Southern Africa instruments – Tapping Into Ancient Soundscapes

Southern Africa instruments - An archaeologist shares the results of new research on musical instruments in Southern Africa. — Read on

Disentangling the security traffic jam in the Sahel: constitutive effects of contemporary interventionism | International Affairs | Oxford Academic

Despite years of ongoing interventions by multiple external and regional actors, the security situation in west Africa's Sahel region is dramatically deteriorating. In this introduction to the special section of the July 2020 issue of International Affairs, we zoom in on four major external international intervention actors (France, the United States, the European Union and [...]

The king of Haiti and the dilemmas of freedom in a colonised world | Aeon Essays

In the early 19th century, Haiti was the only example in the Americas of a nation populated primarily by former enslaved Africans who had become free and independent. Other nations, including Haiti’s trading partners, were determined to prevent abolition and their colonies from becoming free, so they refused to recognise Haitian sovereignty. When France finally [...]

Egypt and the Gulf: Allies and Rivals | Chatham House

Following the completion of the IMF programme in 2019, the Egyptian economy is in a much stronger position than it was in the early period of Sisi’s rule, even though this has exacted a harsh toll on the 60 per cent of the population classified by the World Bank as poor or vulnerable. There is no pressing need for direct financial support from the Gulf, but Egypt still depends on economic linkages through [...]

Opinion | To Fight Coronavirus, Poor Nations Need Their Debt Canceled – The New York Times

In 2019, 64 countries, nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, spent more on servicing external debt than on health. Ethiopia spends twice as much on paying off external debt as on health. We spend 47 percent of our merchandise export revenue on debt servicing. The International Monetary Fund described Ethiopia as being at high [...]

Whose Culture Is It? | by Kwame Anthony Appiah | The New York Review of Books

“There is no document of civilization,” Walter Benjamin maintained, in his most often-quoted line, “that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” He was writing—some sixty-five years ago—with particular reference to the spoils of victory carried in a triumphal procession: “They are called cultural treasures,” he said, but they had origins he [...]

Nana Oforiatta Ayim on Being a Custodian of Ghanaian History – Electric Literature

In The God Child, Ayim’s expansive and contemplative debut, themes of art, history, literature, film, and legacy intermingle with Maya’s coming-of-age. Born to Ghanaian parents living in Germany and shuttling between there and the UK, Maya suffers the indignities that come with being an outsider—even as the child of a princess. A cousin from Ghana [...]

B-Sides: Denis Williams’s “Other Leopards” | Public Books

Denis Williams was a painter in London, a novelist in the Sudan, an art historian in Nigeria, and an archeologist in his native Guyana: the polymath’s polymath. He moved in and out of disciplines, institutional contexts, and metropolitan and anti-colonial politics in the era of decolonization. Perhaps this restlessness explains his relative obscurity in any [...]

Drones, Deniability, and Disinformation: Warfare in Libya and the New International Disorder – War on the Rocks

Western governments have watched the battle over Libya’s capital, Tripoli, with disinterest, even as it has drawn in a growing number of foreign powers. But this conflict has more to teach us about the future world order, or disorder, than many observers appreciate. The patterns of warfare in Libya today not only reflect the erosion [...]

How hundreds of small ‘Gardens of Eden’ guard against total deforestation in Ethiopia | Aeon Videos

‘The church is within the forest, the forest is inside the church.’ Ethiopia’s northern highlands were once covered by trees. But over the past century, development and exponential population growth have all but wiped out the region’s forests, transforming the landscape into an expanse of brown fields, given over to cattle grazing and agriculture. However, [...]