corners and arts festivals countrywide.

Dread went on to add two new magazines to his empire: Poes! and Piel!, which parodied the sexist magazine industry. He also published numerous satirical books. Finally in 2002, disillusioned with the lack of transformation in South Africa, Dread committed ritual suicide. As Elliot Josephs explained: “I am going to give up the ghost of my alter-ego, Zebulon Dread, and depart for India in order to find the happiness that the liberation struggle failed to deliver.” On dark stormy Cape Town nights, the dreadlocked visage of the “Last of the Great, Great Hotnots” can still be found haunting the city’s Green Market Square with the cry: “Sies! Vark! Voetsek!” (Sis! Pig! Get lost!)



“I lived in two worlds. I read. I read profusely. I was reading Dostoyevsky, I was reading Sartre. I read Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf in 1977 and it had such a big impact on me, I had to go and see the school psychiatrist after that – because I could understand that Steppenwolf, that outsider, was me. I was the madman living inside the insanity of humanity.”

THE COSMIC LIVES AND AFTERLIVES OF ZEBULON DREAD by
Achal Prabhala


“We took our collective birth in South Africa where, under the aegis of being black, we suffered at the hands of so-called white people. Which means that many souls, together, took their birth to endure karmic punishment – which they’ve not understood.”

THE BLACK GURUGael Reagon meets the spirit formerly known as Zebulon Dread.


traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

“Ce magazine est juste pour dire que nous sommes là et nous n’avalons pas votre merde. C’est la liberté d’expression et les moyens par lesquels un artiste qui souffre depuis longtemps devient un entrepreneur, prenant sa destinée entre ses propres mains et hors des tortueuses oies qui aiment tant contrôler,” a écrit celui qui se proclame le terroriste culturel, Elliot Joseph saka Zebulon Dread dans l’éditorial de la première édition d’Hei Voetsek! (traduit vaguement par: eh! Fiche-moi le camp!). Une diatribe de la publication, le magazine s’éclate sur les scènes écrites et colportées du Cap en 1997, à l’époque où les journaux culturels Sud-Africains se dorent joyeusement sous l’arc-en-ciel. Ecrit, planifié, dessiné, photographié et photocopié par Dread lui-même, Hei Voetsek! dissèque la politique, la culture, la société et le sexe sud-africains. Personne n’était épargné sous les tirades politiques et virulentes de Dread. Utilisant le langage du ‘Cape Flats'(*), un mélange d’anglais, d’afrikaans et d’argot, Dread se répand en injures contre tout le monde, des politiciens corrompus et des afrikanders conservateurs aux “noirs qui sont aigris”.

Une fois que la maison d’édition refusa Hei Voetsek!, apeuré par ses satires politiquement incorrectes, Dread se tourna vers les petits imprimeurs noirs indépendants. Ensuite, il se mit dans les rues, faisant lui-même sa propre commercialisation ambulante et oratoire et devenant lui-même sa propre machine de distribution, faisant une promotion de vente agressive du magazine aux victimes souvent contre leurs grés aux ventes de livres, dans les coins de rues et les festivals d’arts dans tout le pays.

Dread alla ajouter deux nouvelles revues à son empire: Poels! et Piels!, qui parodiaient l’industrie sexiste des magazines. Il publia également de nombreux livres satiriques. Finalement en 2002, désillusionné par le manque de transformation en Afrique du Sud, Dread commis un suicide rituel. Ainsi que l’expliquait Elliot Josephs: “Je vais abandonner le fantôme de mon pseudonyme, Zebulon Dread, et partir en Inde afin de trouver le bonheur que la lutte pour la liberté n’a pas apporté.” Dans les nuits noires et orageuses du Cap, le visage redouté et enfermé du “Dernier des Grands, Grands Hotnots” peut encore être trouvé entrain d’hanter la Place du Marché Vert de la ville criant: “Sies! Vark! Voetsek!” (Aïe! Cochon! Fiche-moi le camp!). (*) nom d’une banlieue/ quartier au Cap.


PEOPLE

Elliot Josephs aka Zebulon Dread


RE/SOURCES

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Quel Est L’Endroit Idéal

Les Brasseries du Cameroun is the country’s largest industry and dedicated to guaranteeing a steady flow of liquid amber to the vast proliferation of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other unidentified nightspots – some still in Maquis-style hiding – that have mushroomed all over the city.

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HAMBONE

For the last three decades, Nathaniel Mackey, an African-American writer on the subject of “both sides of the hyphen”, has navigated a diversity of forms and subjects. He has published poetry, fiction, essays and lectured extensively. Mackey is also the founding editor of the Hambone Literary Journal. Yet despite the diversity of its output, Mackey’s work is almost always about the possibility of “discrepant engagement” between cultures. The phrase serves both a title and an apt description of Hambone.

