News Brief
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.

Djimon Hounsou Is Set To Star in Paramount Thriller 'A Quiet Place Part II'

The Beninese actor comes in replacing Brian Tyree Henry who withdrew over scheduling conflicts.

Djimon Hounsou will be joining the second iteration of the 2018 Paramount blockbuster thriller, A Quiet Place, Deadline reports.

The Beninese actor is stepping in to replace Brian Tyree Henry and will be playing a leading role in A Quiet Place Part II. Tyree was forced to exit the project due to scheduling issues. Hounsou will be joining the cast including Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Cillian Murphy.

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Arts + Culture
Heads of a Royal ancestor, arts of the Kingdom of Benin of the end of the 18th century are on display on May 18, 2018 at the Quai Branly Museum-Jacques Chirac in Paris. Benin is demanding restitution of its national treasures that had been taken from the former French colony Dahomey (current Benin) to France and currently are on display at Quai Branly, a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bringing African Artifacts Home

What would it take to finally return the looted treasures of the African continent to their rightful owners? We spoke with curator Niama Safia Sandy about the future of African art repatriation.

Last November, France's President Emmanuel Macron oversaw the return of 26 artifacts that were stolen during France's colonial era back to their home in Benin. The move came after years of petitioning on the part of African governments and the commissioning of a report by the French leader that highlighted the need for full restitution to take place between European colonial powers and their former African colonies.

Macron's actions—while they could be read as performative measures, intended to serve France's economic interests on the continent by painting him in a positive light—was considered a constructive solution to the problem of art repatriation. It's a simple concept: a former colonial power admitted and apologized for stealing valuable cultural relics in the past, and then gave them back.

The process of art repatriation should be that simple, but in reality, it isn't. While efforts have been made to return these items to their rightful African owners—Germany recently returned a looted 15th century stone cross to Namibia—the majority of African cultural relics still live in museums far outside of the continent's borders. After all, France only returned 26 items, when the Quai Branly Museum in Paris alone houses 70,000 African objects, according to The New York Times. And apologies, when they do come, hardly suffice.

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Politics

Post-Election Violence in Benin Threatens One of Africa's Most Stable Democracies

The threat of authoritarian rule is rattling the country as demonstrators, calling for an annulment to Sunday's election, were met with live bullets and tear gas.

Protestors and police have clashed for a second day in a row following Sunday's elections in Benin.

Demonstrators have gathered in the economic capital of Cotonou since Wednesday, denouncing the election, which had a notably low turnout, and left opposition candidates out of the running. Many are in support of former leader Thomas Boni Yayi and are demanding the annulment of the vote and for incumbent President Patrice Talon to step down.

Police forces fired live bullets at protestors who were gathering in the capital, reports Al Jazeera. One woman died on Thursday after being wounded during a protest. The violence has largely quelled on Friday according to Yahoo News, but police forces have maintained their presence on the streets of Cotonou.

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popular

Angélique Kidjo Explores the Afrobeat Roots of Celia Cruz

"You don't even understand how big salsa is in Africa," the Beninese star mentions in a new interview about her Celia Cruz tribute album.

There's always been a special musical conversation between West Africa and the Caribbean. This newly-released album sees two legends from opposing of the Atlantic ocean come together for a striking marriage of afrobeat and salsa.

The recently released record follows Beninese diva Angélique Kidjo as she pays tribute to one of her lifelong musical idols, Celia Cruz. The album sees Kidjo expertly stripping down, covering and reinterpreting ten songs from Celia's legendary catalog to showcase the vast array of African influences on the salsa classics.

Below we spoke with Kidjo to learn more about her new tribute record, Celia.

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