Currently viewing the tag: "famine"

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.

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This is the second half of a two part extended version of an essay published in the London Review of Books (39:12, 15 June 2017, pp. 9-12).

There’s another blind spot which is even more remarkable: the neglect of starvation by genocide scholars. It’s striking because the intellectual father of genocide studies, Rafael Lemkin, was […]

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This is the first half of a two part extended version of an essay published in the London Review of Books (39:12, 15 June 2017, pp. 9-12).

In its primary use, the verb ‘to starve’ is transitive: something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Mass starvation on account of the weather has […]

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Alex de Waal has a new essay in the London Review of Books (39:12, 15 June 2017, pp. 9 – 12), which they titled, “The Nazis Used It, We Use it.” Below is an excerpt, the full essay is available with a subscription to the LRB.

In its primary use, the verb ‘to starve’ is […]

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There were many reasons for the under-recognized success in reducing famines: growing prosperity in Asia, the end of totalitarianism and wars of annihilation, and the control or elimination of killer diseases such as smallpox and typhus that killed millions of malnourished children. But credit also belongs to the international humanitarian response system. Twenty years ago I criticized the ”humanitarian international” for failing to deal with the political causes of mass starvation, but today it is clear that a professional and effective—and more politically aware—humanitarianism played its part in the near-conquest of famine.

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Last week’s declaration of famine in South Sudan was the first such declaration by the United Nations and associated agencies for six years. It’s an important step, for several reasons. Crying ‘famine!’ is a political act, intended to impel action. This will be a test case for whether it works.

Until 2010, when the Integrated […]

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