Alex de Waal wrote the Introduction to Africa Muckraking, the first collection of investigative and campaigning journalism written by Africans and about Africa. The editors delved into the history of modern Africa to find the most important and compelling pieces of journalism on the stories that matter. This collection of 40 pieces of African journalism includes passionate and committed writing on labor abuses, police brutality, women’s rights, the struggle for democracy and independence on the continent and other subjects. Each piece of writing is introduced by a noted scholar or journalist who explains the context and why the journalism mattered. Some of the highlights include: Feminist writing from Tunisia into the 1930s, hair raising exposes of the secret tactics planned by the South African government during apartheid, Richard Mgamba’s searing description of the albino brothers in Tanzania who fear for their lives, the piece by Liberian journalist Mae Azongo’s on genital cutting which forced her into hiding. This edited collection includes the legends of African journalism and seminal pieces of writing: stories on corruption and brutality by Mozambique journalist Carlos Cardoso and Angolan writer Rafael Marques, a loving profile of the legendary cameraman Mo Amin and his writing on the Ethiopian famine, Drum’s investigative reporter Henry Nxumalo who went undercover in South Africa to write about labor conditions on the notorious potato farms of Bethal. Nigerian novelist Okey Ndibe describes Chinua Achebe’s passionate writing on the war with Biafra and Kenyan novelist Peter Kimani describes the Hola Massacre while Ken Saro- Wiwa warned of the coming war in the Niger Delta. Like their counterparts all over the world, African Muckrakers have been imprisoned and even killed for their work. Africa Muckraking is a must-read for anyone who cares about journalism and Africa. Edited by Anya Schiffrin with George Lugalambi.

Continue Reading

Well, yes, we’re chasing the news a bit here. Paul Manafort may be a bad egg, but what has he got to do with world peace, you ask?

Well, for a start, he is an arms dealer among his many talents. Specifically, he connected French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur with his long-term friend and […]

Continue Reading

 

The cultural critic Mark Fisher writes, ‘it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism’.[i] He continues:

“Once, dystopian films and novels were extensions of such acts of imagination—the disasters they depicted acting as narrative pretext for the emergence of different ways […]

Continue Reading

One of the more complex meditations on memory and forgetting after war, comes not from social science, international law or erudite essay, but from this year’s winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, in his 2015 novel, The Buried Giant (2015). Set in an era following King Arthur’s demise, the characters inhabit a land beset by the fog of forgetting. The novel posits several ways to imagine the purpose of memory from the perspective of how its absence afflicts the story’s core characters.

Continue Reading