The magazine’s first issue was published in the spring of 1974 as a group effort by the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University. It was dormant until 1982, when Mackey revived it as clearly different journal. With Mackey as sole editor and publisher of the Hamburger, “The main meeting place for Third World, American minority and white avant-gardists.” According to MacKey the cultivation and pursuit of networks of associations and communities of interest, inclination and affinity is a central reason for starting the magazine. “Okay, here’s my map … and we’re going to call it Hambone.”

Mackey’s Hambone covers a large region. In it he has a rich cross-cultural trickster poetics, traversing the African American vernacular and Euro-American “open form” poetics, slipping across literary boundaries and wire-cutting his way through gender constraints. Since 1982 Hambone has published everything from interviews to poetry and fiction. It also publishes reviews, essays and debates on African American culture, including a controversial conversation on the subject of black literature with Ismael Reed that Amiri Baraka later described as “straight-out agentry, and in certain circumstances could easily get these dudes iced.”



In addition to his work writing and editing, Nathaniel Mackey worked as radio disc jockey beginning as an undergraduate at Princeton’s WPRB and including nearly 30 years at Santa Cruz’s KUSP. For him the experience working on radio is inextricably linked to his writing: “I’ve long felt similarities between the processes of selection, sequencing, juxtaposition, pacing, transition, etc. that putting a radio program together entails and those involved in writing prose, writing poetry, and editing my journal, Hambone.” Further, Nate has described, from the beginning of his writing, “a pattern in which music would repeatedly impact, appear in, and be referred to in my writing, whether poetry or prose.” Listen to Nates Bass Catheral Mix below.


A Bass Cathedral Discography and Mix

traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Pendant les trois dernières décennies, Nathaniel Mackey, un écrivain africain-américain résolu d’explorer “les deux côtés du trait d’union”, a dirigé une diversité de formes et sujets. Il a publié de la poésie, de la fiction, des essais et a considérablement donné des conférences. Mackey est aussi l’éditeur fondateur du journal littéraire Hambone. Néanmoins en dépit de la diversité de sa production, le travail de Mackey a presque toujours rassemblé une seule idée ce qu’il nomme la possibilité de “l’engagement contradictoire” entre les cultures. La phrase sert à la fois de titre pour son livre d’essais et pour la description appropriée d’Hambone.

La première édition du magazine àa été publiée au printemps de 1974 comme un effort de groupe par le Comité des Arts Performants Noirs à l’université de Stanford. Il a été dormant jusqu’en 1982, lorsque Mackey le fit revivre comme un journal considérablement différent. Avec Mackey comme rédacteur et éditeur Hambone devint connu comme “le point de rendez-vous pour le Troisiजme Monde, la minorité Américaine et les avant-gardistes blancs.” Selon Mackey la culture et poursuite des réseaux d’association et l’intérêt des communes, l’inclination et l’affinité furent sa raison principale pour commencer le magazine. “Mon idée était de mettre simplement mon sens de la communauté des écrivains et artistes sur un genre de carte  Ok, voilà ma carte… et nous allons l’appeler Hambone.

The Hambone of  Mackey covers a large area. In it he represents a man of rich poetry and crossed cultures, crossing the world of African American vernacular poetry and “open form” Eureo-American, sliding across the literary limits and shearing his way through the constraints of kind. Since 1982,  Hambone  has published everything from interviews to poetry and fiction. He also publishes reviews, essays and debates on African American culture, including controversial conversations about the function of black literature with Ismael Reed that Ami Baraka later describes as “pure chemistry and which in certain circumstances , could easily freeze his guys.”

PEOPLE

Sun Ra, Robert Duncan, Beverly Dahlen, Jay Wright, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Carence Major, Wilson Harris, Jodi Braxton, Michael Harper, David Henderson, bell hooks, Ishmael Reed

FAMILY TREE

  • Free Lance (1955)
  • Negro Digest/ Black World (1961)
  • Obsidian/Obsidian II (1975)
  • Black American Literature Forum (1976)
  • Callaloo (1976)
  • First World (1977)
  • Y’Bird (1977)
  • Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women (1984)
  • Catalyst (1986)
  • Shooting Star Review (1986)
  • Konch (1990)

