celebrating The Freak I #queer
Luciano and Lunga live in Alex and Tembisa. They identify as both male and female. While the way they express their gender and their sexual orientation could get them beaten and/or raped and/or killed, they choose to be themselves, to “celebrate The Freak”.
Felix Idubor (1928-1991) was a Nigerian sculptor from Benin, part of a group of young artists in Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s who raised awareness of the African artistic tradition at the time of decolonisation and independence. He is considered one of the pioneers of Nigerian contemporary art. The exhibition displays this photograph of his 1965 bas-relief for Independence House in Lagos.
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We are pleased to feature the talented work of illustrator, designer and painter Loyiso Mzike. Loyiso’s portfolio includes dynamic portraits of people throughout Africa.
“creating visual art is a talent and gift i have enjoyed all my life. it has evolved into a tool that i use to express my views and ideas. I paint people and paint about people. our complex nature fascinates me and therefore compels me to expressively tell our story. My work is African and celebrates the beauty and wealth running in the veins of her people. its in the subjects eyes, lips, skin tone/texture, dress, hair, that i draw inspiration from. the experience and stories we carry with us are the corner stones from which we mold a new identity. it is the human spirit that i aim to share in my art. ”
This is Africa, our Africa
Nigeria has had an endless routine of mass killings since 1945 when it commenced in Jos, subsequently in Kano in 1953, Tiv riots in the early 60’s, all over the North in 1966 by all strata of Northern society, the Nigeria-Biafra war from 1967 to 1970, in Kano and all over the North from 1980…
Namibians wearing Vellies (Shoes)
“Velskoen, pronounced “fell-skoon” and known colloquially as “vellies,” are the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. Vellies were first made in the 1600s, inspired by the footwear of the Khoikhoi tribe and crafted using raw materials. Later, our vellies were adapted by British travellers, packaged and renamed to be what we now know as desert boots.
(Brother Vellies) are made in the coastal town of Swakopmund, Namibia. There, a small group of eight Damara gentlemen assemble every shoe by hand, turning out just 20 pairs an afternoon.
…Vellies are made of vegetable-dyed Kudu leather. The Namibian government mandates the culling of these large native antelope to control their population. Kudu skin yields amazingly durable leather and suede that ages exceptionally well. Because these hides are taken from wild animals they often show scars or other “imperfections” that domesticated hides do not.”
Africaloses the benefit of billions of dollars each year through illegal tax evasion, money transfers and secretive business deals, more than all the money coming into the continent through aid and investment, according to a report released Friday.
About $63 billion is lost annually, the 120-page Africa Progress Report states, and despite the continent’s surging economic growth fueled by the global resources boom, poverty and inequality has worsened in many resource-rich African countries.
“It is unconscionable that some companies, often supported by dishonest officials, are using unethical tax avoidance, transfer pricing and anonymous company ownership to maximize their profits, while millions of Africans go without adequate nutrition, health and education,” Kofi Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general who heads the panel behind the report, wrote in his introduction.
The African Progress Panel releases a report each May analyzing one aspect of the continent’s progress, on jobs, equity and other issues, with the 2013 report examining Africa’s extractive industries and the massive lost opportunity the global resources boom represents for Africans.
Countries with massive wealth in resources such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo languished at the bottom of the global Human Development Index, which measures how well countries provide services such as health, education and other key services. Equatorial Guinea, ranked 45th in the world in terms of average income, ranked 136th out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index, while the DRC was last in the HDI.
Many resource-rich African countries had some of the world’s worst infant mortality rates, including Angola, Equatorial Guinea and the DRC.
“Revenues that could have been used to improve lives have instead been used to build personal fortunes, finance civil wars and support corrupt and unaccountable political elites,” the African Progress Panel report said.
“Some political elites continue to seize and squander the revenues generated by natural resources, purchasing mansions in Europe or the U.S. or building private wealth at public expense,” it said.
In many African countries, most of the benefits of surging growth were captured by the wealthiest 10% of the population, according to the report. It called for African leaders to embrace transparency and accountability in revenue from resources.
The report said secretive deals, poor governance and corruption cost the continent billions in lost revenue. In the DRC, the government lost $1.3 billion in five underpriced mine privatization deals involving state assets, more than double the amount it spent on health and education.
Angola lost track of $4.2 billion between 2010 and 2012, while Nigeria lost $6.8 billion in the same period.
“Revenue losses on this scale cause immense damage to public finance – and to national efforts to reduce poverty,” the report said. “Opaque practices in the natural resources sector are reinforced by opaque national budgets with citizens routinely denied access to key budget documents.”
