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Periodicals Archive

UNIR CINéMA

Unir Cinéma: Revue du Cinéma Africain was the first periodical entirely devoted to African cinema to come out of Francophone Africa. First published in 1973 on a tight budget, this Senegalese magazine was typewritten and duplicated through offset printing. Despite its low production values, it established itself as an essential reference tool on cinema on the continent. Written by both Senegalese and French reviewers and published by the Catholic Information Center of the diocese of Saint Louis, it provided up to date filmographies of recent motion pictures as well as more detailed entries (including credits, filmmakers’ biographies, film summaries and critiques) of the most significant cinematographic works by African filmmakers.

Its detailed reports on film festivals throughout the world revealed the exposure and appreciation of African cinema on an international level, while its listings of places where African films have been or will be commercially exhibited attested to the scope of their circulation. Carefully prepared by-country dossiers revealed both the status of cinema in different regions and the efforts undertaken by local governments to promote the production and distribution of their films. While little effort was made to offer more in-depth critical insights into the thematics, aesthetics and ethics of African cinema, Unir Cinéma did furnish its readers with bibliographies of the latest articles on African cinema in international magazines and journals as well as the names of international periodicals with a serious interest in the critique of African films.


PEOPLE

Edited by Pere Jean Vast until 1996, later edited by Pere Joseph Lambrecht (1998-2000)

FAMILY TREE

  • Unir Cinéma was initially (from no. 1 to 35) a general periodical titled Unir (L’Echo de Saint-Louis). In 1973 it switched focus exclusively to film and continued as Unir Cinema: Revue Du Cinéma Africain.
  • Ecrans d’Afrique (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 1992)
  • Les 2 Ecrans: revue mensuelle de cinéma et de television (Zirout, Algiers, Algeria)

RE/SOURCES

  • Pfaff, Françoise. “Researching Africa on film”, Jump Cut, no. 31, March 1986, pp. 50, 57
  • Schmidt, Nancy J. “Review: Periodicals on African Film“, African Studies Review, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Apr., 1997), pp. 113-119
  • u début des cinémas d’Afrique, la revue Unir Cinéma et le centre de documentation du Père Jean Vast Entretien d’Olivier Barlet avec Jean Sarr, Saint-Louis du Sénégal
  • African Cinema: Politics & Culture By Manthia Diawara, Indiana University Press, 1992
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Y MAGAZINE (THE FIRST 5 ISSUES)

 Born in 1998 out of a joint partnership between Studentwise, publishers of white youth targeted SL Magazine and black youth targeted Johannesburg radio station YFM, Y Magazine was conceived as the new voice of the South Africa’s recently liberated black urban youth.

Published under the pay-off “Y – because I want to know”, it aimed to tap into the same market that made YFM the biggest regional station at the time. This was the so-called Y Generation, a “freedom’s children” that got to celebrate the liberation their parents fought so hard for. As poet Lebo Mashile explained: “if we were 20 or 30 in the 70’s and 80’s we would have been using everything we had to fight Apartheid… but now we have the freedom and space to do what we want with our talent and we have the ability to really manifest our dreams…”

Under founder editors S’busiso ‘The General’ Nxumalo and Itumeleng Mahabane, Y quickly came to encapsulate this spirit. Like YFM its emphasis was on urban street culture with a strong focus on the sounds of post-apartheid black South Africa especially Kwaito. Written in spoken English and drops of Scamto, it was filled with diverse youth interests without ever narrowing them down to just entertainment. From the relationship between kwaito’s apolitical, “hedonistic and flighty preoccupations” and President Thabo Mbeki’s macroeconomic ideology, to the politics of fashion and the aesthetic of struggle, Y Magazine was as one reader put it, “as rounded as Lil Kim’s ass”.

This radical challenge to the binary opposition political-apolitical placed Y a step or two ahead of other mainstream magazines, black and white. This also meant that corporate advertisers remained at arm’s length. Inevitably the magazine gave over to market pressures and changes at the radio station. Both Nxumalo and Mahabane stepped down as editors. Since then Y has continued under no less than eight different editors but it has never recaptured the idealism or attitude of those first few issues.



Forgive me if the facts are screwed, days were heady and chaotic. I think it was the late summer of 98 when it all started. In the precinct of Time Square, in Yeoville there was not much square and all the clocks had all stopped. That suited us fine, it was African time….

WHY: AN ESSAY BY NICOLE TURNER



PEOPLE

Sbusiso ‘The General’ Nxumalo, Nicole Turner, Sandile Dikeni, Itumeleng Mahabane, Lee Kasumba, Kgafela oa Magogodi, Kabomo Vilakazi, Kwame Moloko, Bongani Madondo, Gabeba Baderoon, Phaswane Mpe, Kabomo Vilakazi, Kojo Baffoe, Thami Masemola, Fungayi Kanyuchi, Rudeboy Paul Mnisi, Siphiwe Mpje, Fungayi Kanyuchi, Sbu Leope


FAMILY TREE

  • Drum Magazine (1951 – )
  • SL Magazine (1994 – )
  • Rage (1996 – )
  • Hype Magazine (2004 – )

RE/SOURCES

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WIETIE

First published in 1980 by Christopher van Wyk and Fhazel Johennesse, Wietie provided a literary platform for the prevailing philosophy of Black Consciousness. It gave voice to a new generation of South African writers who saw their work not only as a critique on oppressive systems, but – like Black Power – as a weapon of transformation. In keeping with this, the magazine employed a language that was both literary and defiant. Openly declaring its commitment to the ‘communication of revolutionary writing,’ while also providing a space to explore the realities of everyday life under apartheid, it published fiction, poetry and prose that challenged the both the political, cultural and racial status. Combining wit and humour with openly political writing, Wietie did not survive long under the Apartheid administration. After the first issue was picked up by the police in February 1980, the censors banned it, first on the grounds of obscenity (specifically, they objected to the use of the word ‘fuck’ in the short story ‘Aunt Molly and the Girls’), then on the grounds of sedition. After Wietie was forced to close down, Christopher van Wyk returned to Staffrider to become chief editor.



PEOPLE

Christopher van Wyk, Fhazel Johennesse, Omar Badsha, Peter Clarke, Bessie Head, Achmat Dangor, Peter Wilhem, Biddy Crewe

FAMILY TREE

  • The Classic (1970)
  • Donga (1976)
  • Medupe (1977)
  • Inspan (1978)
  • Staffrider (1978)
  • Stet (1982)
  • Botsotso (1994)

RE/SOURCES

  • Michael Chapman (ed), Soweto poetry, McGraw-Hill, Johannesburg; New York, 1982.
  • Peter D. McDonald, The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, Oxford University Press, 2009
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TWO TONE

Published in 1954, Two Tone, a quarterly of Rhodesian poetry, signified a radical break with the largely conservative Eurocentric academic traditions which until then had dominated Zimbabwean poetry. Publishing poetry by both black and white writers working, predominantly in English but also in Ndebele and Shona, it challenged divisions and created a new open field for expression in divergent poetic voices and styles.

While the magazine was published in association with the National Arts Foundation of Rhodesia and the University of Rhodesia’s English Department the selection process was left to the journal’s rotating board of editors, whose focus on “good writing,” “technical skill,” “stylistic innovation” and “authentic expression” provided a foundation for much of the groundbreaking new literature that exploded in Zimbabwe in the 1970.

Two Tone prioritised the author of the imagination rather than the revisionist historian or political revolutionary – a position which became increasing tenuous during the oppressive years of the Smith regime. The magazine received scathing criticism from academics, political activist and many black poets who increasingly saw it as a “banal” and “pretentious outlet” for a closed minority of “White literati”, whose “patronizing approach” to black writing supported the political status quo. The antagonism was only exacerbated by the publication of defensive editorials which argued that “separatism and elitism” create the assurances of liberty to “foster imaginative literature.”

Despite the controversy, the journal’s legacy is secured through the writing of seminal contemporary Zimbabwean poets such as D. F. Middleton, Julius Chingono, Charles Mungoshi, Bonus Zimunya and John Eppel, all of whom began their literary careers on the pages of Two Tone.

traduction française par Maymoena Hallett

Publieé en 1954, la revue trimestrielle de poésie Rhodésienne Two Tone indiquait une rupture radicale des traditions académiques pour la plupart conservatrices et enrocentriques qui, jusqu’ici, dominait la poésie Zimbabwéenne. Publiant de la poésie d’auteurs noirs et blancs, essentiellement en anglais mais aussi en Ndebele et en Shona, elle défiait les divisions présentes et créait un nouveau champ ouvert à l’expression de voix et styles de poésies divergents.

Quoique le magazine était publié en association avec la Fondation Nationale des Arts rhodésienne et le département d’anglais de l’université de la Rhodésie, le processus de sélection résidait avec le comité tournant de rédacteurs, pour lesquels la concentration sur “l’écriture”, “le talent technique”, “l’innovation stylistique” et “l’expression authentique” fournissait une fondation pour beaucoup de la nouvelle littéraire révolutionnaire qui explosa au Zimbabwe dans les années 70.

