sun 19/05/2024

Africa

Blu-ray: Chocolat

Claire Denis’ 1988 debut is a sensual madeleine to her Cameroonian childhood, with its taste of termites on butter, sound of birdsong and insect chitter, and the camera’s slow turn and rise into vast vistas. It’s also a colonial reckoning, setting...

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Album: Mdou Moctar - Funeral for Justice

Despite its title, Mdou Moctar’s new album is no slow-paced mournful dirge. In fact, it is louder, faster and more overtly political than any of his band’s previous discs – not so much desert blues as desert punk.Taking up the twin causes of the...

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Yinka Shonibare: Suspended States, Serpentine Gallery review - pure delight

Yinka Shonibare’s Serpentine Gallery exhibition opens with a piece of cloth twirling in the breeze; except that it’s a bronze sculpture probably weighing a ton or more – such is the power of art (pictured below right: detail of Wind...

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Album: EMEL - MRA

At a time when conflicts in the Middle East are reaching fever pitch, Emel Mathlouthi represents hope. Her new album MRA, is titled for the Arabic word for “woman” and was created entirely by women, as in, every single person involved with it at any...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Congo Funk! - Sound Madness from the Shores of the Mighty Congo River

Brazzaville is on the north side of the Congo River. It is the capital of the Republic of the Congo. Kinshasa is on the south side of the Congo. It is capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaïre. The cities face each...

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Io Capitano review - gripping odyssey from Senegal to Italy

Io Capitano works on several levels. At first glance, it’s a ripping yarn – two optimistic Senegalese teenagers embark on a dangerous journey, across the Sahara, through the hell of Libya and on to an overcrowded boat across the Mediterranean...

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Samuel Takes a Break... in Male Dungeon No. 5 after a long but generally successful day of tours, The Yard Theatre review - funny and thought-provoking

You do not need to be Einstein to feel it. If the only dimension missing is time, 75% of a place’s identity can invade your very being, hollow you out, replace your soul with a void. It happened to me at Auschwitz and it’s happening to Samuel at...

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Mami Wata review – a gorgeous, strange African fable

Mami Wata is the female West African water god still worshipped in Iyi, a fragile, matriarchal village redoubt against modernity. Writer-director C.J. “Fiery” Obasi’s third film makes Iyi a battleground for African identity, in a glistening black-...

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A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography, Tate Modern review - pulling out the stops to address issues around cultural identity

The introductory panel to Tate Modern's exhibition of photography, film and installation contains some stark facts that remind us of the history informing the work of these 36 African artists. Some 10 million Africans were sold into slavery and by...

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El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon, Tate Modern review - glorious creations

The enormous volume of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall has overwhelmed many of those invited to exhibit there, but Ghanaian artist El Anatsui responded to the challenge with magnificent hangings that tame the huge, industrial space.Made from thousands of...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Ibrahim Hesnawi - The Father of Libyan Reggae

Initially, it doesn’t sound so unusual. The collection’s first song is titled “Never Understand.” Sung in English, it’s poppy reggae with a light feel, twinkling keyboard lines and a lengthy, rock-oriented guitar solo. The singer appears to be a fan...

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'The people behind the postcards': an interview with Priya Hein, author of 'Riambel'

Priya Hein’s debut novel, Riambel, is an excoriating examination of Mauritius’ socio-political structures and the colonial past from which they have sprung. Centred around Noemi, a young Mauritian girl who lives in the novel’s titular village slum...

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