The Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, or even the Red Sea, are not necessarily boundaries, they have rather been highways for the exchange of people and ideas through history.
With the Pan African Space Station landing in Cairo this week, on the Chronic website, we highlight our special July 2015 issue, designed in collaboration with Studio Safar in Beirut, and published in its entirety in Arabic as Muzmin.
In the minds of many, the Sahara exists as a boundary between the Maghreb and “Black Africa”. History and our lived experience tell a different story – this issue bears testimony to that. It argues that the Sahara has never been a boundary, real or imagined. Trade caravans, intellectuals, literatures, human resources and political ideas have long circulated from Timbuktu to Marrakesh, from Khartoum to Tunis and Cairo and beyond.
In The Pharoah’s New Clothes, Sophia Azeb argues against the Poet-President’s dichotomy of Negritude/Arabicite. Wendell Hassan Marsh follows the route taken by Islam between Françafrique and Afrabia, a geo-political conflation, which imagines the whole of Africa and the whole of the Arab world as two regions in the process of merging into one. Meanwhile Hassan Musa introduces artist and teacher Ibrahim El-Salahi – The Wise Enemy and his aesthetic principles based on hybridity of Arab-Islamic cultural components and elements of African culture that preceded the advent of Islam in Sudan.
Other featured contributors include Akin Adesokan, Saarah Jappie, and Ziad Bentahar in conversation with Marcia Lynx Qualey.
The Chronic is a quarterly gazette published by Chimurenga. It is a publication borne out of an urgent need to write our world differently, to begin asking new questions, or even the old ones anew.