Two Tone donnait priorité à l’auteur de l’imagination plutôt qu’à l’historien révisioniste ou au révolutionnaire politique – une position qui devint de plus en plus ténue durant les années oppressives du régime Smith. Le magazine reçut des critiques cinglantes de la part des académiques, des militants politiques et de beaucoup de poètes qui le considéraient comme étant un exutoire “banal” et “prétentieux” pour une minorité de “gens de lettres blancs”, dont “l’approche condescendante” envers l’écriture noire soutenait le status quo politique. L’antagonisme n’était qu’exacerbé par la publication d’éditoriaux défensifs qui soutenaient que “le séparatisme et l’élitisme” créent les assurances de la liberté pour “favoriser la littérature imaginative.”

Malgré la polémique, l’héritage de la revue est sécurisé de par les écrits de poètes majeurs contemporains Zimbabwéens tels D. F. Middleton, Julius Chingono, Charles Mungoshi, Bonus Zimunya et John Eppel, qui ont tous débuté leurs carrières littéraires dans les pages de Two Tone.

PEOPLE

D. F. Middleton, Julius Chingono, Charles Mungoshi, Bonus Zimunya, John Eppel, Samuel Chimsoro, Vernon Crawford, Phillippa Berlyn, Len Rix, Olive Robertson

FAMILY TREE

  • Moto
  • Tsotso
  • Munyori Poetry Journal
  • Zimbabwe Poetry Review

RE/SOURCES

  • Two Tone XIII March 1977, editorial by Olive Robertson, p2
  • Two Tone XIII, September 1977, editorial by V. Crawford, p1-4
  • R. Graham, “Poetry In Rhodesia,” Zambezia: The Journal. of Humanities of the University of Zimbabwe VI ii), 1978, ,ip208
  • John Reed. “”Emergence of English Writing in Zimbabwe,” European-language Writing in Sub-Saharan Africa, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1986, p251
  • Robert Muponde, Ranka Primorac. Versions of Zimbabwe: New Approaches to Literature and Culture, African Book Collective, 2005
  • Zimbabwe – Poetry International Web
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TSOTSO

Described as “a magazine of new writing in Zimbabwe,” Tsotso‘s mandate was to undermine the continued colonial domination of literature. It sought to create a platform where a new generation of Zimbabwean writers could give expression to their experiences through writing and create new contexts for the discussion, criticism and dissemination of their work.

Bypassing traditional channels such as academies and foreign institutes, Tsotso‘s editorial team – T.O. Mcloughlin, F.R. Mhonyera, M.Mahiri, S. Nondo and H. Lewis – put out a call for submissions in popular mass media publications such as Parade and the Herald in 1990. The result was a flood of submissions, many by first time writers with little or no experience. “This is encouraging,” read the editorial response in the second issue of Tsotso, “but a note of caution or at least advice is necessary to the young writer.” This statement set the tone for what would become the magazine’s strong pedagogic praxis.

Publishing poetry and prose in English and Shona but also in Ndebele, Tonga and Shangaan, Tsotso sought to rupture the separatist conceptions of black and white writing, oral and print poetry, Western academic and traditional forms that continued to dominate post-independence Zimbabwean literature. A culture of critical reading was advanced through regular reviews and analyses of contemporary and historical Zimbabwean writing, and editorial content was focused on encouraging writers to craft alternative kinds of expression that went beyond surface meaning, dominant myths and traditional clichés. The magazine also actively engaged new writers through regular workshops and writing competitions, the results of which often became the focus of the content.

Tsotso published irregularly throughout the 1990s. Its mandate was continued in the new millennium by organisations such as the BWAZ (Budding Writers association of Zimbabwe), which was founded out of a workshop organized by Tsotso and literary anthologies such as amaBooks’ Short Writings From Bulawayo and Weaver Press’ Writing Still and Writing Now.


PEOPLE

Shilla Mutamba, Maxwell Mutami, Wonder Guchu, Dawn Davidson, Joyce Chigiya, Ngoma Yekwedu, Tevengwa Kaponda, Megan Allardice, Togara Muzanenhamo, Brian Matambanadzo, Nhamo Marechera, SJ Nondo, Godfrey Jinur, Tendai Mapupa, Maxwell Tokwe, Memory Chirere, Israel Mhondiwac


FAMILY TREE

  • Moto
  • Parade
  • Two Tone
  • The Sunday Mail magazine
  • Munyori Poetry Journal

cRE/SOURCES

  • Judges report, Tsotso 18, 1997, p.4
  • Charles R. Larson. The Ordeal of the African Writer, Zed books, 2001
  • Telling Stories: Postcolonial Short Fiction in English, Bardolph, Jacqueline (Ed.) Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA, 2001, XV, 477
  • Timothy MacLoughlin. “Zimbabwean Short Stories by Black Writers: Still-birth or Genesis?” Kunapipi, xii (1990): 76-89.
  • Timothy MacLoughlin. “Editing Tsotso: New Voices in Zimbabwean Poetry”, in Nouvelles du Sud: Litteratures d’Afrique du SudIvry: Cerpana, 1993):.63-69.
  • Brian Chikwava, “Writing Nervous,” Chimurenga
  • “A report on the Tsotso Questionaire,” Tsotso 21, 1998, 29-32
  • “Comments from the editors,” Tsotso 21, 1998, 25-29
  • Editorial, Tsotso 2, 1990, p4
  • Editorial, Tsotso 18, 1997, p2
  • “Judges report on the Tsotso Short Story Competition 1995/96,” Tsotso 18, 1997, p2
  • Editorial, Tsotso 26, 2001, p2
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THIRD TEXT

“The myth of the internationalism in art must be exploded.” – Rasheed Araeen

Third Text is a bimonthly international scholarly journal on art in global context. Since its inception in 1987, it set out to challenge the West’s position as the ultimate arbiter within arts and culture. Under the editorship of London-based artist and cultural theorist Rasheed Araeen, Third Text challenges the boundaries of the visual arts and the confines of the Western academy, featuring leading critics alongside new voices and advanced scholarship interspersed with radical interdisciplinary work that goes beyond the confines of eurocentricity.

Published in London, but designed to raise the critical temperature and the political stakes for art and cultural practice in the age of globalization, its regional focuses give voice to writers and artists outside the Western academic canon. In this respect the journal has played an important role not only in liberating already colonized discourses but also in prompting the coloniser to “decolonise his/her mind”, as the editors put it.

Initially, the magazine, considered as successor to the journal Black Poenix (1978-79), directed critique at the institutions of the British art system from the perspective of non-western artists resident in Great Britain. It questioned the marketing of multiculturalism and ethnicity, and when, during the 1990s, worldwide migratory movements evoked nationalist sentiments, Third Text turned its thematic focus to the limits of post-colonial criticism. Post-Soviet Russia, Turkish contemporary art and cinema in Muslim countries are just a few of the themes of which the Third Text has been treating since the close of the 1990s.

In 2012 a controversy erupted over the journal’s direction. Read Rasheed Araeen’s Letter to Third Text Editorial Board, Advisory Council & Supporters. for more on this. Third Text is presently edited by British film theorist, Richard Dyer and its subtitle, Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art, has been withdrawn. With respect to the journal’s original orientation, Araeen commented: “It was perhaps a mistake our trying to represent what was no longer definable in geographical terms.”. What remains is the critique of art history and art practices from a global perspective along with the resolve to present those artists and regions precluded from mainstream discourses, or else discriminated due to their origins, gender religion or culture.


PEOPLE

Rasheed Araeen, Zygmunt Bauman, Rustom Bharucha, Zeynep Çelik, James Clifford, Annie Coombes, Sean Cubitt, Jimmie Durham, Denis Ekpo, Clifford Geertz, Stuart Hall, Ihab Hassan, Kobena Mercer, Olu Oguibe, Benita Parry, Colin Richards, George Ritzer, Edward Said, Ziauddin Sardar, Gayatri Spivak, Julian Stallabrass, Slavoj Zizek.


FAMILY TREE


RE/SOURCES

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THE UN-COLLECTED WRITINGS OF GREG TATE

Greg Tate has spent the last two decades formulating a critical language that has redefined African American cultural theory and writing. An essayist and longtime staff writer for The Village Voice, Tate has published widely, with writings on art, music, and culture appearing in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Spin, Artforum, The Nation, and DownBeat, and Africa-based magazines such as Glendora Review and Chimurenga. Taken together these uncollected works constitute a virtual nomadic periodical that pushes the limits of African-American culture.

The impact of Tate’s writing lies in the seminal productive tensions he navigates between post structural theory and black cultural nationalism; academia and street culture. Taking his cue from black innovators such as Miles Davis, Hendrix, Sly Stone, George Clinton and the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat who fused the “superbad Stagolee tradition” with an intellectual sophistication, he defies fixed notions about what constitutes “authentic” black culture, inscribing a new radical trajectory that throbs with the rebellious rage of Nirvana, flows with the swank of a Bootsy bassline and bristles with the verbal acrobatics – puns, quibbles, equivocations, neologisms, subterfuges, conflations, allusions and playful digressions – of a deconstructionist.