RE/SOURCES

  • Nathaniel Mackey. Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-culturality, and Experimental Writing, Cambridge University Press, 1993
  • “Nathaniel Mackey Interview by Christopher Funkhouser,” Poetry Flash: A Poetry Review and Literary Calendar for the West, 224 (1991)
  • Nathaniel Mackey, “Editing Hambone”, Callaloo Volume 23, Number 2, Spring 2000, pp. 665-668
  • Ronald Maberry Johnson, Abby Arthur Johnson, Propaganda and Aesthetics: The Literary Politics of Afro-American Magazines in the Twentieth Century, University of Massachusetts Press, 1979
  • Nathaniel Mackey, Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2005
  • Hambone: Destination Out BY ANDREW JORON
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GLENDORA REVIEW

Glendora Review was conceived in an atmosphere of intellectual crisis following the brain drain from Nigeria during the Abacha regime. Its founder, Olakunle Tejuoso, whose family owns the Lagos alternative bookstore after which the journal is named, wanted to create a forum where people could access the work being done by Nigerian intellectuals who had fled the country, and a bridge for artistic theories and activities being propagated by African intellectuals in the West and their contemporaries at home.

Constantly engaging and interrogating the idea of Africa as a contested and dynamic invention, Glendora provided a platform for intellectual discourse on literary, visual, and performance cultures that is sensitive to the mutations and complexities of cultural work on Africa in a global age. A strong aesthetic sense coupled with an editorial style that, while rigorous, managed to avoid being too intellectual or esoteric, attracted a wide-ranging readership in Nigerian and abroad.

Although initially focused on Nigeria’s arts and cultures, Glendora grew into a pan African journal with regular features and interviews of icons such as Ngugi wa Thiongo, Mbongeni Ngema, Sembene Ousmane or Sun Ra, and critical texts on African literature. The journal also included a books supplement.

The last issue of Glendora appeared in 2004 and its publishers have focused since on the publication of books, namely the excellent tome of the West African megapolis, Lagos: A City At Work.


traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Glendora Review a été conçu dans une atmosphère de crise intellectuelle à la suite du fossé cérébral venant du Nigéria pendant le régime Abacha. Son fondeur, Olakunle Tejuoso, dont la famille possède l’alternative du magasin de livres au Lagos après lequel il prend son nom, voulait créer un forum où les gens pouvaient avoir accès au travail fait par les intellectuels nigériens qui ont fui le pays et créer un pont pour les théories et activités artistiques étant propagées par les intellectuels africains en Occident et leurs contemporains dans le pays.

Constamment engageant et interrogeant l’idée de l’Afrique en tant qu’une invention contestée et dynamique, Glendora fournissait une plateforme pour les débats intellectuels sur la littérature, le visuel et la performance des cultures qui est sensible aux mutations et aux complexités du travail culturel sur l ‘Afrique dans une période globale. Un sens de l’esthétique puissant couplé avec un style de rédaction qui, bien que rigoureux a réussi à éviter d’être trop intellectuel ou ésotérique, a attiré une grande étendue de lecteurs au Nigéria et à l’étranger.

Bien que concentré initialement sur les cultures et arts du Nigéria, Glendora a grandi pour devenir un journal de la [pan] africaine avec des chroniques régulières et interview d’icônes tels que Ngugi wa Thiongo, Mbongeni Ngema, Sembene Ousmane ou Sun Ra et des textes critiques sur la littérature Africaine. Le journal a aussi inclus un supplément de livres. La dernière édition de Glendora apparut en 2004 et ses éditeurs se sont depuis concentrés sur la publication de livres, notamment l’excellent tome de la megapolis Africaine occidentale, Lagos : Une Ville Au Travail


PEOPLE

Dapo Adeniyi, Akin Adesokan, Michael Veal, Okwui Enwezor, Sola Olorunyomi, Greg Tate, Sefi Ransome-Kuti (Sefi Atta), John Collins, Ololade Bamidele, Chika Okeke, Odia Ofeimun, David Aradeon, Giarokwu Lemi, Dele Jegede, Depth of Field Collective

FAMILY TREE

  • Black Orpheus (1957)
  • Transition (1963)
  • New Culture (1978)
  • Kurio Africana (1989)
  • The Eye (1992)
  • Uso (1995)
  • Agufon (1997)
  • Position (2001)
  • Farafina

RE/SOURCES

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Senegal & Festac 77

After New York in October 2019, and in the spirit of the trans-continentalism (aka Black World) of the event, we return to Dakar to celebrate the release of Chimurenga’s new publication on FESTAC ’77 – in collaboration with RAW Material Company.

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IN THE BOOKSHOP: KINSHASA CHRONIQUES / KINSHASA CHRONICLES

Kinshasa Chronicles is a richly textured encounter featuring seventy artists, most of whom belong to a very young generation, telling tales of one of the world’s most vibrant creative hubs.

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TRACKS

Kids are becoming priests, because if you are touched or you can see or whatever, these kind of churches, charismatic, big churches, people turn towards looking at ancestors, they turn to the Bible, they turn to look at whatever, because politics: basically were beaten.

