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Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea

Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Conde to run for a third term.

At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Conde instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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Photo by Ifebusola Shotunde.

This Photo Series Is Calling Out the Rampant Corruption Among Nigeria's Political Elite

"No Place For Our Dreams," by photographer Ifebusola Shotunde, is an attempt to challenge the ills of Nigerian politics as the country's rescheduled election day draws near.

Nigerian youth continue to use creative mediums to express due critique to the political systems that claim to represent them.

Photographer Ifebusola Shotunde's new photo series seeks to do just that, utilizing photography and augmented reality to narrate a story that presents the adverse consequences of immoral acts on the people, by the political elite.

No Place For Our Dreams, inspired by Femi Kuti's album, No Place For My Dream, follows a political aspirant seeking a top position in government who connives with various levels of society all in the pursuit of power. Each character represents Nigeria's different demographics and is portrayed by young Nigerians aligned with Shotunde's belief that the masses hold the power to change Nigeria.

The series is a parody taking the all too common behavioral patterns seen in Nigerian politics to task, as Shotunde took the images to the streets of Lagos reminiscent of campaign posters in lieu of a traditional gallery exhibition.

Photo by Ifebusola Shotunde.

"My reason for going ahead with this project was to start a conversation on how we, as ordinary people, suffer from the incompetence of our so-called leaders," Shotunde says in a statement. "I decided to show the work on the streets because it gives a wider range of Nigerians a chance to see the work and discuss possible ways of making the country a better place, regardless of what 'they' throw at us. Ultimately, I want us to provoke conversation around the state of politics in Nigeria in attempt to bring about this change."

Ahead of Nigeria's rescheduled elections at the end of this week, take a look at Ifebusola Shotunde's No Place For Our Dreams along with its accompanying narrative below.

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Photo by BUDXLagos.

This New Short Doc Follows Chi Modu Taking His Art to the People In His Homecoming Exhibition

Revisit the legendary Nigerian-American photographer's experience engaging with Nigerian youth during his Lagos exhibition 'Uncategorized' with this visual from Melanin Unscripted.

Before 2018 wrapped up, Nigerian-American photographer Chi Modu teamed up with Amarachi Nwosu's Melanin Unscripted and Budweiser's music platform BUD X to engage with Nigerian youth and present his iconic work in the 'Uncategorized Photo Exhibition and Workshop.' We can now relive his experience through this new mini-doc by Nwosu's platform.

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