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London Migration Film Festival: Crossing Voices with Intro

28 Novembre 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #2022, #cinema, #africa, #festival, #UK, #ENG

Using rare cinematic, photographic and sound archives, Crossing Voices recounts the exemplary adventure of Somankidi Coura, an agricultural cooperative created in Mali in 1977 by western African immigrant workers living in workers’ residences in France.
 

The story of this improbable, utopic return to the homeland follows a winding path that travels through ecological challenges, neo-colonialism, and conflicts on the African continent from the 1970s to the present day.

Watch it at Genesis Cinema on Wednesday 30th November 2022 from 8.50pm.

Join the discussion with director Raphaël Grisey on Wednesday 30/11 from 8pm (free), followed by the screening of CROSSING VOICES at 8.50pm.

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L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny

13 Octobre 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #queennanny, #ghana, #africa, #jamaica, #blackhistory, #blacklegacy, #ENG

Queen Nanny Photo credit: The Black Kings & Queens Project

Queen Nanny Photo credit: The Black Kings & Queens Project

Nanny, connue sous le nom de Queen Nanny était une dirigeante marron et une femme Obeah en Jamaïque à la fin du 17ème et au début du 18ème siècle. Les Marrons étaient des africains, forcés à travailler comme esclaves dans les Amériques, qui s'étaient échappés et qui ont formé des colonies indépendantes, s'organisant politiquement entre eux. Nanny était, elle-même, une africaine forcée à travailler comme esclave mais qui s' était évadée. Il a été largement admis que Nanny était originaire de la tribu Ashanti de l’actuel Ghana. Nanny et ses quatre frères (qui sont tous devenus des dirigeants marrons) apres avoir tous été vendus en esclavage, se sont échappés de leurs plantations vers les montagnes et les jungles qui constituent encore une grande partie de la Jamaïque. Nanny et un de ses frères, Quao, ont fondé un village dans les Blue Mountains, du côté Est (ou Windward) de la Jamaïque, qui est devenu connu sous le nom de Nanny Town.

Nanny a été décrite comme une pratiquante d’Obeah, un terme utilisé dans les Caraïbes pour décrire la magie populaire et la religion basée sur les influences ouest-africaines. Nanny Town, placée comme elle l’était dans les montagnes, loin des colonies européennes, était difficile à attaquer et a prospéré. Nanny a limité ses attaques contre les plantations et les colonies européennes et a préféré cultiver et commercer pacifiquement avec ses voisins. Elle a cependant fait de nombreux raids réussis pour libérer les esclaves détenus dans les plantations et il a été largement admis que ses efforts ont contribué à l’évasion de près de 1 000 esclaves au cours de sa vie.

De son vivant, Nanny Town et les Windward Maroons ont prospéré et se sont multipliés, ce qui était un véritable embarassement pour l’administration coloniale britannique, menacée par les succès des Marrons. Les propriétaires de plantations qui perdaient des esclaves, du matériel et des récoltes brûlés par les marrons exigèrent que les autorités coloniales agissent. Des milices, composées de l’armée régulière britannique et de mercenaires, parcourèrent les jungles jamaïcaines. Le capitaine William Cuffee, connu sous le nom de capitaine Sambo, aurait tué Nanny en 1733 lors de l’une des nombreuses batailles. Après la mort de Nanny, de nombreux Marrons Windward traversèrent l’île pour se rendre du côté occidental (Leeward) de la Jamaïque, peu habité. Nanny Town fut finalement capturée par les Britanniques et détruite en 1734. La guerre, elle-même, dura de 1720 jusqu’à ce qu’une trêve soit déclarée en 1739 ; Cudjoe, l’un des frères de Nanny et un leader pendant la guerre des Marrons, fut la force motrice derrière le traité.

La vie et les réalisations de Nanny ont été reconnues par le gouvernement de la Jamaïque et elle a été honorée en tant qu'héroïne nationale et a reçu le titre de « Right Excellent ». Actuellement, il y a sept héros nationaux reconnus et Nanny est la seule femme. Un portrait moderne de Nanny, basé sur sa description, apparaît sur le billet jamaïcain de 500 dollars en circulation en Jamaïque (voir dans la gallerie d'images ci-dessous).