“Looking back over the past decade, it is clear that growth alone will not transform human development prospects in resource-rich countries. Governments need to ensure that the revenue streams that come with the growth of extractive industries are invested efficiently and equitably,” the report said.
Graca Machel, president of the Foundation for Community Development and wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, said in a statement that if African leaders accepted the report’s recommendations, “more kids will go to school, fewer women will die in childbirth and more children will survive their childhood.”
Nairobi Film With Gay Kissing Scene Headed To The Oscars
i want to see this film. what do folks think of it?
Created on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:32 Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:39Written by Brenda Sausage
NAIROBI Half Life, a movie that featured two men kissing has been nominated by the Kenya Oscars Selection Committee to compete for the 85th Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS – better known as The Oscars) in the “Best Foreign Language Film”Category.
The film, a Ginger Ink Films production, features local cast and crew, providing an opportunity for Kenyans to benchmark with the best in the world cinema arena.
Nairobi Half Life features two men kissing in what producer, Tosh Gitonga said was meant to be provocative and initiate discussion on the issue.
Wambui Kairo, the chairperson of The Kenya Oscars Selection Committee was full of praise for the film, terming it as a master piece and saying that it stands a chance for nomination and the global award.
“We as a committee are privileged to have been involved in the process of reviewing Nairobi Half Life and to have found it as a suitable Kenyan submission. It is clear from this film that the Kenya film industry has the capacity to make movies that can compete on a global platform.”
The film’s success at the cinema halls has influenced public demand to have the film extend its screening to December and has received outstanding reviews from local newspapers and blogs.
Indeed, the film has sparked a lot of interest from Kenyans both locally and those in the Diaspora who are eager to watch it.
‘It’s about time people addressed the issue of gays in our society. We did it, but not in the negative angle for once,’ said producer Gitonga. (READ: Gay, Lesbian Characters Come Alive In Kenyan TV, Movies, Books)
According to Guy Wilson who was part of the production, the script of the film included a gay kissing scene as gay people are part of Kenya’s society and they wanted to explore that.
‘This is a Kenyan film made by Kenyans and using sheng and vernacular language; including a kissing scene between two men shows that same sex is becoming a mainstream concept and they have done it proud,’ said an Arts Manager at Phoenix Theaters.
To date, the only other movie submitted from Kenya for the same category was Heart of Fire; a Kenyan/German co-production film about the civil war in Eritrea submitted in 2008. The film was not nominated by the Academy for the 2009 Awards.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the selected films on Thursday the 10th of January, 2013. Five (5) Films will be nominated from all the international submissions to go forward in the final lineup to compete for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film.
The official Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 24th February 2013 in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Four years ago, Jason Njoku sat down with his old friend Bastian Gotter and told him about an investment opportunity in Nigeria, a precious resource that was sitting there, just waiting to be exploited: movies. Despite their crude quality and cruder distribution system,…
Ever Young: James Barnor
Iconic Ghanaian Photographer.
Absolutely interesting style of documentary, narrated entirely by Barnor himself, accompanied by his photographs.
South African photographer Zanele Muholi has spent the last 10 years determinedly creating a visual archive of black lesbian life in South Africa, often in the face of considerable opposition.
On Thursday night her work was recognised with a major international freedom of expression prize at the Index on Censorship awards, which, according to chairman Jonathan Dimbleby, celebrate the fundamental right to “write, blog, tweet, speak out, protest and create art and literature and music”.
Other winners announced at the annual prizegiving evening in London included Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and Greek editor Kostas Vaxevanis.
Muholi said that South Africa was country of huge contrasts for gay people: on the one hand it has been enormously progressive and in 1996 became the first country in the world to constitutionally prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation; on the other, there is a culture of fear if you are gay and serious hate crime is a huge problem, including “corrective” rape to “straighten out” lesbians. In the last year, four women have been murdered because of their sexuality, including Phumeza Nkolonzi, 22, who was shot dead in front of her grandmother and niece, and Sihle Sikoji, aged 19 when she was stabbed to death.
Getting the award comes at a particularly poignant time for Muholi, she said, because it is six years after the death of Busi Sigasa and seven after the death of Buhle Msibi – both black lesbian activists who were survivors of rape but who ended up HIV-positive. Both were activist colleagues and featured in her photography.
Muholi hopes that her work helps other lesbians in South Africa. “The minute you see likeness is when you realise that no matter what you’re going through in your own life, you are not alone,” she said.
Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index, said: “Zanele has shown tremendous bravery in the face of criticism and harassment for ground-breaking images which include intimate portraits of gay women in South Africa, where homosexuality is still taboo and lesbians are the target of horrific hate crimes. She has won the award both for her courage and the powerful statements made by her work.”