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Posts tagged "Africa"

Jewish musicians in Morocco


Jewish musicians in Morocco





Not gonna lie. I may or may not have lost my shit at this.


Returning Our Borrowed Languages

When we think of innovative ideas in Africa, our first thought may be of that which is technological, but have you ever considered innovation in African literature?

Most recently, I stumbled upon the work of Ngugi wa Thiong’o.   Thiong’o is a Kenyan novelist, poet and playwright who began his writing career in English and then decided to work almost entirely in his native tongue of Gikuyu after imprisonment in 1978.  In his 1986 Decolonising the Mind, his “farewell to English,” Ngugi described language as a way for people to understand themselves as well as the world.  He connects the use of language to power.  “My belief that we should be writing more in African languages stems from the simple truth that language is power. Why do you think the colonizers always taught their language to the colonized? If they could control your language, they control the way you think about things. They control you.” For him, English in Africa erases pre-colonial cultures and histories.  Our continued use of English is installing dominance of a new type of colonization.  “…Language as communication and as culture are then products of each other… . Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we perceive ourselves and our place in the world… . Language is thus inseparable from ourselves as a community of human beings with a specific form and character, a specific history, a specific relationship to the world.”

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(via africaisdonesuffering)


Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence”.

No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas.” William Scott would understand.

Did we expect starving Somalis to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We won’t act on those crimes – the only sane solution to this problem – but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 per cent of the world’s oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.

The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled, and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.” Once again, our great imperial fleets sail – but who is the robber?

“You are being lied to about pirates” by Johann Hari 

this is from 2009, i think, but the issues brought up are still relevant even though it’s 2013. instead of attacking imperialism & neocolonialism it is easier to attack somali ~pirates~. no one talks about resistance vis-a-vis piracy, or millitancy as survival. let’s talk about the exploitation and plundering of our resources in pursuit of and in defense of empire.

(via nomadmanifesto)

(via dynamicafrica)


Libya: Stop Revenge Crimes Against Displaced Persons

Satellite Imagery Analysis Shows Systematic Destruction of Tawergha

The Libyan government should take urgent steps to stop serious and ongoing human rights violations against inhabitants of the town of Tawergha, who are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi. The forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity and should be condemned by the United Nations Security Council.

This separation of the North from the rest of Africa is done partly on the justification that the people in the region are Arab, and thus not African. It is true that Arabs invaded northern Africa in the 7th century C.E., and colonized parts of the continent, and those Arabs were not indigenous Africans, but the north of Africa is not, however, Arab, and speaking Arabic does not make a North African an Arab. As one commenter put it, to call North Africans Arabs “… would be like calling people from Hong Kong British, or Peruvians Spanish. You wouldn’t class the Greeks as Turks would you?”




Hassan Hajjaj


Hassan Hajjaj is a bamf

(via maghrabiyya)


yet on maps we’re made to look teeny -.-

(via maghrabiyya)


…Drum’s…portrayals of black urban life, arts, politics and culture were revolutionary. Some of those images will be part of a major exhibition that opens at the International Center of Photography this month called “Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life.” “It was dangerous and difficult work,” Schadeberg says, recalling how the secret police kept the magazine under surveillance. “What we tried to show was how unjust apartheid was.”


(via dynamicafrica)

A mausoleum and park, dedicated to the memory of Fascist Field Marshall Rodolfo Graziani, has recently been opened in the Italian town of Affile. At a cost of €127,000 to local taxpayers, the mayor Ercole Viri has expressed hope that the site will become as ‘famous and as popular as Predappio’ – the burial place of Mussolini which has become a shrine to neo-Fascists.

Graziani was notorious as Benito Mussolini’s commander in colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya where he carried out massacres and used chemical weapons against the native populations.

In the 1920s, Graziani was commander of the Italian forces in Libya where he became known as ‘the Butcher of Fezzan’. He was directly responsible for suppressing the Senussi uprisings and the construction of concentration and labour camps. He was also directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Libyans including Omar Mukhtar in eastern Libya.

From 1935 to 1936, Graziani implemented the invasion of Ethiopia before becoming viceroy of Italian East Africa and governor-general of Addis Ababa in 1937. In an attempt to consolidate Italian control over the country, Graziani’s occupation army murdered up to 30,000 civilians in just three days in February 1937. Eyewitness accounts tell of how Italian soldiers doused houses with gasoline and set them on fire. Some even posed on the corpses of their victims to have their photographs taken. In the same month, Graziani ordered the massacre of the monks and pilgrims at the ancient monastery of Debre Libanos. In May, he was responsible for the assassination of up to 3,000 Ethiopian intellectuals. For these actions, Graziani earned his second title: ‘the Butcher of Ethiopia’.



According to legend, Tin Hinan was the first leader and matriarch to unite the Tuareg world. She is believed to have travelled from the Tafilalt oasis located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, settling in the Ahaggar mountains of Algeria where she established her kingdom, becoming the first Queen (Tamenokalt) of the Tuaregs.

Her remains were discovered in the Ahaggar region of Algeria when her tomb was excavated by archaeologists in 1925 - 1926. She was lying on a finely carved wooden bed and was covered in jewels. She had seven silver bracelets on her right forearm and seven gold ones on her left.

To this day she is still referred to by the Tuareg as “Mother of Us All”.

(via mediterraneenne-deactivated2013)


Mother and Daughter, Maghreb, 1930s by Jean Besancenot

(via nostalgerie)


“Science in Action”: The Google Science Fair touches down in Swaziland

Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela, two 14 year-olds from Swaziland, are this year’s Scientific American/Google Science Fair “Science In Action” award winners.

Inspired by their teachers and a desire to serve their subsistence farming community, they developed a way to increase the yield of vegetable crops using a gardening soil made from recycled chicken manure. What started as a question of how to help their neighbors get off food aid could one day blossom into an affordable way to feed a drought-ravaged region.

But more than that, it reminds us that young people, so full of questions, have unlimited potential. And when their curiosity, confidence and problem-solving abilities are nurtured in classrooms that let them explore those questions, anyone can partake in scientific discovery.

As Sakhiwe says: “I see the Google Science Fair as a step to prove to the community that even someone as young as me can make a difference.” Bonkhe adds: “I never believed in myself but today Google Science Fair has built a very high self-esteem within me.”

Check out more coverage from yesterday’s Google Science Fair awards ceremony, including all the amazing winners, at Scientific American.

( PsiVid)


The Manuscripts of Timbuktu.

For Centuries it was taught that Africa & Africans had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). In this picture we see  1 MILLION manuscripts that were found in the many Libraries of Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,”. Some of the Manuscripts date back to the 13th Century.

This is just one of many examples of written word in Africa which is the most culturally and ethnically diverse continent on the planet.

Click here for more below for more information on:

The Ancient Libraries of Timbuktu

Examples of Ancient African writing systems

(via africaisdonesuffering)