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Deeper Than The Headlines: Colonial Mentality, 2012 in Pictures, Progress in the New Year + More

Check out the latest news on Africa for Dec 29- Jan 3rd, with in-depth African news featuring opinion pieces from global sources.


Happy New Year!

This week we continue to bring you the latest news on Africa with selections from different media outlets around the globe. Be sure to check back each Thursday for pieces that dig deeper than the headlines on the latest news on Africa!

1. Discordant Development and Insecurity in Africa

By: Richard Joseph

Currently teaching at Northwestern University, Professor Richard Joseph writes an interesting piece on discordant development and how "deepening inequalities and rapid progress juxtaposed with group distress can generate uncertainty and violent conflict." Joseph addresses how throughout the continent, economic growth can occur (Nigeria, Mali) while countries still breed instability and violence. He poses the question: "Are some post-colonial territories simply ungovernable?" Joseph suggests three strategies for addressing discordant development "First, sustaining growth and avoiding discordant development require not only enlightened leaders but also robust democratic institutions and vigilant civil societies, Second, analysts need to stop viewing Africa solely through polarizing lenses. And Finally, democratizing countries in Africa must ensure steady progress in the fairness of their electoral procedures and the appropriate behavior of politicians to avoid the provocation of violent upheavals."

2. 2013, The Year of the Child

By: Sokari Ekine

Sokari Ekine writes a passionate piece about violence and children as they came center stage in 2012. With children dying all over the world, and some deaths recognized as tragedies, while others passed unrecognized, Ekine calls into question how larger systems of patriarchy, racism, and globalization are implicated in how we continue to witness the deaths of children. Ekine states, "We witness this not only across cities in the US but well beyond. Technically Chicago is not a war zone – people who live there may feel otherwise, I dont know. But its not the DRC, Palestine or Yemen but still the children of Chicago are being killed and they are not white kids. The children in the DRC along with their mothers are murdered and raped and there are the thousands who are trafficked and forced into armies of war, or labour or sex slaves or all of these. Presidents sit by and deal in arms, African resources and money whilst shedding tears at home. The children in Yemen and Palestine are murdered by drones and missiles on the orders of Presidents, some of who shed tears for some children whilst killing others – it could even be in the same moment." Check out the article for a compelling piece, which calls for 2013 as the year of the child.

3. Skin Bleaching, Self Hatred, and "Colonial Mentality"

By: Dr. Yaba Blay

In response to the BBC Africa article on skin bleaching, Dr. Yaba Blay tries to debunk and deconstruct the excessive use of the term "colonial mentality." Blay writes a convincing argument questioning how issues such as skin bleaching are attributed to the individuals themselves, rather than recognizing larger systems, which promote white notions of beauty: "Now of course, with our skin color being the immutable mark of our Blackness, skin bleaching emerges as the most egregious attack on our identity, the most literal proponent of White Supremacy. Nevertheless, it is but ONE reflection of White Supremacy. So while we’re passing judgment, and ridiculing African women as ‘naïve’ or ‘irrational’ for thinking lighter skin is more appealing, we ignore the fact that you can’t walk through the streets of Accra without being bombarded with 60 ft billboards for skin bleaching products."

4. Focus on Africa in 2012

BBC News

BBC News presents "Africa in 2012" with twelve simultaneously inspiring and distressing images that reflect some of the amazing moments in 2012. Images include South Africa's Oscar Pistorius running in the London 2012 Olympic Games and people going to the beach in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Fridays with improving security, and on the other hand, growing instabilities on the continent like the conflict in Mali.

5. Nigerian Activist Keeps Family Legacy Alive

By: Vladimir Duthiers

CNN African Voices provides a feature on Nigerian activist and feminist, Hafsat Abiola. "Her mother was assassinated, her father died in prison after being jailed by the military. Today, Hafsat Abiola is one of the most prominent civil rights activists in Nigeria, fueled by a desire to ensure her parents' deaths were not in vain. The daughter of Nigerian politician and philanthropist Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, Hafsat was at her second year studying at Harvard, United States, when her father was sent to prison by Nigeria's junta after claiming the country's 1993 presidential election." Check out the article to learn more about Abiola's commitment to gender equality and her organization KIND in spite of her complex relationship with Nigeria and Nigerian politics.

