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Archive for May, 2008




The murderous pogrom against migrants and refugees in South Africa has now claimed 62 people murdered and thousands homeless at last count. I have been struck by the haphazard official response by the South African government (apart from rhetorical commitments) and the country’s political leadership (President Thabo Mbeki, hiding in a TV studio, to this day has not visited a single area affected by the violence or publicly stood next to migrants reassuring migrants that they’re welcome.) While South African media have a dubious past when it comes to covering immigration issues, some creatives are exception. A group of Johannesburg-based filmmakers — angry and disappointed at the outbreak of violence, bigotry and ignorance — has just announced an effort to produce eight 30-second public service announcements for broadcast on South African public television. They also plan to make six 30-minute documentaries around this theme. For more information on the project, see here). [BTW South African filmmakers have not shied away from this theme in the past. From “God is African” by Akin Omotoso, “Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon” by Khalo Matabane, the short film “The Foreigner” by Zola Maseko to more recently Darrell Roodt’s new film “Zimbabwe” (I have not seen the last film).]

* The images above are from the photographer Dulce Pincon’s photo series, “The Real Superheroes,” that elevate immigrant workers, if only in photographs, to larger than live figures. See here.

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Table of Contents here.

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I woke this morning. Rosa went to music class. I put on Joe Henderson. For Fidel and Nkosi and all the new babies in South Africa. (Oh, the record, see here.)

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DJ Chief Bouma, West Coast purveyer of Ivorian Coupe Decale adds to the myried remixes of Usher’s “Love in this Club.” You can hear it here.

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Original reference.

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Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poorest nations, has become a major transshipment hub and the epicenter in Africa for the cocaine trade, according to U.S., European and U.N. officials. The shift demonstrates how the flow of drugs adapts not only to law enforcement pressure but also to the forces of global economics.

View the video report by Washington Post reporter Kevin Sullivan here and the print version of the story here.

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The Christian Science Monitor‘s Johannesburg correspondent Scott Baldauf (I am a real fan of the paper’s Africa reporting) on the link between cross-border movement between South Africa and Zimbabwe as a result of a food crisis against the backdrop of a meltdown in Zimbabwe and widespread xenophobia (that turned violent and murderous) in South Africa. Here.

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