Now in his 50s, Tate continues to challenge cultural hegemony, writing on everything from hip-hop to Youtube. His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk, Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience, and Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture. He is also a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and the conductor and music director of Burnt Sugar, a band that, like his writing, binds jazz, rock, funk, and African music in a lyrical, exploratory and improvisational manner.

PEOPLE

Greg Tate

FAMILY TREE

  • Discovering his literary talents as a performance poet in his native, Washington, D.C., where he grew up going to nationalist meetings and passing out fliers exploring ideas crucial to racial discourse with his parents, Tate was guided by the auspices of political activists H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmicheal, writers Ntozake Shange and Thulani Davis, and lesbian poet /filmmaker Michele Parkinson.
    His writing is attributed as “setting it off” for a generation of “freaky-deke cult-nat” journalists, essayists, painters, screenwriters, directors working the Black Atlantic connection. As “Blackadelic Pop” wordsmith Michael Gonzales writes, “if it were not for Greg Tate, there would be no Bonz Malone, Harry Allen, Joan Morgan, Kris Ex, Scott Poulson Bryant, Toure, Danyel Smith, Michael Eric Dyson, Karen R. Goode, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Smokey Fontaine, John Caramanica, Jeff Chang, Amy Linden, Tom Terrell, Mark Anthony Neal, Tricia Rose, Sasha Jenkins, DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller), Dream Hampton, Miles Marshall Lewis, Aliya King, SekouWrites, Kenji Jasper, Oliver Wang, Cheo Hodari Coker, Keith Murphy or myself… to paraphrase a line from the gangster rappers interview handbook, if it wasn’t for Greg ‘Ironman’ Tate, I might be robbing your house right now.”

RE/SOURCES

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THE LIBERATOR MAGAZINE

“Inspire. Educate. Celebrate.”

“Inspire. Educate. Celebrate.” With these words, the founders of The Liberator Magazine, Brian Kasoro, Gayle Smaller, Tazz Hunter, Kenya McKnight, Marcus Harcus and Mike Clark define their agenda. Firstly published in 2002 in Minneapolis, the bi-monthly publication’s mission is to “help preserve humanity by creating and supporting excellent spaces of dialog that provide fresh and forceful analysis and critique of art, culture, education, and politics.”

Taking its cue from the artists it covers – Chuck Dee, Dead Prez, K’Naan, Talib Kweli and more in music, writers such as Jeff Chang and Askia Toure; visual artists and filmmakers including Kara Walker and James Spooner; social and political change agents like Brent “Siddiq” Sayers and Runoko Rashidi – it looks back to the revolutionary spirit that inspired the Black Arts Movement, while at the same time embracing a contemporary aesthetic with its foundations in a pan African consciousness.

Defiantly collective it seeks to erase boundaries between divergent art forms and explore the intersections between the personal and the political in a heartfelt, serious way. This position places it in direct opposition to mainstream urban culture, which Askia Toure describes as having “lost its national consciousness, in its rush to assimilate materialism, bling bling, capitalism and misogyny.”
An inlet to underexposed voices, The Liberator embraces the raw spirit of street-level publishing. Its content veers dizzyingly from arts and culture, to war, immigration, homelessness and crack cocaine at home; from broad-brush assertion to the laser-focused insights of previously unheard voices.

Focused on community building and grassroots activism, it provides social and political analysis rooted in the same urban enclaves from which it has come. As editor Kasoro explains, “We were the kids of the crack generation… we saw all the unhealthiness in our community – so we set out to start a conversation about how to liberate ourselves.” At the same time it sidesteps ghettoization by situating its debate within the complex web of creative expression which binds black artists from around the world. A global publication, The Liberator is distributed in Minneapolis, Washington D.C., New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, London, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Kampala and Dakar.

The fiery voice of a new black self-consciousness and social consciousness reclaiming its freedom in the complex contemporary world, it is “a collective, one of conscious human beings – street observers, historians, journalists, poets, scientists, comedians, writers, philosophers, soap boxers, artists, and griots who are dedicated to ensuring that everyone’s story, be it artistic, cultural or political, is told, heard, digested, analyzed and, most importantly, respected.”


PEOPLE

Brian Kasoro, Gayle Smaller, Tazz Hunter, Kenya Mcknight, Marcus Harcus, Mike Clark, Kamille Whittaker, Kadiri Barrolle, Stephanie Tisdale, Jonjon Scott, Anthony Gayle, Danielle Scruggs, Mike Wilson, Joseph Lamour, Al Franken, Askia Toure, Brent “Siddiq” Sayers (founder of Rhymesayers Entertainment), Brian JacksonBrother AliCee LoChuck DCody ChesnuttDavid Banner, Don Samuels, Game Rebellion, Grandmaster FlashGeorge Clinton, I-Self Devine, James SpoonerJeff Chang (journalist), J Davey, Kara WalkerKevin WillmottK’naanK-osM-1 (rapper) (of Dead Prez), Malidoma Patrice SoméMethod ManMumia Abu-Jamal, Nathalie Johnson-Lee, Nikki GiovanniRahkiRunoko RashidiSaul WilliamsStic.man (of Dead Prez), Talib Kweli, The Slack Republic, Whodini [


FAMILY TREE

  • Liberator, New York (1961)
  • Black Dialogue, California (1964)
  • The Cricket – Black Music In Evolution, New York (1968)
  • Straight No Chaser, London (1988)

RE/SOURCES

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THE CRICKET – BLACK MUSIC IN EVOLUTION

The editorial in the first issue of The Cricket spells out the publication’s inspiration: “The true voices of Black Liberation have been the Black musicians .” Subtitled Black Music in Evolution Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones), Larry Neal, and AB Spellman in 1968 in the spirit of the hip, improvised come-to-consciousness of Black Nationalism, using the perspective of the music being created within it.

The Cricket took its title from a music gossip of the New Orleans cornet master Buddy Bolden. Like it’s namesake it was defiantly street level. Within its visually ascetic, mimeographed pages, it resonated with the same aura of revolutionary spirit, city street authenticity, and interartistic collaboration that defined the Black Arts Movement of Harlem in the 1960s.

Just consider the names, the conjurer all-star syllables of a revolutionary moment in history: Sun Ra, Milford Graves, Sonia Sanchez, James T. Stewart, Don L. Lee, Clyde Halisi, Stanley Crouch, Cecil Taylor, Mwanafunzi Katibu, Albert Ayler, Willie Kgositile, Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, Archie Shepp, Stevie Wonder, Ornette Coleman and more – and all that in just four issues published over only two years.

The cricket jittery graphic design matched its eclectic content. Within its bright covers, the world of black culture was explored, interrogated, celebrated, exploded. A music magazine? Sort of. A literary magazine? That too. A critical journal. Safe. A philosophical intervention into everyday life? Absolutely.

The Cricket of the Energy of Various Musicians: Sun Ra, the percussionist Milford Graves, and the pianist Cecil Taylor are listed as advisors. Poetry and drama intermingled with record and Black Nationalist polemic. Musician-writer-activists spun verse and prose; poet-essayists tried to capture the pulse and attitude of the new music while trumpeting black power and condemning white racism. Stylistically, their words in all forms embodied a kind of verbal jazz. “We wanted an art that was as black as our music,” Baraka recalled. “A blues poetry (Langston and Sterling); a jazz poetry; A funky verse full of exploding antiracist weapons and new music poetry that would scream and taunt and rhythm-attack the enemy into submission. “

After four issues however, The Cricket was destroyed by the political agenda and embodied. As Baraka later reflected, “We had gotten so deeply into the political aspect of it [Black Nationalism] that the Cricket were let slip …” While numerous publications from Ron Welburn’s The Grackle (mid-1970s) to Straight No Chaser (1988 -) The Cricket ‘s Spirit, no one has yet matched its innovation, creative promiscuity and intense belief in the possibility of freedom. As Baraka says, “Beauty has nothing to do with it, but it is!”


traduction française par Maymoena Hallett

L’éditorial du premier numéro de The Cricket précise l’inspiration de la publication: “Les voix véritables de la Libération Noire ont été les musiciens noirs. Ils furent les premiers à se libérer des concepts et sensibilités de l’oppresseur.” Avec pour sous-titre Black Music in Evolution, le magazine fût crée par Amiri Baraka (û l’époque LeRoi Jones), Larry Neal, et A. B. Spellman en 1968 dans l’esprit branché, prise-de-conscience improvisée du Black Nationalism, utilisant pour base la perspective que la musique est crée au sein de celle-ci.

The Cricket prit son titre d’un journal de potins musicaux imprimé au tournant du siècle par le maestro du cornet de la Nouvelle Orléans, Buddy Bolden. Tout comme son homonyme, son niveau était, avec audace, de rue. Sur ses pages visuellement ascétiques et miméographiées, résonnait la même aura d’esprit révolutionnaire, d’authenticité des rues urbaines, de collaboration interartistique qui définissait le Black Arts Movement de Harlem dans les années 60.

