2009

The Aesthetics Of Vulgarity

(With Thanks To Achille Mbembe)

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On the Current Censorship Crisis in Kano, Nigeria

By Carmen McCain, Director, Hausa Home Video Resource Center, Bayero University; Nazir Ahmed Hausawa, Manager, Golden Goose Studio; and Ahmed Alkanawy, Director, Center for Hausa Cultural Studies

Nigeria’s northern city of Kano was until last year the home of a thriving film industry in the Hausa language. Hausa language “video-films” are similar to the larger “Nollywood” Nigerian film industry but are stylistically different from their southern cousins, with most films including song and dance sequences influenced by Indian films and hiphop music videos. In August 2007, a sex scandal involving a leaked cell phone video of a Hausa film actress Maryam “Hiyana” Usman having sex with her boyfriend Usman Bobo instigated a change in the leadership of the Kano State Censorship Board.

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CHIMURENGA VOL. 14: AMERICA WILL ALLWAYS BLAME INDIANS FOR THE DEATH OF COWBOYS

CHIMURENGA VOL. 14: EVERYONE HAS THEIR INDIAN (APRIL ’09)

CHIMURENGA 14 (APRIL 09) LAUNCH & AFTERPARTY

pics by Themba Grootboom, Anthony Sloan & Stacy Hardy

LAUNCHING CHIMURENGA 14(APRIL 09): MADOSINI ENSEMBLE

African Contemporary Art

Negotiating the Terms of RecognitionAchille Mbembe in conversation with Vivian Paulissen

Africa Remix was an international success. The Johannesburg Art Fair is becoming a fixture in the international art circuit. Major academic interventions such as Sarah Nuttall’s Beautiful/Ugly are redefining the boundaries of African aesthetics. William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and countless  individual African artists are making a name of their own in the world market. A silent revolution in contemporary art is in the making.  Its ramifications extend to other domains such as literature, fashion, music, architecture and design. As jazz and cubism in the 20th century, it is to a large extent engineered by African forms.

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I am Khanga

Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (From the Dutch-language ZAM Africa Magazine): 

On May 8, 2006, the South African Judge Willem van der Merwe ruled that ANC leader Jacob Zuma was not guilty of the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, the daughter of his late friend Judson Kuzwayo, his fellow prisoner on Robben Island who died in exile in 1985. Zuma did not deny having sex with her, but claimed since the victim wore a khanga, a wraparound cloth, she had “asked for it.” Following the verdict, Kuzwayo, moved to Amsterdam prompted by persistent threats from Zuma’s supporters. There she gained political asylum, partly through assistance from the AIDS Fonds and people involved in the former anti-apartheid movement. On September 26 [2008] Kuzwayo performed, dressed in a khanga, the poem below at the opening of the exhibition “Identity, Power and Connection,” on the eve of the bi-annual Afrovibes Festival. In this way, she responded for the first time to the court’s verdict:

Louis Moholo & Neo Muyanga (in conversation) @ Chimurenga Library Sessions, 2009

Louis Moholo & Neo Muyanga (in conversation) @ Chimurenga Library Sessions, Central Library, Drill Hall, Darling Street, 2009

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10 Questions For Mukoma Wa Ngugi

By Jennifer Bryant

A Beautiful Blonde is Dead. This image is the spark that ignites the international crime drama Nairobi Heat, the debut novel by acclaimed Kenyan writer Mukoma wa Ngugi. From the evocative title of the first chapter to the last line readers are  forced to grapple with the touchy subjects of race, class, and the sometimes relative concept of justice. I recently had the pleasure of dialoguing with Mukoma about his new novel, his thoughts on writing, and his plans for the future.

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