Source : https://www.blackpast.org/

L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny
L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny
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The longest graffiti wall in Africa is in Benin Republic

13 Septembre 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #ENG, #africa

Source: unknown
Source: unknown

Source: unknown

Nearly 10 years after the first festival "Graff Effect" initiated by Laurenson Djihouessi in 2013, came the "heritage wall - le mur du patrimoine" which, since 2021, displays graffitis of about forty graffiti artists from Africa and the West, aiming to tell the story of the Kingdom of Dahomey, modern Benin under the theme: "Benin, heritage and potentials".This artistic marvel, of almost one kilometer long and of total area of more than 2000 m2, is the longest graffiti wall in Africa, and the 3rd worldwide after Dubai and Brazil. The wall is located in the heart of Cotonou and is one of Benin's new cultural attractions, as are the 26 royal statues of King Ghezo, restored by the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, now on display in the Cotonou Presidential Palace.These treasures had been looted in 1892 by French colonial troops in the palace of Abomey, capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey (see below 3 statues from the collection).

Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

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Aline Sitoé Diatta, The Dame of Kabrousse

12 Août 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #blackhistory, #ENG, #africa

Photo credit: Musée des forces armées

Photo credit: Musée des forces armées

Aline Sitoé Diatta (c1920 – 1944) was an anti-colonial resistance figure and community leader in the Casamance region, in actual Senegal. Married to Thomas Diatta, a dockworker at the Port of Senegal, she was one of the women in Francophone Africa who led anti-colonial campaigns during the period of the Second World War following a divine vision in 1941, which called upon her to struggle against the French colonial forces. When the French seized half of the region’s rice harvest to support the war effort, Aline Sitoé Diatta began her campaign alongside other market women. She encouraged the population to civil disobedience, to stop paying taxes, and to reject calls to replace rice cultivation with the growing monoculture of arachide (peanuts). Aline Sitoé Diatta also called for reinstatement of better working conditions and rights to religious worship. She was perceived as having supernatural powers, in particular the ability to bring rain to the parched land. The French forces made several attempts on her life. She was arrested on 8 May 1943 and deported to Gambia and then Mali, where she died a year later in prison, out of harsh treatments and malnourishment.

Aline Sitoé Diatta remains a national heroine figure in Senegal. Since the 1980s, her story has been recuperated in different ways and for different purposes, in connection with the separatist movement in the Casamance region (Toliver-Diallo). The main ferry from Casamance to the capital Dakar is named after her, as well as the women’s university halls of residence at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop.

Aline Sitoé Diatta, The Dame of Kabrousse
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Excellent vibes from Rwanda with 20 year old artist Okkama

9 Juin 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #ENG, #africa

Excellent vibes from Rwanda with 20 year old artist Okkama

20-year old Ossama Masut Khalid, commonly known as Okkama, is striking an entrance into the Rwandan music industry. Based in Rwanda, Ossama was born to a Rwandan Mother and Arabian father, and grew up with a huge passion for music.

“In music is where my passion and career are. I felt it growing up, and then I started doing it,” reveals Ossama. His music gets him through his darkest days; he utilizes it as a form of healing for himself and believes that he can use it to heal others. He adds Music is my comfort zone and my safe space. It cools down my stress and gives me peace”.

As a former Music student at Ecole d’Art de Nyundo, Ossama said that he learned a lot of skills that are playing a huge role in his music career. Although still new to the music industry, he can perform a wide range of song genres as a professional musician. Check out his latest Afrobeats release 'No' which is now available from all music platforms.

“I don’t have one specific music genre. I do RnB, Afrobeat, trap, funk and blues,” said Ossama.

His previous two songs were Toto, which he released while he was still a student, and ‘Iyallah,’ a hit in Rwanda and Africa. He is also working on his a debut album. 

“I always come back to my life story when writing a song or other people’s experiences because each person has a unique story, and as a musician, I tell it to the audience,” he also explains, when asked about his inspiration in writing music.

While Ossama is earning a large number of fans in his home country, he aspires to be an international music artist, which he says he will achieve by working hard and creating his own distinctive music, as well as putting advice he receives to good use, not to forget his abilities.

Source : Okkama explores his unique experience in the music industry | The New Times | Rwanda

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Sheabutter Making in the village of Hamamat

17 Février 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #hamamat, #ENG, #ghana, #blacklegacy, #business, #africa

In the village of Hamamat, based in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana, all they ever use on their skin is freshly handmade sheabutter, natural oils, herbs and ingredients that are locally grown. The Queen Mother of the village is 98 and still boasts a beautiful skin.

Hamamat Montia, a former miss Africa and a model as seen in the picture below, has a very interesting story. Finding herself separated then divorced from her husband who pursued another love interest, she decided to return to her native village with her two children.