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Civil Lines

Launched in 1994 by publisher Ravi Dayal, Civil Lines quickly became the home of vital new Indian writing in the English language. Initially inspired by British magazine GRANTA, its focus on high quality unpublished fiction, personal history, reportage and inquiring journalism instantly appealed to what its founding editors describe as a new generation of “intelligent literate urban Indians” who valued high quality English writing and bought fiction and non-fiction for the pleasure of reading.

Significantly the magazine sought to challenge the traditional literary model by refusing to publish to a set schedule. Instead it prioritized quality, with issues appearing only when the editors felt they had garner enough fine, unpublished writing connected with India to warrant an issue. The result has been five issues to date, all defined by their consistency, surprise, eclecticism, intelligence and originality. Largely edited by practicing writers (Rukun Advani, Ivan Hutnik, Mukul Kesavan and later Kai Friese) rather than academics and with no defined literary manifesto determining the content, Civil Lines is ultimately a testimony to power of the story to describe, illuminate and make real.


“The first thing that was ground-breaking about a journal like Civil Lines in India, then, was precisely this: it revealed exactly where it was coming from, its hybridity, limitations and possibilities, without shame, without deception, without fronting, without pretensions to subalternity, without abandoning politics.”

Four Ground-breaking Things In Five Issues of Civil Lines or, Ways to Get Your Head Out of the Postcolonial Sand – An Essay by Vivek Narayanan



SOMETHING BARELY REMEMBERED a film by Priya Sen

Civil Lines advertises itself as New Writing from India. This is misleading (as most advertisements are) because in its short life Civil Lines has been host to old writing newly translated, writing by not-Indian writers, writing by Indians Elsewhere and so on….”

Civil Lines An Essay by Achal Prabhala
2008


PEOPLE

Anita Roy, Amarish Sat-wick, Susan Visvanathan, Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, Amitava Kumar, Amit Chaudhury, Saba Naqvi Bhaumik, Nirmala Subramaniam, Sankarshan Thakur, Mishi Saran, Lauent de Gaulle


FAMILY TREE


RE/SOURCES

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Labour Tenants South Western Transvaal

“There’s no real vocabulary for the non-photographed of apartheid‟ – Santu Mofokeng

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Amkenah

Founded in 1999, Amkenah magazine is published by writer Alaa Khaled and photographer Salwa Rashad in Alexandria, Egypt.

Amkenah (“Places”) is concerned with “the poetics of place”: the people who live in, work at, and pass through places. A direct response to elitism, parochialism and conservatism in the literally scene in Egypt, as well as its Cairo’s centralism, it was born out of a search for a literary form that was more open and accessible. As such, it aims to re-forge a direct link between literature, art and culture on the one hand and life as it is lived more broadly on the other.

Through essays, interviews, photographs and archival extracts which feature different places, the editors to aim make visible that the life of people living in a certain place is the basic dimension of contemporary reality.
Amkenah looks at culture, literature and place primarily from the viewpoint of transformation. It seeks to trace the points of transformation in a particular place at a particular time. This allows place and art and literature to be seen as fluid, changing elements. In this way, it hopes to escape the game of exclusion and inclusion played by a global culture bent on obliterating the particular. Place becomes a container of change and dispute; a reference point that can’t be easily obliterated, or superseded by meta-narrative or cultural theory.

In keeping with its commitment to lived experience it publishes primarily nonfiction written from a subjective point of view that challenges formal, academic styles with inventiveness, colloquialism and humanity.
Texts by experienced writers, poets, scholars and journalists are published alongside new voices and supplemented with art and photography.

Openly defiant of the conservative “independent scene” and the nepotism-ridden state-affiliated press, the magazine was initially self-funded by its editors and while it currently publishes intermittently, it’s completely financially self-sufficient.


PEOPLE

Alaa Khaled, Salwa Rashad, Mohab Nasre, Heba El-Cheikh, Adania Shibli, Haytham el-Wardany, Ahmad Farouq, Youssef Rakha, Tarek Naga, Richard Jacquemond, Stephanie Dujols


FAMILY TREE


RE/SOURCES


CREDITS

  • Thanks to Fouad Asfour
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IN THE DEN OF THE ALCHEMIST

Which “they”? Which “one”? What “secrets” are you talking about? Oh! Come on! Cinema taught us long ago that there is always a secret in a laboratory and that evil-minded people are planning to get hold of it.

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Timbuktu: An Old African Saying

“The gazelle for me symbolises beauty and grace,” Sissako told the Bloomington audience. Then, he added, “Beauty will save the world,”

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Archie Shepp’s Shirt Suggests

The moment has stayed with every person who witnessed it. Archie Shepp improvising live on the street, surrounded by hundreds of onlookers in a trance induced by his otherworldly beats.