Il suffit d’examiner les noms, les syllabes vedettes conjurants un moment historique révolutionnaire: Sun Ra, Milford Graves, James T. Stewart, Sonia Sanchez, Don L. Lee, Clyde Halisi, Stanley Crouch, Cecil Taylor, Mwanafunzi Katibu, Albert Ayler, Keorapetse ‘Willie’ Kgositsile, Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, Archie Shepp, Stevie Wonder, Ornette Coleman et plus – et tout cela seulement dans quatre numéros publiés sur seulement deux ans.

La conception graphique à cran de The Cricket’s reflétait son contenu éclectique. Entre ses couvertures criardes, le monde de la culture noire était gravé en blanc et noir tranchant, exploré, interrogé, explosé. Un magazine sur la musique? En quelque sorte. Un magazine littéraire? Cela aussi. Une revue critique? Sans doute. Une intervention philosophique dans la vie de tous les jours? Absolument.

The Cricket intégrait l’énergie de plusieurs musiciens: Sun Ra, le percussioniste Milford Graves, et le pianiste Cecil Taylor sont listés comme conseillers. Poésie et théâtre entremêlés de critiques d’albums et de polémique Black Nationalist. Des activistes-musiciens-écrivains tissaient des vers et de la prose; des poètes-essayistes tentaient de capturer le pouls et l’attitude de la nouvelle musique tout en claironnant le black power et condamnant le racisme blanc. Du point de vue stylistique, leurs mots dans toutes leurs formes incarnaient une sorte de jazz verbal. “Nous voulions un art qui soit aussi noir que notre musique,” se rappelle Baraka. “Une poésie de blues (à la Langston et Sterling); une poésie jazzy; un verset funky empli d’armes explosantes antiracistes et de nouvelle poésie musicale qui crierait et raillerait et attaquerait de son rythme l’ennemi jusqu’à soumission.”

Cependant, après quatre numéros The Cricket fût détruit par le même agenda politique qu’il incarnait. Comme se le dira plus tard Baraka, “Nous nous étions tellement immergés dans son aspect politique [du Black Nationalism] qu’en fait les choses édifiantes comme The Cricket ne furent pas poursuivies…” Alors que de nombreuses publications, allant de The Grackle (mi années 70) de Ron Welburn à Straight No Chaser (1988 – ), continuèrent dans la lancée de The Cricket, personne n’a encore égalé son innovation, sa promiscuité créative et la croyance intense en la possibilité de liberté. Comme Baraka le dit, “La beauté n’a rien à y voir, mais cela en est!”

View (pour voir) une version sommaire du quatrième volume de The Cricket, publié dans Albert Ayler, Holy Ghost, rare & unissued recordings (1962 – 70), 9 CD Spirit Box, 2004


PEOPLE

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), A. B. Spellman, Larry Neal, Mwanafunz Katibu , Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Stanley Crouch, Gaston Neal, James T. Stewart’s, Sonia Sanchez, Clyde Halisi, Don L. Lee, Norman Jordan, Ben Caldwell, Mtume, Roger Riggins, Albert Ayler, Askia Muhammed Toure, Willie Kgositile, Ibn Pori, Ishmael Reed.


FAMILY TREE

  • The Floating Bear: A Newsletter. (1961-1969) A mimeo magazine delivered by mail. Diane Di Prima & and LeRoi Jones, eds.
  • Yugen (1958-1961) LeRoi Jones and Hettie Cohen, eds.
  • Liberator (1961 and 1971) Founded by the architect turned full-time activist Dan Watts.
  • Freedomways (1961 – 1986)
  • Umbra Magazine (1962)
  • Afro World (1965)
  • The Grackle: Improvised Music in Transition (1976-78). Roger Riggins, James T. Stewart and Ron Welburn, eds.
  • Journal of Black Poetry (1966 – 1973) Dingane Joe ed.

RE/SOURCES

  • Gennari, John. Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics. University of Chicago Press, 2006. p. 287 – 290.
  • Funkhouser, Christopher. “LeRoi Jones, Larry Neal, and the Cricket: Jazz and Poets’ Black Fire”, African American Review, Vol. 37, 2003.
  • Komozi Woodard Amiri Baraka Collection, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History. Series I: Black Arts Movement, 1961-1998.
  • Poet Amiri Baraka on the freedom movement and Black art, The Gainesville Iguana, January 2007.
  • Thomas, Lorenzo and Nielsen, Aldon Lynn. Don’t Deny My Name: Words and Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition. University of Michigan Press, 2008, Page 131
  • Kalamu ya Salaam. Djali Dialogue with Amiri Baraka, First in a Series of Conversations with Established and Emerging African-American Writers. The Black Collegian Magazine.
  • Smethurst, James. Pat Your Foot and Turn the Corner: Amiri Baraka, the Black Arts Movement, and the Poetics of a Popular Avant-Garde; African American Review, Vol. 37, 2003
  • Hanson, Michael. Suppose James Brown read Fanon: the Black Arts Movement, cultural nationalism and the failure of popular musical praxis. Popular Music. Cambridge University Press, 2008, 27:341-365
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THE BOOK OF TONGUES

The guiding concept behind The Book of Tongues is the impossible. In it, founding editor-at-large Rustum Kozain undertakes a journey through illusion and disillusion, secret desire and the wilderness of the imagination that includes a detour into landscape, encounter, memory, and history – among other diversions. Part philosophical prank, part fantasy parable, part meta-textual myth and part wishful thinking, itís a personal quest that ultimately seeks to find the correct distance between the eyes and the book.

Photograph: Christine Fourie and Kwela Books


PEOPLE

Rustum Kozain


FAMILY TREE

  • H. P. Lovecraft’s The Necronomicon (1924)
  • Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliard (1961)
  • Utto Rudolph aka Yambo Ouologuem’s Mille et une bibles du sexe (1969)
  • Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Sand (1975)
  • Ishmael Reed’s Neo-Hoodoo Manifesto (1969)
  • Robert BolaÒo’s Literatura Nazi en America (Nazi Literature in the Americas) (1996)
  • James Sey’s “Compendium of Imaginary Wavelengths” (2004)

RE/SOURCES

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STRAIGHT NO CHASER

Named after Thelonious Monk’s classic, Straight No Chaser was a fiercely independent British magazine aimed at the global jazz, jive and soul aficionado. Published under the banner of “Interplanetary Sounds – Ancient to Future” (partly stolen from Art Ensemble of Chicago) it combined the jazz spirit, the “Freedom Principle” that its founder, journalist and jazz head Paul Bradshaw, defined as the “spirit of improvisation embodied in the music of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Rahsaan Roland Kirk” with the urban edge of hip hop, drum n bass, deep house and nu-jazz. Emerging from the thriving late 80s British jazz dance community, its in-depth artist features, interviews and global reports on the sounds and philosophies of diverse scenes – from Brazil’s AfroReggae scene and Ethiopia Mulatu Astatke, to South Africa’s Busi Mhlongo and the death-jazz scene in Japan – made it a seminal hub around which the “jazz thing” evolved globally.

Its “acid jazz” design is equally important. Inspired by typographic legend Swifty it employed sampling and remixing strategies to radically redefine the relationship between music and the visual world of photography, illustration/fine art and typo-graffix. In 2007 the magazine responded to “the continued digitalisation of the industry and the expectations of the Myspace generation” by ceasing print production to focus on developing a substantial archive reflecting the magazines the journey so far.

PEOPLE

Paul Bradshaw, Amar Patel, Ian Swift (Swifty), Gilles Peterson, Vivien Goldman, Ross Allen, Andy Thomas, Tyler Askew, Ian Dury, Ade Bankole, Max Reinhart, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Dom Servini, Max Cole, Livingstone Marquis, Peter Williams (the Don!), Samera Owusu Tutu, Pav Modelski, Suki Dhanda, Jonathan Oppong Wiafec


FAMILY TREE


RE/SOURCES

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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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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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Souffles

“This slim booklet contains dynamite,” wrote Policy in its 1966 review of new Moroccan quarterly magazine, Souffles. Instigated by a small group of self-professed “linguistic guerrillas” as “a manifesto for a new aesthetics in the Maghreb”, it became a conduit for a new generation of writers, artists, and intellectuals to stage a revolution against imperialist and colonial cultural domination. The starting point for this revolution was language. 

