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Photo By: Melanie Guil

Pantera is the Anti-Racist Shop Protecting African Street Vendors in Madrid

Next to some of Madrid’s most well known Senegalese restaurants stands Pantera, an anti-racist shop supporting African street vendors who face prosecution in the area.

When I first approached Osmane, a Senegalese mantero in Gran Vía, Madrid, he was defensive and avoidant. Systematic persecution keep manteros sharp — handling sales, money and on the lookout for policemen. Osmane is one of the 200 vendors that gather in the streets of Madrid, Spain to offer often counterfeit sunglasses, purses, and clothing. They are commonly known as "manteros" due to their signature practice of spreading their goods over a manta, cloth sheets that can easily be folded into a makeshift bag.

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Photo by Martijn Gijsbertsen via Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

Interview: Kakwenza Rukirabashaija On Being The Hell That The Ugandan Government Created For Themselves

We spoke with the Ugandan author, activist, and lawyer about his tumultuous relationship with a governing body that has no interest in maintaining law and order.

In his 33 years on Earth, Ugandan novelist, lawyer, and activist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has not known a safe and fair homeland. Born two years after current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni began his reign of terror in 1986, Rukirabashaija has spent most of his professional career trying to get people to take a real look at the dictator and his actions. The author’s first stab at an expose came in 2020, with the release of The Greedy Barbarian, a fictional recount of the highly-corrupt ruling National Resistance Party and the impossibly illegal things they got away with. The party then, under the instructions of Museveni, ordered the arrest of Rukirabashaija – and the toxic, biased tango began.

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