Photo Credit : Bra Perucci Africa

Photo Credit : Bra Perucci Africa

It was, in her view, one of the best decision of her life, reconnecting her with family and cultural traditions. Whilst sharing once a video of sheabutter making in her village, she realised the interest it sparked. It gave her the desire to learn for herself and to turn this artisan activity into a business, which has indeed become very prosperous for her, but not only as it created a local economy and jobs for many ladies in the village. Since the business grew creating other opportunities. Click below to find out the range of products and services Hamamat's village has to offer.
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Rose Lokissim - An outstanding soldier, a tragic destiny

15 Mai 2018 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #blackhistory, #society, #roselokissim, #ENG, #tchad, #africa

Rose Lokissim - An outstanding soldier, a tragic destiny

Rose Lokissim (1955-1986) was one of the first women to become an elite soldier in Chad.

 

Rose was born around 1955 in a small and remote village in Chad, to one of her father’s wives. Not much is known about her childhood, other than that she was a calm and peaceful child with a strong will. By the time she was twelve, she was able to hold back her father in a fit of fury. Hardworking and ambitious, she refused to let her gender hold her back and by the time she was around 23, she joined the Chadian Army and went on to become one its first female elite soldiers. 

 

When she joined the army, there was a civil war in full swing. The former President had been killed ca. three years prior and around one year later, in 1979, rebel forces led by Hissène Habré took the capital, collapsing any kind of authority structure in the country. Now there were armed groups contending for power, the French colonialists (who just had to give up Chad as a colony in 1960 when it gained independence) rapidly lost influence and the whole country was in chaos. In 1982,  Hissène Habré officially became President of Chad. Violently crushing his opposition he quickly turned his reign into a dictatorship. Soon everyone who dared speak against him was persecuted and the people lived in fear of denunciation. Around 40.000 people were killed during his eight years in power. By 1984, Rose realized she could no longer be a part of this army and had joined by then the opposition.

 

She began to smuggle information to rebel forces and to speak out against the regime, hoping to gain international attention to remove Habré from office. However on December 14th of the same year, Rose and several others were arrested by the DDS, Habré’s secret police. The arrest was painful, involving electro shocks and a fair deal of violence. They were brought to La Piscine, an underground swimming pool that had been turned into a windowless prison. Rose was seen as a real threat by the DDS as only a day later she was taken to Les Locaux in N’Djamena, a prison for notorious criminals (mostly political prisoners), and instead of a women’s cell was taken to a cell to share with 60 men. Its real name was Cell C but it was known as the Cell of Death as few prisoners made it out of there alive.

 

Rose survived. After eight months she was transferred to a women’s cell. She would be the one to unite her fellow prisoners, keeping their hopes for a better future alive. They had friends in the prison too: there were officers who were willing to pass on messages to their families, letting them know they were still alive – or how and when they died. Rose was instrumental in smuggling out those messages.

 

At some point, the prisoners were given soap by one of those officers and Rose had an idea. She asked her friends to keep the soap boxes intact and give them to her, 15 boxes in total. She started to write on them about her experiences in prison in excruciating detail. She chronicled death, burials and torture. She recounted the officers who came to see the prisoners. And she described the abuse, the torture, the beatings, the sexual assault and the deprivation of food. After running out of soap boxes, she continued to write on scraps of cigarette paper and anything else she could find. Despite all warnings of the consequences these notes would yield not only for her but for all the women in her cell, she was determined to leave evidence of the inhumane treatment she and her fellow prisoners had to endure. For one year she kept on writing in secret, hiding even from her friends.

 

In 1986 Rose was due to be released but word about her documentation reached Habré. Her writings were immediately confiscated and she was transferred back to Cell C. She was executed on May 15th at the age of 33 years old, and buried in a mass grave known as Plain of the Dead.

 

In 1990, Habré was overthrown by the former President, Idriss Déby, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he was sentenced to life in prison for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during his rule in a charge led by the victims of his regime. Among the documents that sealed his conviction, found in the abandoned DDS headquarters, were files on Rose Lokissim. There was proof that in the two years she was imprisoned, Rose had never faltered, never given in on her position, instead she was vocal about it and considered a true threat by the secret police, even as she was in prison. The files also contained her final words:

“If I die, it will be for my country and family.
History will talk about me and I will be thanked for my services to the Chadian nation.”


Sources

http://historyheroines.com/2020/02/21/rose-lokissim/

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/05/talking-rose-150521103155485.html

http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20150421-talking-about-rose-story-one-womans-struggle-against-brutal-dictatorship-chads-hisse

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