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“We should take out that word ‘national’ and reconstruct that word ‘theatre’….

Perfect, perfect, you have solved the problem for me, we have deconstructed the idea of National Theatre. We have taken the national and thrown it in the dust bin.

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Crossroads Republic

The Nigerian superstar bandleader Fela Anikulapo-Kuti hosted a covert summit meeting in the summer of 1977.

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New Cartographies

Since its launch in 2011, every edition of The Chronic has engaged with this question:  […]

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Panafest

From January 15 to February 12 1977, thousands of artists, writers, musicians, […]

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PASS is going to Australia!

From 11 -13 April, as part of an exhibition hosted by Monash […]

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Neo Muyanga – The Sex For Money No Power Mixtape

PASS founder, a composer and musician Neo Muyanga highlights the currents and […]

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Revisit moments from the PASS landing in Amsterdam

From 11 -15 December 2016, the Pan African Space Station transmitted live […]

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Udaba with Kgafela oa Mogogodi – LIVE at Centre for the Book, Cape Town (2009)

On 1 October 2009, Pan African Space Station hosted Udaba at The […]

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Denderah Rising with Georgia Anne Muldrow + Thandi Ntuli Quartet + The Monkey Nuts

  In April 2018, PASS welcomed back Georgia Anne Muldrow and her […]

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Steal Back the Treasure

In pirating the head of Queen Idia to use it as a logo for Festac 77 , proposes another dissonant route that challenges the very idea of the work of art as unique object.

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Festac ’77 – a faction by Akin Adesokan

Was Festac 77 curated by Esu Elegba? Akin Adesokan’s faction explores art […]

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BLACKOUT x 7 Octobre

Native Maqari and Keziah Jones Villa Medici channel Fela take on on […]

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10 Paragraphs of Music Criticism

Kodwo Eshun discusses selected paragraphs of music criticism, taking in Kim Gordon’s […]

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P.A.S.S. HARARE

From 9 – 12 November, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed […]

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Searching for Rotimi- A Letter From London

Rotimi Fani-Kayode died 29 years ago (21 December 1989), in exile, after […]

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Dislocations in the Congolese World of Sound

“Dislocation” is how Congolese rumba historians describe the incessant splinterings that are […]

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TO REFUSE THAT WHICH HAS BEEN REFUSED TO YOU

Fred Moten and Saidiya Hartman sit down to talk about the temporal […]

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They Won’t Go When I Go

A Manifesto/ Meditation on State of Black Archives in America and throughout the Diaspora by Harmony Holiday

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TO REFUSE THAT WHICH HAS BEEN REFUSED TO YOU

Fred Moten and Saidiya Hartman sit down to talk about the temporal […]

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The Nigerian Art of Patronage

Deji Toye looks at the legacy of arts funding in Nigeria and […]

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HOLIDAY PLANNING WITH HEI VOETSEK!

And now for an important travel advisory. Planning to visit Johannesburg or […]

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AT HOME WITH ZEBULON DREAD/SWAMI SITARAM

For over a decade, the man born as Elliot Josephs terrorised Cape […]

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Civil Lines

An Essay by Achal Prabhala At some point in the 1980s – […]

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FOUR GROUND-BREAKING THINGS IN FIVE ISSUES OF CIVIL LINES OR, WAYS TO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE POSTCOLONIAL SAND

an essay by Vivek Narayanan [Note: while preparing this piece, I benefited greatly […]

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The Emperor of Kinshasa’s Street Comics

by Nancy Rose Hunt Beginning nearly fifty years ago, in 1968, Kinshasa […]

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Spear: Canada’s Truth and Soul Magazine

by Peter James Hudson November 2010 Spear: Canada’s Truth and Soul Magazine launched […]

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Staffriding the Frontline

An Essay by Lesego RampolokengMay 2008 Down from a couple years beyond […]

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Staffrider

An Essay by Ivan VladislavićMarch 2008 I joined Ravan Press as a […]

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Of “Brothers with Perfect Timing”

An Essay by Mike Abraham2008 Germiston station has a very long platform. […]

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WHAT AFRICAN WRITERS CAN LEARN FROM CHEIKH ANTA DIOP

In a testament to Cheikh Anta Diop, Boubacar Boris Diop raises radical views on creative writing, a challenge to what he laments as our literary Sahara.