From its first issue, Souffles posed an aggressive challenge to the traditional Francophone and Arabophone literary divides by encouraging experimentation, translations and collaborations. It wasn’t long before its trademark cover emblazoned with an intense black sun radiated throughout Africa, the Arab world, West Indies and the Black Atlantic. In the early 70s the magazine changed focus. Motivated by the crushing Arab defeat in Six-Day War and the Paris uprisings, its founder, editor and publisher Abdellatif Laabi declared that “Literature was no longer sufficient”. After the fifteenth issue, dedicated to Palestine, Souffles underwent a major redesign, emerging as a new firebrand organ of leftist revolutionary group, Ila al-Amam. This new political agenda caught the attention of the authorities and in 1972 the magazine was banned and Laabi arrested. While in prison he was awarded several international poetry prizes. After a long solidarity campaign, he regained his freedom in 1980.e


traduction française par Maymoena Hallett

“Ce petit livret contient de la dynamite”, écrivit Policy dans sa critique de 1966 du magazine trimestriel marocain, Souffles. Fomenté par un petit groupe se déclarant ‘guérilleros linguistiques’ comme ‘manifeste pour une nouvelle esthétique du Maghreb’, il devint un conduit pour une nouvelle génération d’écrivains, artistes et intellectuels pour organiser une révolution contre la domination culturelle impérialiste et coloniale. Le point de départ de cette révolution était la langue.

Dès le premier numéro, Souffles posa un défi aggressif aux divisions traditionnelles littéraires francophones et arabophones en encourageant l’expérimentation, les traductions et les collaborations. Il ne fallut pas longtemps pour que sa couverture caractéristique blasonnée d’un soleil noir intense rayonne sur toute l’Afrique, le monde arabe, les Antilles et la diaspora. Au début des années 70, le magazine changea d’orientation. Motivé par la défaite arabe écrasante de la guerre de la guerre des Six Jours et les émeutes de Paris, son fondateur, rédacteur et éditeur, Abdellatif Laabi déclara que “La littérature n’est plus suffisante” . Après le numéro quinze, dédié à la Palestine, Souffles subi un redésign majeur, émergeant comme un nouvel organe exalté du groupe révolutionnaire de gauche, Ila al-Amam. Ce nouvel agenda politique attira l’attention des autorités et en 1972, le magazine fût interdi et Laabi appréhendé. Durant son séjour en prison, il fût récompensé de plusieurs prix de poésie internationaux. Suite à une longue campagne de solidarité, il fût libéré en 1980.



PEOPLE

Founder, editor and publisher Abdellatif Laâbi; artists including painter Mohamed Melehi who designed the trademark cover, Mohamed Melehi, Farid Belkahia and Mohamed Chebaa; poets and writers Mohamed Khaïrr-Eddin, Mostafa Nissaboury, Ahmed Bouanani, Abdallah Stouky, Malek Alloula, Toni Maraini, Mostafa Lacheraf; Azeddine Madani and Mohamed Aziz, Abdallah Laroui, Abdelkhebir Khatibi, Bernard Jakobiak and André Laude; political activist Abraham Serfaty; and Ila al-Amam leaders including Mohamed Berdouzi, Abdelfattah Fakihani and Mohamed Talbi.


FAMILY TREE

  • Souffles was inspired by Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, as well as early postcolonial writers such Aime Cesaire, Mario de Andrade, and Rene Depestre and journals like Presence Africaine. Thirty-five years since its demise, few publications have matched its stature, appeal, or intellectual authority. Its influence can however be felt in contemporary magazines such as Le JournalNichane and Biddoun.

RE/SOURCES

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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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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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MOLOTOV COCKTAIL

First published in 2007 Molotov Cocktail initially appeared to be a contradictory mix, on one side there was its incendiary title, cover art of a hand poised to throw a lit petrol bomb, and the provocative subtitle , Dismantling the Master’s House Brick by Brick. Then this in the first editorial: “Molotov Cocktai broadly backs the principles and policies of the African National Congress. We believe that discussing the ANC with insight and generosity will be more interesting and productive than condemning the party out of ignorance.” A revolutionary magazine aimed at defending “the powers that be” with word bombs?

Partially, yes. Edited by James Sanders (initially with the help of Ronald Suresh Roberts and later alone) Molotov Cocktail captures the ambiguities of contemporary post apartheid South Africa, where despite the change of political power the majority of the media is still owned by a small white minority. As the editorial in the second issue explains, “In South Africa, many newspapers and magazines adopt a pose of neutrality that is essentially oppositional. Some of this derives from the ‘anti-apartheid’ history of the mining press but it is really a cover for a political agenda that attempts to impose an illiberal narrative onto news and politics. The print media has not transformed quickly enough and we hope to speed it along.”

With that in mind Molotov Cocktail took a deliberately intellectual approach, defining itself as, “a platform where South African intellectuals will debate issues and engage in serious discussions about the direction that our country should take.” It has featured everything from archival documents including long-lost SACP biographies and back issues of the SADF’s Paratus, to new writing on cultural schizophrenia, oil, opposition, Zimbabwe, ‘apartheid’ in Israel, meeting a Nazi in SA, polo in Plett, Post-Polokwane: the new ANC, banking, crime and succession.

It also includes news, controversial profiles, satire, political gossip, book and film reviews, detailed media analysis and some literary critique. Graphics often take the form of illustrations, posters, political cartoons, power organograms and “how to” guides, including of course, “How to make a Molotov Cocktail“.

Significantly, the magazine silenced critics who saw it as Pro-Mbeki mouthpiece by maintaining its editorial stance despite Mbeki’s electoral defeat at the ANC conference in 2007.

To date the magazine has brought out 5 issues and established itself as a one of the few independent print voices, offering alternative news, views, critique and satire that challenge the mainstream media.


PEOPLE

James Sanders, Ronald Suresh Roberts, Adam Rumball, Zanele Mashinini, Yasmin Sooka, Sindiso Mnisi, Izzy Grove, Eeben Barlow, Lancelot du Preez, Richard Gott, Peter Hallward, Piers Pigou, Eusebius McKaiser, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Lester Sands, Adam Rumball, Nicholas Tee, Dan Mare, Jonathan Bloche, Phillip Dexter and Thato Mofokeng.


FAMILY TREE

  • Nose Week 1993
  • The Media magazine

RE/SOURCES

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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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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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L’AUTRE AFRIQUE

As its name suggests, The Other Africa aims to provide a different view of the continent. Founded by acclaimed journalist Jean-Baptiste Placca this Paris based, pan-African monthly was started in 1997 in response to the clichéd, reductive and often pathological depiction of Africa in the Western media. In contrast The Other Africa sought to force the diversity of opinion, the multiple realities, unique terminology and complexities of daily life across a vast continent of over fifty nations. “Beside the Africa of all the calamities that we know (dictatorships, disease, AIDS, corruption, civil wars and everything else), there is also Africa that is serious, which makes constructive things.”

The Other Africa was thus characterized by rigorous investigation, in-depth analysis, detailed coverage and on-the-ground reporting. The journal is also a tool for teaching and writing for African journalists as “agents of development”.

The Other Africa was based in Paris but it was distributed widely both in Europe and Africa, taking advantage of the French communication and transport infrastructure provided by the global network of journalists, analysts and photographers. This is difficult to sustain and financial perspectives forced the Other Africa’s closure after only three years. In 2001 Placca resurrected the newspaper as a weekly, but despite a clearer



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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JOE

Published in 1970s, at the height of what acclaimed publisher Henry Chakava described as the “fat years” of publishing in Kenya, Joe was only one of a number of popular publications aimed at a fast growing new young urban generation. What set Joe apart was its subversive use of humour, art and fiction as a narrative frame for cultural, social and political analysis. This strategy was seminal not only in educating and activating its readers but also in a providing a platform for new fiction writers and artists to develop their talents.

Founded by writer/publisher Hillary Ng’weno and artist Terry Hirst, Joe published regularly between 1973 and 1979. The magazine was named after “Joe”, a common man who used humour to deal with and expose the realities of urban life in contemporary Africa. This epitomised Joe’s aim; readers were encouraged to do the same, and enter into a dialogue with the character, and thus the magazine.

Taking its cue from Drum Magazine, Joe employed street-wise language in comic strips, fiction stories and thematic columns to explore everyday problems of the urban population. Its letters column, “Dear Joe”, like Drum’s “Speak up Man”, encouraged interaction from readers. The magazine also carried an original short story in every issue, nurturing writers such as Sam Kahiga and Meja Mwangi, and even Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who occasionally contributed to the magazine. Joe’s main distinguishing factor was its use of graphics, drawings, illustrated jokes and comic strips, such as “City Life” by Edward Gitau, “O.K, Sue! A City-Girl’s View” by Kimani Gathingiri and Terry Hirst’s “Daddy Wasiwasi & Co” and “The Good, the Bed and the Ugali”, all of which created a lasting impression on Kenya’s visual culture.

Ng’weno left Joe in 1974 and in 1979 Hirst renamed the magazine Joe Homestead, increasing the number of comic strips and adding a new section on family, nutrition and health – perhaps to take Joe from its original urban setting to a more rural one. However, the new title did not attract advertisers and the magazine shut down in August 1979.



“Joe, the character in the magazine, drawn always in an old coat and with rough beard bald patch on the head was a character everyone seemed to know intimately: the old peasant elderly guy next door; a kindly uncle, only more gifted in wit than your real one and more acerbic. “

JOE AN ESSAY BY SAM KAHIGA 


traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Publi2 dans les années 1970, à l’apogée de ce que l’éditeur acclamé Henry Chakava décrivit comme étant les “années grasses” de la publication au Kenya, Joe était la seule parmi de nombreuses publications populaires à s’adresser à une nouvelle jeune génération à croissance rapide. Ce qui départageait Joe du reste était sa manière subversive d’utiliser l’humour, l’art et la fiction comme une structure narratrice pour une analyse culturelle, sociale et politique. Cette stratégie était fructueuse pour non seulement éduquer et faire agir ses lecteurs mais aussi pour procurer un tremplin permettant aux nouveaux écrivains de fiction et artistes de développer leurs talents.