The archive:

12/20/12 "Slavery’s Global Comeback, Mali Crisis, Senegal Street Photography + More"

12/13/12 “Nelson Mandela, Ghana’s Election + More”

12/6/12- “Susan Rice, Drones, Anti-Gay Laws + More”

11/29/12- “Chimamanda Adichie’s Tribute, Violence in the DRC + 16 Days of Activism”

11/15/12 – “Infiltrators” in Israel, Southern Arab Spring, Bono’s African Expertise

11/8/12 - Africa’s 1%, Mau Mau, and a Polemic against NGOs

11/1/12 - Biafra, Football, Victoire Ingabire + More!

10/25/12 - Aluu 4, Herero Genocide, EU Nobel Prize + More!

10/18/12 - Die Antwoord, Mo Ibrahim, Thomas Sankara + More!

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Senegalese-American Actress Anna Diop Set to Join Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke In Jordan Peele's 'Us'

The rising actress will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the upcoming social thriller.

In May, it was announced that Black Panther costars Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke would star in Us, the highly-anticipated follow-up to director, writer and comedian Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out.

Now, we've learned more exciting news about the casting for the upcoming social thriller. Deadline reports that Senegalese-American actress, Anna Diop has also signed on to star in the film. The actress wrote that she was "beyond words and beyond excited," about the news in an Instagram post.

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Film
Photo still via Youtube.

A Sci-Fi Film About an Otherworldly, Coltan-Rich Village In Burundi By Saul Williams Is In The Works

We catch up with the artist, poet and filmmaker to get the scoop on his film in development, 'Neptune Frost.'

MartyrLoserKing is Saul Williams' overarching multimedia project that he began 5 years ago, consisting of a graphic novel, three albums and a musical.

The musical arm of the project—Neptune Frost—has been in development, where Williams shot the trailer in Rwanda and launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to begin production of the full-length film, which he hopes to begin in 2019.

Neptune Frost is set in a Burundian village made of recycled computer parts. This village is also home to what the synopsis calls, "the world's most subversive hacking collective." The sci-fi film tells the love story between an intersex runaway and a coltan miner.

The plot continues:

While Western intelligence looks to the usual suspects, a Dogon avatar whispers through a dream to reveal the coded mysteries of Sirius and the stars to an escaped coltan miner and an intersex runaway seeking refuge from a binary norm, revealing her divine circuitry as the eye of the storm. When their connection sparks the MartyrLoserKing is born.

MartyrLoserKing, the elusive African hacker whose team of "losers" and outcasts ignite the imagination of the world's most "connected" generation through deep space, deep web penetration. A virtual hero for a world caught in perpetual analogue exploitation. Neptune Frost is the MartyrLoserKing.

Watch the trailer below.

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Music
Still from 'Child of the World'

Falz Speaks Out Against Sexual Assault In His New Video 'Child of the World'

In his latest music video, the Nigerian rapper tackles rape, HIV/AIDS and suicide.

Following his viral hit "This is Nigeria," in which he addressed a number of social and political issues facing Nigeria, Falz is back with another socially-charged song and video.

In "Child of the World," Falz addresses the pervasiveness of sexual abuse against women and the harmful effects it can have on a victim's life.

In the music video, which stars Nigerian actors Toyin Abraham and BamBam—who play mother and daughter respectivelyFalz tells the story of a young woman who was on a promising career path, which gets rocked when she is suddenly raped by an authoritative male figure. She eventually contracts HIV/AIDS, and she considers suicide as a result. Thankfully, the young woman is able to put herself back on the road to recovery, and she goes on to help educate others about HIV/AIDS and suicide prevention.

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