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Theatre du pouvoir AT the louvre – a letter from Paris

Kibafika Kakudji On 29 January 2018, the day after I turned 40, […]

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SUNGURA STORIES

Ranga Mberi travels back in musical time to the 1980s and 1990s, […]

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PORTRAIT OF MYSELF AS MY FATHER

A CONVERSATION WITH NORA CHIPAUMIRE Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and based in New […]

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NONE BUT OURSELVES

The history of reggae in Zimbabwe echoes far beyond Bob Marley’s historic […]

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THE WAY I SEE IT – National Heroes Acre I

Bongani Kona Who or what haunts you? Do recurrences draw you back […]

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MURIMI MUNHU

Panashe Chigumadzi travels to the rural Zimbabwe of her ancestors, onto land […]

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BAHUJANAFRIQUE – A PLAUSIBLE FUTURE

Sumesh Sharma traces the circuitous roots of Afro-Asiatic history, from the world’s […]

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHIMURENGA AS A COMMUNAL LABORATORY

by Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga Since the 1970s, Zimbabweans have used the term […]

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Zidane’s Melancholy

Zidane watched the Berlin sky, not thinking of anything, a white sky […]

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Zinedine Zidane and and the event of the secret

Grant Farred produces a Derridean reading of Zidane’s world-stopping head butt.

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To Defend and to Question

Zinedine Zidane has described him as “the greatest footballer of all” and […]

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Zidane, a 21st century portrait

Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parenno’s ambitious 2006 cinematic collaboration, Zidane, a 21st […]

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Keorapetse Kgositsile on Johnny Dyani

Jazz was crucial to South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile‘s most influential idea: […]

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Staffriding the Frontline – An Essay by Lesego Rampolokeng

May 2008 Down from a couple years beyond 30/30. it was the […]

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Culture And Resistance In South Africa

by Keorapetse Kgositsile Keynote address from the Culture and Resistance Symposium (1982) […]

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Crossing Borders Without Leaving

by Keorapetse Kgositsile Returning home, even though just for a short visit, […]

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Le sexe de Matonge

Sony Labou Tansi À Ngalamulume, le Kinois « Nazalaka moluba. Et je […]

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Who Killed Kabila?

The Pan African Space Station/Chimurenga Library at La Colonie, Paris 13 December […]

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Down the footpath

Emmanuel Iduma in conversation with photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi On a number of […]

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Home is where the music is

Hugh Masekela (talking to Mothobi Mutloatse) I remember we use to live […]

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Felasophy Through the Years: Fond Recollections of Fela Kuti

by Tunde Giwa Growing up in post civil-war Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, in […]

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No Congo, No Technology

Post-disciplinary artist, Maurice Mbikayi, was born in Kinshasa, in 1974. His country […]

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De l’art de vivre l’art

Dominique Malaquais Goddy Leye nous a quittés. C’était le 19 février 2011, […]

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La Puissance De Werewere Liking

One cannot avoid that vocabulary of hyper-inflation of much contemporary cultural or […]

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The Divine World of Making Things with My Hands

A conversation with Jackie Karuti by Bongani Kona Jackie Karuti (1987) is […]

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A Layered Way of Working

Helen Teede is a Zimbabwean painter based in Harare. She left the […]

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Some African Cultural Concepts By Steve Biko

  This is a paper given by Steve at a conference called […]

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The Definition Of Black Consciousness by Bantu Stephen Biko

It seeks to infuse the black community with a new-found pride in themselves, their efforts, their value systems, their culture, their religion and their outlook to life.

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Yahoo Boy No Laptop

Dami Ajayi celebrates the eclectic sound and success of Olamide, arguably Nigeria’s […]

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The New Thing: Part II*

The pretence of cultural hubs in the “world class” metropolis of Johannesburg […]

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Shoki Master

By Oris Aigbokhaevbolo   Like any story worth telling, this one involves […]

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Blame Me On History

Atiyyah Khan is a writer, researcher and arts journalist based in Cape […]

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Dear President Museveni

By Isaac Otidi Amuke I have debated about writing this for days, in […]

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Grandmothers Teaching: A view from South Africa

The proliferation of MA in Creative Writing programmes at universities raises questions […]

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Between: The state and Bhut’ Joe, the frequency and the future

An exchange between Julie Nxadi and Asher Gamedze unravels the state of […]

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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams:

From the earnest hustle of our elders in writing during the 1960s […]

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No One Will Save You: Remembering Kenya’s Karl Marx

Student movements in many African countries have historically confronted contradictions of colonial […]

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Pan African Activism Meets Mamdanisation

Theory and practice have been butting heads at Makerere University’s Institute of […]

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ALL I CAN SAY FOR NOW

By Jean-Christophe Lanquetin* During the last five years of Unathi Sigenu’s life, […]

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Dagga

Rustum Kozain muses over the cultural and alternative relations built, negotiations and dealings made as a resident of Cape Town.