Fondé par l’écrivain/éditeur Himary Ng’weno et artiste Terry Hirst, Joe parut régulièrement entre 1973 et 1979. Le magazine a tiré son nom de “Joe”, un homme ordinaire qui utilisait l’humour pour traiter et exposer les réalités de la vie urbaine dans l’Afrique contemporaine. Ceci résumait l’intention de Joe: les lecteurs étaient encouragés de faire pareil et d’entrer dans un dialogue avec le caractère et ainsi avec le magazine.

Emboîtant le pas au Magazine Drum, Joe utilisa le langage de la rue ses bandes dessinées humoristiques, ses histoires fictionnelles et ses colonnes thématiques afin d’explorer les problèmes quotidiens de la population urbaine. Ses colonnes de lettres, “Cher Joe”, comme “allez, parle” de Drum, encouragea l’interaction des lecteurs. Le magazine rapportait également une histoire courte original dans chaque édition, nourrissant les écrivains tels que Sam Kahiga et Meja Mwangi et même Ngugi wa Thiong’o, qui occasionnellement apportaient leur contribution au Magazine. Le principal facteur caractéristique de Joe était son utilisation des graphiques, des dessins, des plaisanteries illustrées et des bandes dessinées telles que “City Life” (Vie de la cité) par Edward Gitau, “OK, Sue! Une vue des filles de la cité” par Kimani Gathingiri et “Le Père Wasiwasi & Coe” de Terry Hirst et “Le Bon, le Lit et l’Ugali”, l’ensemble desquels créait une impression durable sur la culture visuelle du Kenya.

Ng’weno quitta Joe en 1974 et en 1979 Hirst renomma le magazine La ferme de Joe, augmentant le nombre de bandes dessinées et ajoutant une nouvelle section sur la famille, la nourriture et la santé  peut-être pour retirer Joe de son habitat urbain originel à celui plus rural. En revanche, le nouveau titre n’attira pas les milieux publicitaires et le magazine ferma en aoùt 1979.


PEOPLE

Terry Hirst, Hilary Ng’weno, Oscar Festus, Nick Ayub, Sam Kahiga, Meja Mwangi, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Edward Gitau, Kimani Gathingiri.


FAMILY TREE

More than 36 popular periodicals came out regularly in Kenya in 1976. However, Joe‘s main competitor, the east Africa edition of Drum was published out of London and therefore, according to Terry Hirst, wasn’t as in touch with happenings in Kenya. Other Kenyan magazines printed at the same time included VivaMen OnlyTrue Love and TrustKwaniwas first published in 2003.


RE/SOURCES

  • Joe on Wikipedia
  • Bodil Folke Frederiksen. “Joe, The Sweetest Reading in Africa: Documentation and Discussion of a Popular Magazine in Kenya”, African Languages and Cultures, Vol 4 number 2 (1991), p. 135-155
  • Henry Chakava. “Selling books in Africa: A publisher’s reflections,” Journal of the World Book Community Volume: 8 | Issue: 3, 1997, p.159-164
  • Terry Hirst. “New Art from Kenyatta College,” African Arts, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Summer, 1971), p. 36-39
  • Thanks to Sheba Hirst, for additional information
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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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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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FRANK TALK

Founded in 1984 in South Africa, Frank Talk is a political journal whose genealogy is rooted in the student-led anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and 80s. Originally the pseudonym under which Steve Biko wrote several articles as the Publications Director of the South African Students’ Organization (SASO), Frank Talk became the title of the journal published by The Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO), a nationalist group committed to Biko’s ideas of Black Consciousness.

Biko’s prolific SASO writings were published in early volumes of Frank Talk, and throughout its history the journal remained committed to the Black Consciousness ideology responsible for mobilizing student-led anti-apartheid resistance. Exploring the theory of Black Consciousness and related issues of race and racism, theology, culture and revolution, Frank Talk became a platform for rigorous political analysis of the frustrations and problems of black students and black people generally. Available in both Afrikaans and English, several issues of the journal were banned for distribution by South Africa’s apartheid government. The last issue of Frank Talk was published in 1990.



traduction française par Scarlett Antoniou

Fondé en 1984 en Afrique du Sud, Frank Talk est un journal politique dont la généalogie est enracinée dans le mouvement anti-apartheid men&3233; par les étudiants dans les années 1970 et 80. A l’origine le pseudonyme sous lequel Steve Biko a écrit plusieurs articles comme le Directeur des Publications de l’Organisme des Etudiants Sud-Africains (OESA), Frank Talk devint le titre du journal édité par l’Organisme du Peuple Azanian, un groupe nationaliste engagé à poursuivre les idées de la Conscience Noire de Biko.

Les écrits OESA prolifiques de Biko furent édités dans les premiers volumes de Frank Talk et à travers son histoire, le journal resta engager à la l’idéologie de la Conscience Noire responsable pour la mobilisation de la résistance anti-apartheid menée par les étudiants. Explorant la théorie de la Conscience Noire et les questions relatives de la race et du racisme, de la théologie, de la culture et de la révolution, Frank Talk devint une plateforme pour une analyse politique rigoureuse des frustrations et des problèmes des étudiants noirs et du peuple noir en général. Disponibles en afrikaans et en anglais, plusieurs éditions du journal ont été interdites à la distribution par le gouvernement apartheid sud-africain. La dernière édition du Frank Talk a été publiée en 1990.


PEOPLE

Stephen Bantu Biko, Louis Farrakhan, Walter Rodney , Gamal Nkrumah, Frank Talk Staff Writers


FAMILY TREE

  • SASO Newsletter (1969)
  • Black Review (1975)
  • Ikwezi (1980)
  • Africanist news and views (1968)
  • Chimurenga: monthly news, commentary and mobilisation pamphlet of the Azanian Students Convention (1995)

RE/SOURCES

  • Frank Talk on Wikipedia
  • Black Allied Mining And Construction Workers
  • Black Conscious Movement in South Africa
  • Advance Resist Defend: Soweto Tenth Anniversary
  • Azanian Socialist Review, 1990
  • Awake Black Students: Azasm National News Bulletin, vol.1 no1, 1995
  • Azanian Courier: An Azapo Publication, vol. 1. no2, 1990
  • Azanian Economic Policy, Programme and Strategy, 1990
  • Azanian Focus, vol.1 no.2, 1981; vol.1 no.6, 1977
  • Azanian Frontline: Newsletter of the Azania Liberation Support Committee, 1983
  • The Azanian Labour Journal: vol. 2 no. 1, 1989; vol. 2 no. 2 & 3, 1989
  • Azanian People’s Organisation: Conference Issue, 1983
  • Azapo: Political Education Series: vol. 1 no 1, 1990
  • Azanian Review: vol. 1 no 2, 1988/1996
  • A Decade of Resistance , Make it a Revolution, 1976-1986
  • Black Consciousness in South Africa.
  • Chimurenga: Monthly News, comment and mobilisation pamphlet of the Azanian Students Convention, 1995
  • Crossroads in Crisis: South African Squatter Camps, 1977
  • Cry Freedom
  • Don’t play with Apartheid, Don’t sing for Apartheid
  • Drumbeat: The Pulse of the Black masses , facts and reports, 1981
  • God or Apartheid: A Challenge to South African adventism, 1991
  • I Write What I Like: Selected Writings.
  • Letsetse, the flea: Monthly news, comment and mobilisation pamphlet of the Azanian People’s Organisation, 1986-1996
  • Solidarity: Official organ of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania, 1977/1981/1983/1990
  • Suffering in the midst of so much concern: The plight of South African Refugee Students in the USA.
  • The African Communist: The Role of Black Consciousness in the South African Revolution, 1977
  • SASO Newsletter: Conference Issue, 1975
  • Secrets of the Barbed Wire Ghetto
  • The Testimony of Steve Biko.
  • “Bantu Stephen Biko”
  • “The Revolution in South Africa: An Analysis”
  • Archives of the Azanian People’s Organisation/ Black Consciousness Movement
  • Writings & resources on Steve Biko & the Black Consciousness Movement
  • Frank Talk, SA History Online
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ECRANS D’AFRIQUE

Founded by African filmmakers in Burkina Faso in 1992, during a period of intense worldwide interest and commentary on African T.V. and film, the bilingual journal Ecrans d’Afrique: Revue Internationale de Cinema Television et Video (also known as African Screen) explored all aspects of African film production. It, along with its many contemporaries, sought to ameliorate an intellectual climate which suffered from a dearth of commentary on African film. A corollary of the journal’s efforts was to improve worldwide exposure and access to African films – it was linked to the Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the continent’s leading film festival, from its inception. Ecrans d’Afrique has also been lauded for its wide gaze covering the whole of the African diaspora and for its excellent coverage of Caribbean film developments.




