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Photo: Mídia NINJA

Iconic Samba School to Pay Tribute to Late Afro-Brazilian Activist, Marielle Franco, at Carnival

Plus, a new documentary from The Guardian seeks answers in the details surrounding her death.

One of Brazil's most iconic samba schools will pay homage to the late Afro-Brazilian activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco at this year's carnival, reports The Rio Times.

'Estação Primeiro de Mangueira' (First Station of Mangueira), have announced that this year, their production will honor Franco and her profound legacy of working to bring about racial justice for black people living in the country's favelas. The school will produce an original song that pays tribute to her.

Rio de Janeiro Has Named March 14th 'Marielle Franco Day—Against the Genocide of Black Women'

Last year's carnival champions, the 'Paraíso do Tuiuti' Samba School, also addressed issues of race, according to The Rio Times. They won for their work on the lasting legacy of slavery.

Samba schools were hit with funding cuts in 2018 according to a report from the BBC, but that did not stop groups from producing show-stopping, politically-relevant works.

This dedication to the tradition of art and storytelling at carnival—even in the face of immense odds—has carried on into 2019, as this year the country is faced with the far-right, anti-black leadership of Jair Bolsonaro.

The Seeds of Marielle: These Courageous Afro-Brazilian Women Are Running for State Office Despite the Odds

Writer Kiratiana Freelon wrote about the harmful implications of his leadership, following the murder of capoeira master and advocate for Afro-Brazilians Mestre Moa de Katendê by one of his supporters. While David A. Wilson writes extensively about racial dynamics and the new movements that are rising to help transform them in "The Assassination of Marielle Franco and the Dawn of Brazil's New Civil Rights Movement."

A new documentary from The Gaurdian follows Franco's widow Monica Benicio as she looks for answers in the death of her partner, while also battling the political tensions brought on by Bolsonaro's presidency. You can watch it here.

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The front page of The New York Times on January 16, 2019

Kenyans Are Furious at the New York Times for Posting Photos of Terrorist Victims

After the the deadly attack on Tuesday, many are accusing the American newspaper of having a double standard on which dead bodies they allow into the paper

Is the New York Times guilty of a double standard when it comes to publishing images of dead bodies?

Kenyans, and others fed up with the coverage, took to social media in the hundreds to denounce a Times article that included an image of victims of Tuesday's Nairobi terrorist attack, bloodied from bullets, and lying hunched over their laptops, dead.

It has cause enough debate online to where the Times' incoming East Africa Bureau chief Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura felt the need to explain their photo policy, which is to show the dead only if their faces cannot be seen in the image. The photo in question fits the policy as the faces are facing away from the camera. She would later apologize before posting the official policy to her Twitter account. The photo remains up.

The Times' official response, as those tend to do online, has only created more anger. But unlike many unruly Twitter mobs, those responding to the official statement have a rather coherent message—"you wouldn't do this with photos of the American dead."

Some of the responses to the Times' official statement.

In a response to the controversy from the Poynter Institute, a typically astute observer of journalistic practice in the United States, they run through the typical American journalism school approach to publishing photos that might shock or offend. They write:

Should the Times have run the photo?
There is no easy answer.
The first question any news organization must ask when deciding to publish violent images is: WHY show it?
In other words, what is the news value? Does the public need to see such an image to fully grasp what happened? Does the public need to see such a photo to confirm or disprove the official account of the events?
An argument could be made that a writer's words could accurately describe the scene without being as disturbing as the image. In addition, when it comes to an act of terrorism, might publishing such a photo actually advance the cause of the terrorists, showing the damage they caused, thus fueling dread and panic?
Also this: The photo on the Times website came without warning. As a reader, you didn't know you were going to see a photo of dead people until you actually saw it.
Those are arguments to not run such a photo or, at least, warn readers of its graphic content.

While it's a fine analysis of when to show a violent image, it misses the central issue at play for those aggrieved by the Times' posting—that the American news-gaze values certain lives differently. Black, brown, foreign, poor—American journalism organizations, including the New York Times, cannot escape a base ethnocentrism in their coverage. It's so embedded into how these institutions operate, and the gap in understanding is so wide, that to much of the world, the Times' official response is laughably wrong at first glance.

"We take the same approach wherever in the world something like this happens--balancing the need for sensitivity and respect with our mission of showing the reality of these events"

And while there are examples from the Times that complicate this feeling, like these images of the dead in the terrorist attack in Nice, France, it doesn't discount the wider and correct feeling that the white victims of American mass shootings are treated differently than their African counterparts. And while there are complicated and systematic reasons for this which will always make discussing it difficult, to simply deny that different standards exist, does not increase the Times' credibility with Kenyans or the newspaper's growing online audience which will only become more vocal about how they're portrayed.

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Falz 'Moral Instruction'

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Falz, King Monada, Zlatan, Yemi Alade and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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Violent Attack at Kenyan Hotel Ends With 14 Dead

The remaining hostages were freed after a 17-hour standoff between militants and Kenyan security forces on Wednesday.

The final hostages in the violent terrorist attack which took place at the DusitD2 Hotel in Naoribi's affluent Westlands district yesterday have been freed after a 17 hour standoff between Kenyan security forces and Al Shabab militants.

In a speech this morning, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the rescue mission over, stating that there were 700 people rescued and a total of 14 casualties. He also stated that all of the attackers had been killed in the operation, according to Quartz Africa. "Every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act will be relentlessly pursued," added Kenyatta.

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