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Debt and Study

Against the proliferation of capitalist logistics, governance by credit and the management […]

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The Complete Gentleman

In London Kamwendo’s interpretation of Amos Tutuola’s sly satire of spectral global capitalism […]

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Kaveena

In Catherine Anyango’s adaptation of Boubacar Boris Diop’s Kaveena, the boundary between nightmare and […]

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Afro Horn

Forged from a rare metal found only in Africa and South America, […]

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Yakhal’ Inkomo

An explosive bellow from the spiritual heart of the black experience, saxophonist […]

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Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars

Set in 2020, Kojo Laing‘s 1992 dark ecological sci-fi novel envisions a condition […]

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Monumental Failures

Dominique Malaquais reports from Cameroon on the active objection of one ‘Combattant’ to the negation of many, cast in stone. Decrying these monumental symbols to the least salubrious of colonial exploits, his rebellion is most fitting in a country that stands on ceremony other than its own.

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Time to Bleed

An extended conversation between Aryan Kaganof and Walter Mignolo   What I […]

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The Making of Mannenberg

By John Edwin Mason On a winter’s day in 1974, a group […]

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The Way I See It: We Need New Myths

By Shabaka Hutchings Probing the musical narratives of jazz and hip-hop, saxophonist […]

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Thinking of Brenda

By Njabulo Ndebele I first heard Brenda Fassie sing on a languid, […]

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The University of Soweto

Frank B. Wilderson draws from his memory of student protests in 1993 […]

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Reform and Revolution at the University of Lovanium

In this essay on the gestation, articulations and manipulations of student politics […]

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Marcus Garvey is Alive in East Africa

A university in eastern Uganda, named in honour of the pan African […]

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How Third World Students Liberated the West

In a twist to mainstream tropes of radical student movements of the 1960s, and their impact on the history of political thought and action, Pedro Monaville argues that the terrains of the Third World, and particularly the history of student movements in Congo, are vital to explore if we are to makes sense of how that period informs the present.

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The Picture

By Suren Pillay The picture swayed from side to side like a […]

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Inaudible I

By Salim Washington and Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi: Ja, well, […]

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Giant Steps – from a film by Aryan Kaganof and Geoff Mphakati

By Aryan Kaganof & Geoff Mphakati We’re only preparing you to get […]

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Dear Dr. Schwab, Queen of Jordan

 By Binyavanga Wainaina Professor Klaus SchwabFounder & Executive ChairmanWorld Economic Forum & […]

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Folk Dancing for Beginners

By Karen Press   (He sets the tone) In my country the […]

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Dansons Donc le Zouglou

By Henri-Michel Yere Déscolarisé In 1980s Côte d’Ivoire, exclusion from the schooling […]

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Sermon on the Train

By Isabel Hofmeyer 11.45 am on a Tuesday morning in October and […]

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Lagos, Lagos

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Chidera’s taxi crawled over Third Mainland Bridge, towards […]

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The Amazing Career of Passport Number B957848

By Akin Adesokan (For Larry Siems & Aimee Liu) I The wait […]

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Creating Theatre: A George Hallett Photo Essay

“Exile demands contemplation because it is unavoidably real for those who experience […]

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Topaze

By Baudouin Mouanda     Topaze is available in print as part of […]

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Franc-maçonnerie Suite

By Dominique Malaquais 1st Movement : Uncle Tom or DOM-TOM? Il y a […]

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Rumblin’

By Dominique Malaquais  Tell It To The World April 1st 1974.[1] Before […]

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Variations on the Beautiful in the Congolese World of Sounds

By Achille Mbembe Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Congolese […]

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The Trajectory of a Street Photographer

My quest for an explanation for this omission in my history education made me appreciate the magnitude of the crime… for the struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. – Santu Mofokeng

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Gordon Parks Photo Essay

Katherine and Elridge Cleaver (Algiers, 1970)         Ethel Sharriff […]

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The Sound of Freedom

[…]For over a decade Louis Moholo has been the only surviving member […]

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Liner Notes

As listening trends move rapidly to the online interface, the knowing of […]

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What We Did After We Lost 100 Years of Wealth

By Agri Ismaïl “World finance had, in 2008, a near-death experience.” The […]

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Gospel Christian Porn Rap

Fucking with the puritanical social mores that pervade the world’s most religious […]

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Invisible Borders

By Emmanuel Iduma Founded in 2009 by a group of Nigerian photographers […]

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Mining the Biennale

In late 2012, two contemporary art exhibitions opened in the same country, […]

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Love and Learning Under the World Bank

Stacy Hardy recounts seventeen stories of the hierarchies, the anti-heroes, the hard […]

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Melodious Thunk

By Geoff Dyer He didn’t like new things. Like a blind man, […]

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A Silent Way: Routes of South African Jazz, 1946-1978.