GRANDMA’S GRAMMER a film by Jean Pierre Bekolo

traduction française par Scarlett Antoniou

Fondé par des producteurs de films africains à Bukina Faso en 1992, pendant une période d’intense intérêt et commentaire mondial sur la TV et le film africains, le journal bilingue Ecrans d’Afrique: Revue Internationale de Cinéma Télévision et Vidéo (Cinema Television and Video International review) (aussi connu sous le nom d’African Screen) a exploré tous les aspects de la production du film africain. En parallèle avec ses nombreux contemporains, il a recherché à améliorer un climat intellectuel qui a souffert de la pauvreté du commentaire sur le film africain. Un corollaire des efforts du journal a été d’améliorer l’exposition internationale et l’accès aux films africains  il a été lié au Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), le principal festival du film du continent, depuis son commencement. Ecrans d’Afrique a aussi été louangé pour son grand regard couvrant toute la Diaspora africaine et pour son excellent reportage du développement du film antillais. 


PEOPLE

Clement Tapsoba, Alessandra Speciale, Francoise Pfaff, Mbye B. Cham, Baba Diop, William Tanifeani, Therese-Marie Deffontaines, Jean Servais Bakyono, Frank Ukadike, Beti Ellerson


FAMILY TREE

  • La Feuille (1990)
  • Le Film africain (1991)
  • Regard (1992)
  • Black Film Bulletin (1993)

RE/SOURCES

  • Ecrans d’Afrique on Wikipedia
  • FESPACO (Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou)
  • “Nous sommes tous responsables,” Abdoulaye Dao
  • Research in African Literatures special issue on African film, Fall 1995, 26.3.
  • Iris special issue on African film, Spring 1995,18.
  • Films d’Afrique, edited by Michel Larouche.
  • Sub- Saharan African Films and Filmmakers: An Annotated Bibliography (London: Hans Zell Publishers, 1988)
  • Sub-Saharan African Films and Filmmakers 1987-1992: An Annotated Bibliography(London: Hans Zell Publishers, 1994)
  • “The Challenges of African Film Bibliography: Content and Audience,” African Research and Documentation, 72 (1996), 1-8.
  • Cinemas of the Black Diaspora, Michael T. Martin
  • African Cinema: Politics and Culture, Manthia Diawara
  • Black and Third Cinema: Film and Television Bibliography, Vieler-Porter
  • Critical Perspectives on Black Independent Cinema, Cham and Andrade-Watkins
  • Schmidt, Nancy J. “Special Issues of Periodicals on African Film.” African Studies Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, (Apr., 1997), pp. 113-119
  • “Documents: Ecrans d’Afrique”
  • “Ecrans d’Afrique / African Screen Conversations with Keyan Tomaselli- Ecrans d’Afrique”
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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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CHIEF PRIEST SAY

In an essay titled “Roforofo Fight,” oppositional politics expert Yomi Durotoye describes legendary musician and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s life as an “epic, contra-diction-riven roforofo fight against postcolonial domination.” The quote references Fela’s 1972 song, “Roforofo Fight”, in which the Afrobeat King describes a battle from which no participant emerges unsullied; a mud-slinging contest. For Fela, roforofo was a potent metaphor that captured the urgent need to construct radical counter strategies to resist colonialism’s ongoing domination. As Fela explained, “Because we are dealing with corrupt people we have to be rascally with them.”

Throughout his life, Fela’s rascality was acted out at different sites and with different weapons: stage, home, street, studio. One of his typically “rascally” moves was to turn the tools of corporate capitalism and colonialism against their masters. Bypassing editorial censorship in Nigeria’s predominantly state controlled press, Fela thus began buying advertising space in daily and weekly newspapers such as The Daily Times and The Punch in order to run outspoken political columns. Published throughout the 1970s and early 1980s under the title, Chief Priest Say, these columns were essentially extensions of Fela’s famous “Yabi Sessions”, consciousness-raising word-sound rituals, with himself as “chief priest”, conducted at his Lagos nightclub, the African Shrine. Organised around a militarily Afrocentric rendering of history and the essence of black beauty, Chief Priest Say focused on the role of cultural hegemony in the continuing subjugation of Africans. Employing genre malleability, a trickster’s penchant for play and language games, withering social satire, incantations and invocations, Fela’s writing constituted a literary symphony of dissent and resistance. From explosive denunciations of the Nigerian Government’s “criminal behaviour”, Islam and Christianity’s “exploitive” nature and the and “evil” multinationals, to witty deconstructions of Western medicine, Black Muslims, sex, pollution and poverty – nothing was safe from Fela’s phallacious pen.

Chief Priest Say was finally cancelled, first by Daily Times, then by Punch, ostensibly due to non-payment, but as many commentators speculated more likely because the paper’s respective editors were placed under increasingly violent pressure by the government who were determined to silence Fela.


“The uniqueness of Fela as a political artist, Olaniyan argues in a stimulating analysis, lies, all told, in his role as a pedagogue. He not only uses his songs as teaching tools, he is also concerned, and even more pointedly, that the point of his teaching is understood in its entirety. It is the coda of the storyteller or the folkloric moraliser, except that, like the structure of the long-song, the code is broken before the ruse is enacted.”

METHOD AFTER FELA by Akin Adesokan


traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Dans un essai intitulé “Roforofo Fight” (le combat de Roforofo), l’expert en politique oppositionnelle, Yomi Durotoye décrit la vie de Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, un activiste et musicien légendaire, comme un “combat roforofo, épique et fendu par la contradiction contre la domination postcoloniale.” La citation se réfère à la chanson de Fela 1972, “Roforofo Fight”, dans laquelle le roi du rythme afro décrit une bataille à partir de laquelle aucun participant ne sort sans souillure; un tournoi de médisance. Pour Fela, Roforofo était une métaphore puissante qui captura le besoin urgent pour construire des stratégies contraires et radicales afin de résister à la domination continue de colonialisme. Comme l’expliquait Fela, Parce que nous traitons avec des gens corrompus, nous devons être retors avec eux.”

Tout le long de sa vie, la ruse de Fela était jouée à différents endroits et avec différentes armes: la scène, la maison, la rue, le studio. Une de ses mouvements typiquement “rusé” était de tourner les outils du colonialisme et capitalisme contre leurs maîtres. Détournant l’interdiction de rédaction au Nigéria, état avec une presse contrôlée d’une manière prédominante, Fela commença ainsi à acheter des espaces publicitaires dans les journaux quotidiens et hebdomadaires tels que The daily Times et The Punch afin de publier des colonnes politiquement engagées. Editées dans les années 1970 et au début des années 1980 sous le titre, Chief Priest Say, ces colonnes étaient essentiellement des extensions des fameuses “Sessions Yabi” de Fel, rituels conscience-élévation mot-son, avec lui-même comme “prêtre chef”, conduits dans sa discothèque au Lagos, le Lieu saint Africain. Organisé autour d’une interprétation militairement Afro-centrée de l’histoire et l’essence de la beauté noire, Chief Priest Say mettait l’accent sur le rôle de l’hégémonie culturelle dans l’assujettissement continu des africains. Employant un genre de malléabilité, un penchant filou pour les jeux de scène et de langage, détruisant petit à petit la satire sociale, incantations et invocations, les écrits de Fela constituèrent une symphonie littéraire de dissentiment et de résistance. Des dénonciations explosives du “comportement criminel” du gouvernement Nigérien, la nature “exploiteuse” de l’Islam et du Christianisme et les multinationales “néfastes”, aux destructions spirituelles de la médecine occidentale, des noirs islamiques, du sexe, de la pollution et de la pauvreté  rien n’était sauvegardé du stylo fallacieux de Fela.

Chief Priest Say a finalement été annulé, en premier par Daily Times, puis par Punch, ostensiblement en raison de non-paiement mais comme de nombreux commentateurs l’ont spéculé plus vraisemblablement parce que les rédacteurs respectifs du journal étaient placés sous la pression de plus en plus violente par le gouvernement qui était déterminé à mettre Fela sous silence.


PEOPLE

  • Fela Anikulapo-Kuti
  • Artist and political activist Ghariokwu Lemi, who designed many of Fela’s album covers, also designed several “Chief Priest Say,” columns in the mid-1970s.