By Julian Jonker First, a warning. The writer approaching the intersections and digressions […]

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Together in the Picture

John Peffer scans the photographic styles that image a black South African […]

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Land Homeland

Q&A with Mahmood Mamdani Chronic: Your book Define and Rule: Native as […]

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Sounding the Horn on Reconstruction

The role of art and literature in countries of the Horn of […]

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Queenstown

By Sandile Dikeni The grass in Queenstown was pink in 1996. Or, […]

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Season’s Greetings

By Rayyane Tabet On the morning of 1 December 1960, thousands of […]

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Ayinde Barrister: Tribute to a True Exponent

By Akin Adekosan The setting was a night party somewhere in Old […]

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Jeune Afrique

By Moses Marz In 1968, Béchir Ben Yahmed launched his first attempt […]

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Souffles

By Toni Maraini The first issue was thin, but it responded “to […]

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El-Salahi – The Wise Enemy

By Hassan Musa I want to introduce Ibrahim El-Salahi here as “our […]

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Al Fatah

By Anthony James Ratcliff Al Fatah was an extremely popular organisation at the […]

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Trajectories of the Sudanese Gulf

By Michael Vasquez Hiwar The journal that the Congress for Cultural Freedom […]

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Ibrahim El-Salahi

By Michael Vasquez Ibrahim El-Salahi had a show at the Tate Modern […]

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Entretien Bouchra Khalili

An interview with Bouchra Khalili by Cedric Vincent Bouchra Khalili (née à Casablanca […]

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1966

By Michael Vasquez After World War II, the idea was that there […]

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Hiwar

By Michael Vasquez The journal that the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) published […]

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Authority Stealing in Kenya

In pursuit of some scriptwriter talent, Billy Kahora discovers that academic mantras, […]

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Under the Caine Bridge

by Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire 2000 There are two rivers of Literature, so-called […]

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The Shifting Fortunes of a Performing Poet

Post-apartheid poetry and its makers have witnessed the commodification of the art […]

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Black Man in the White Suit

A Letter from Cape Town by Kiluanji Kia Henda. In 2008, the […]

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The Institute

Cultural institutes are considered effective instruments in foreign policy for any nation-state […]

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Manufacturing African Celebrity

Jesse Weaver Shipley* explores the power of celebrity in contemporary African pop culture […]

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Soft Power Desire Machines and the Production of Africa Rising

      Alongside texts by Jesse Weaver Shipley, Moses März and Oribhabor […]

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Creative Industries as Underdevelopment

Are the creative industries turning the tide against urban development in the […]

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Reviews in Brief

by Stacy Hardy.   Our Lady of the Nile Scholastique Mukasonga (transl. […]

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Portrait of the Artist as a Daughter

by Ed Pavlić. “Where material is absent, dialectics is groundless.” – James Snead, […]

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Undoing the Spell

by Ben Verghese. Many of the dominant narratives of the partition focus on […]

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Which Africa Are We Talking About?

In the era of rapid globalisation the exemplary novelists seem to be […]

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Shooting From Point Blank Range

Moses Serubiri turns on the television and watches the news unfold, in […]

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We almost died thrice…

A letter from Lagos by Wanlov the Kubolor. I dey lie for […]

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How Close Are You To This Place?

by Karen Press. Where is the heart of darkness? We think we know. It’s […]

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Preliminary Notes for a Mediterranean Manifesto

Connecting ancience and modern roots/routes Rasheed Araeen redraws the boundaries and limits of identity. […]

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Gateway

A video-work from Berni Searle‘s “Black smoke rising” trilogy; the title alluding to the […]

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What Follows? The State of Black Collectivity in the Year of the Sheep

Continuing to sing a vital and urgent message of black collectivity, Harmony Holiday writes from […]

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Between Worldliness and Exile Homelessness and Cosmopolitanism

With essays by Akin Adesokan, Imraan Coovadia and Ngugi wa Thiong’o bound together,  Sean O’Toole examines idiosyncratic writing […]

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Dispatches from Beirut

Comic artist and musician Mazen Kerbaj keeps a visual diary of a week […]

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In the Listening Room with Neo Muyanga

This Thursday (January 15), Pan African Space Station present “Revolting Songs”,  a concert-lecture […]

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The African Renaissance Hoer-o-scope for Politicians

by Zebulon Dread ARIES Your best bet at survival is not a […]

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The Story of an African Farm

The Chronic visits wine farms across the Boland area of the Western Cape and […]

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The Alternative is at Hand

Working within the black radical tradition, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney frame a […]

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