RE/SOURCES

  • Durotoye, Yomi. “Roforofo Fight”, Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway, Schoonmaker, Trevor (ed.), Jacana Media, 2003
  • Veal, Michael E. Fela: The Life & Times of an African Musical Icon, Temple University Press, 2000.
  • Olaniyan, Tejumola. Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics, Indiana University Press, 2004
  • Kuti, Fela. Roforofo FightJofabro / Editions Makossa / Pathe Marconi, 1972.
  • Chimurenga Volume 8: We’re all Nigerian!, Dec 2005.
  • Idowu, Mabinuori Kayode. Fela: Why Blackman Carry Shit, Opinion Media, 1986.
  • Olorunyomi, Sola. Afrobeat!: Fela and the Imagined Continent
  • Edjabe, Ntone. “Why Blackman dey carry shit”, Chimurenga Vol 1: Music is the Weapon, April 2002
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Black Images

Founded in 1972 by elusive, visionary editor, Jamaican-born Rudolph “Rudy” Murray – and his literary alter ego, M. Lacovia. Murray, Black Images: A Critical Quarterly of Black Arts and Culture was seminal in the development of Black Canadian culture. While early issues combined coverage of Toronto’s Black arts scene with reactionary polemics and theoretical expositions on pan-African culture, the launch of the second volume in 1973 heralded a break with racial nationalism and an attempt to chart an often more scholarly and more diverse, pluralistic, and complex set of aesthetic and formal lineages of black literature. This shift was reflected in the publication’s design which moved from conceptually bold experimentations towards more a standard and readable digest format.

Through these changes at Black Images, Rudy Murray remained a constant, though perhaps paradoxically, anomalous, figure. For reasons unknown, Murray adopted the pen name R.M. Lacovia and in the brief period of Black Images existence, writing as Lacovia, produced a body of writing that is astonishing in its breadth and original in its approach, yet remains practically unknown today. Murray contributed to almost every issue of Black Images until its closure in 1975, at which time he apparently stopped writing altogether.

Despite its short life span and continued obscurity, Black Images remains the most audacious and smart Black journal to have emerged from the white north.


“The early issues of Black Images paired coverage of Toronto’s Black arts scene with more theoretical expositions on pan-African culture. Profiles of Black Canadian artists like playwright Lennox Brown and musician Richard Acquaah-Harris appeared next to essays on the African roots of New World Black music and critiques of Cheikh Anta Diop. “

BLACK IMAGES – AN ESSAY BY PETER JAMES HUDSON


traduction française par Scarlett Antoniou

Fondé en 1972 par le rédacteur fuyant, visionnaire, né en Jamaïque Rudolph “Rudy” Murray- et son pseudonyme littéraire, M. Lacivia. Murray, Black Images: Une Publication Trimestrielle Critique de la Culture et des Arts Noires a été fructueux dans le développement de la culture canadienne Noire. Alors que les premiéres éditions alliaient reportages de la scéne des arts Noirs de Toronto avec des polémiques réactionnaires et des interprétations théoriques sur la culture africaine, le lancement de son deuxième volume en 1973 annonçait une coupure avec le nationalisme racial et une tentative de mettre sur la carte un ensemble d’esthétique souvent plus érudit et plus différent, pluraliste et complexe ainsi que les lignées formelles de la littérature noire. Ce basculement se reflétait dans la conception de la publication qui allait des expérimentations hardies conceptuellement vers un format sommaire plus standard et lisible.

A travers ces changements dans Black Images, Rudy Murray un personnage constant, bien que paradoxalement, anormal. Pour des raisons inconnues, Murray a adopté le pseudonyme R.M. Lacovia et, pendant la brève période de l’existence de Black Images, écrivant sous le nom de Lacovia, il produisit un ensemble d’écrits qui est incroyable dans son ampleur et original dans son approche, et pourtant demeure pratiquement inconnu aujourd’hui. Murray a contribué à presque chaque édition de Black Images jusqu’à sa fermeture en 1975, époque é laquelle il arrêta apparemment d’écrire complètement.

En dépit de sa courte durée d’existence et son obscurité continue, Black Images demeure le journal Noir le plus audacieux et select à être sorti du nord blanc.


PEOPLE

Rudolph Murray, R.M. Lacovia, Lennox Brown (1934-2003), Jojo Chintoh, Loften Mitchell (1919-2001), Keith Jeffers, Russell Keith, Frederick Ivor Case (1940-2008), Robert A. Hill, J. Michael Dash, Vere W. Knight, Merle Hodge, Ramabai Espinet, James G. Spady, Samuel O. Asein, Femi Ojo-Ade, Ihechukwu Madubuike, Cliff Lashley, Alberto O. Cappas, Abdulazis Sachedina, Abdias do Nascimento, Lazarus Ekwueme, Roger McTair, Lyndon Harries, Keith Q. Warner, E. Anthony Hurley


FAMILY TREE

  • The Dawn of Tomorrow
  • The Canadian Negro
  • Cotopaxi
  • Transition
  • Spear
  • Contrast
  • The Harriet Tubman Review
  • Kola
  • At the Crossroads
  • Small Axe
  • New Dawn: A Journal of Black Canadian Studies

RE/SOURCES

  • George Elliot Clarke, “A Primer of African-Canadian Literature,” Books In Canada. 25.2 (March, 1996): 5-7
  • Robin W. Winks, “Source of Strength?: The Press,” The Blacks in Canada: A History, 2nd Edition (Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 1997), 390-412

CREDITS

Research and writing by Peter James Hudson

Black Images – An Essay by Peter James Hudson

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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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AFRICAN FILM

Published by Drum in Nigeria and later also Kenya and Ghana in the early 60s, African Film was just one of the many photo comics or “look books” that flooded English-speaking West Africa in the early post colonial era. Catering to the new urban youth, the series featured the mythical persona of Lance Spearman, a.k.a. “The Spear,” a black James Bond-like crime fighter as the central character.

In contrast to the racist stereotype of the uncivilised, uneducated, spear-carrying cannibal, or the eroticised “noble savage” that characterised the depictions of Africans in most Western comic books from the time, Spearman was sharp, stylish and sophisticated. Combining re-appropriated Western references with a distinctly African cultural identity, he reflected a newly defined black Atlantic modernity. Here was a comic book hero that presented a potential critique of colonialism, as well as a significant variation in how the genre classically figured normality and otherness.

While the series was criticised for its sometimes stereotyped portrayals of blackness and masculinity, it none the less had a lasting influence in fostering postcolonial pride and identity. Its combination of extreme (often cartoon-like) violence, with pastiches of early Hollywood melodramas, dashes of romance and glamour – via the street and touches of black nationalism preceded the Blaxploitation explosion in American cinemas in the 70s and its use of inventive DIY tactics to overcome budget constraints (Spearman’s trademark Corvette Stingray was often a picture of a dinky-toy) had a lasting influence on the Nollywood industry.



Into this culturally colonized milieu came a new comic published by Drum Publications called African Film featuring Lance Spearman, a raffish and nattily-dressed black super cop with an ever-present Panama hat. And we all instantly fell deeply in love with him. No one forced Spearman on us. For the first time, we had a comic hero who was actually black like us. 

Black Like Us by Tunde Giwa 


Spearman… Lance Spearman – the name synonymous with the intrepid hero of the photo-comic staple, African Film, started by the publisher of South Africa’s Drum Magazine, produced by fledgling writers and read voraciously by 1970s Nigerian schoolboys, including Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, who dreamed of wars and victories other than those around them.

THE IMPOSSIBLE DEATH OF AN AFRICAN CRIME BUSTER by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu


Traduction Française Par Scarlett Antoniou

Edité par Drum au Nigéria et également plus tard au Kenya et Ghana dans les années 60, African Film était juste une des nombreuses bandes dessinées photo ou “livres à regarder” qui a envahi l’ouest de l’Afrique anglophone durant le début de la période postcoloniale. S’adressant à la nouvelle jeunesse urbaine, les séries avaient pour vedette le personnage mythique de Lance Spearman, a.k.a. “The Spear” (La Lance), un lutteur noir contre les crimes ressemblant à James Bond, comme caractère principal.

En contraste avec le stéréotype raciste du cannibale porteur de lance barbare et non instruit, ou le “noble sauvage” érotiques qui caractérisaient les représentations des africains dans la plupart des livres comiques occidentaux du temps, Spearman était tranchant, élégant et sophistiqué. Allié aux références occidentales de nouveau appropriées avec l’identité culturelle distinctement africaine, il reflétait une modernité atlantique noire nouvellement définie. C’était là un héro de livre comique qui présentait une critique potentielle du colonialisme ainsi qu’une variation considérable dans la manière avec laquelle le tableau de genre illustrait classiquement la normalité et l’ensemble des autres.

Tandis que les séries étaient critiquées pour ses portraits parfois stéréotypes de la couleur noire et de la masculinité, il a eu cependant une influence de longue durée dans la manière d’encourager l’identité et la fierté postcoloniales. Son mélange d’extrême violence (souvent comme des dessins animés), avec des pastiches d’anciens mélodrames Hollywoodiens, des moments de romance et de séductions à travers la rue et les touches de nationalisme noir, précédait l’explosion du ‘Blaxploitation’ (exploitation des noirs) dans les cinémas américains des années 70 et son utilisation de tactiques inventives faites maison pour surmonter les contraintes de budget (la marque déposée de Spearman Corvette Stingray était souvent l’image d’un jouet mignon) ont eu une influence de longue durée sur l’industrie Nollywood.


FAMILY TREE

  • Boom featuring Fearless Fang
  • The Stranger
  • Sadness & Joy

RE/SOURCES

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