DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Posts tagged "algeria"

The Year Algeria Made Football & World Cup History.

It’s been 32 years since the Algerian national football team caused what some have named one of the ‘biggest upsets' in World Cup history by defeating then European champions West Germany. It's also been 32 years since Algeria was sabotaged in what The Guardian calls “one of sport’s most blatant cases of match-fixing.”

Qualifying for the first time ever, Algeria’s presence at the World Cup hosted in Spain that year was already an historic feat. The African team had been placed in a group that included Austria, Chile, and West Germany who they were scheduled to play against first.

On that June day in 1982, the North African novices faced reigning European champions West Germany. Many predicted a thrashing by the Germans who in turn didn’t shy away from making boastful statements about the game that lay ahead. One German player boldly declared before the match, “we will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs”, openly mocking their Algerian opponents. Even the then West German manager, Jupp Derwall, reportedly said that if the Algerians won, he would “jump on the first train back to Munich.” Algeria defender Chaabane Merzekane recalled that one of the West German players said that he would play the match with a cigar in his mouth.

Well, if Derwall had any sense of foresight, he would’ve booked a one-way ticket back to Munich immediately. Better yet, if Derwall had only done his homework on the Algerian team, he may have refrained from making such a statement. Negligence on Derwall’s part would later mean that West Germany would be in for a great surprise. It was only after the match that Derwall admitted that he was given a footage of the Algerian players in action, as is customary, but did not show it to his team as they would have mocked him had he done so. Why? Simply because the Germans, whether out of racism or ignorance, did not think the Algerians to be worthy opponents.

In 1982, most of Algeria’s national football team was comprised of players who had been teammates for years as Algerian law at the time prohibited players from leaving the country before the age of 28, something that stemmed from the FLN’s role in Algeria’s history of independence and its influence on the country’s football team. All of the players had been based at home, as a result of this law, making their bond of the field exceptionally strong and fluid. Several former FLN players were part of the coaching staff in 1982, including Abdelhamid Zouba and the co-manager Rachid Mekloufi, and the spirit of Algerian pride that had been established by these players who left France to play for Algeria was present in the team. 1982 was also the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. 

Algeria had successfully beaten Nigeria to be present at the 1982 World Cup and during their first ever match at this tournament, the determination and humility of the Fennec Foxes, as well as their skill, of course, would see them through to a 2-1 victory against West Germany. This victory made Algeria the first African team to defeat a European opponent at the World Cup. Their next match against Austria saw the tides turn as they lost 2-0, but against Chile, they regained their form and won that match leaving them with four points from their three games (back when it was two points for a win).

Now, their fate of progressing became dependent on West Germany failing to beat Austria the next day. But both the Germans and Austrians both knew that if Germany beat Austria 1-0, it would result in both teams progressing to the next round at Algeria’s expense. Thus, both teams conspired to achieve this result - a distasteful case of match-fixing that forever changed the world of football. After Germany’s Horst Hrubesch put his team in the lead at the 10th minute, both the Germans and Austrians basically did nothing for the next 80 minutes. No attempts at goal, just an hour and 20 minutes of kicking the ball around.

As The Guardian points out, “the game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy.”

Both the Austrian and West German teams were scorned by the public. Algerian fans in the crowd burned peseta notes to show their suspicions of corruption. Spaniards in attendance waved hankerchiefs throughout the second half in a traditional display of disdain. The following day, Spanish newspapers denounced the actions of both teams and there was outrage in West Germany and Austria too.

German commentator Eberhard Stanjek, working for German channel ARD, almost sobbed during the match and said: “What is happening here is disgraceful and has nothing to do with football. You can say what you like, but not every end justifies the means.” His fellow Austrian commentator suggested viewers turn off their TVs and he refused to speak for the last half-hour. Former West German international Willi Schulz branded the German players “gangsters”.

But these ‘gangsters’ remained unapologetic through the criticism, backlash and protesting. When German fans gathered at the team hotel to protest, the players responded by throwing water bombs at them from their balconies.

The head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, made this extraordinary racist comments about the Algerian team: “Naturally today’s game was played tactically. But if 10,000 ‘sons of the desert’ here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he’s entitled to open his gob.”

Not ones to stoop down to the level of their European opponents, the Fennec Foxes remained publicly unphased by these comments. As Merzekane recalls, “We weren’t angry, we were cool,” he says. “To see two big powers debasing themselves in order to eliminate us was a tribute to Algeria. They progressed with dishonour, we went out with our heads held high.”

All over the world, people called on FIFA to punish the Europeans or stage a replay, but in the end all that was done by them was to rule that from then onwards the last pair of games in every group would be played simultaneously. Algeria had come to the World Cup and made history in more ways than one. They had left an “indelible mark on football history.”

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Algeria Football Team Given A Heroes Welcome Upon Return From Brazil.

In contrast to the reactions shown by officials from the other African countries that competed in this year’s FIFA World Cup, the Algerian national team were given a hero-like welcome upon their return home from Brazil.

Having been one of two African countries to make it to the round of 16, the team achieved victory by being the first African team to score four goals at one match in World Cup history, and also became the first Algerian team to progress beyond the group stage at the World Cup.

Although they were defeated 2-1 by Germany, the support from their fellow Algerians remained strong even after their loss, so much so that the Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal personally greeted and thanked the players as they arrived home. The team has also decided to donate their  prize money to the people of Gaza saying that they needed it more than the team did.

Talk of money amongst the other African teams begun even before kickoff with Cameroon refusing to board their plane over wage disputes.

During the tournament, Ghana’s presence was marred by a bonus money airlifting scandal, Nigeria refused to attend practice over bonus money issues and had to be reassured by the president that they would receive money owed to them, and Cameroon is being investigated following match-fixing claims. Both Cameroon and Ghana’s Presidents have called for investigations into their teams’ performances at the World Cup. Algeria and the Ivory Coast are the only two African countries that were controversy free during this year’s World Cup.

And where Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi resigned from his duties as Nigeria’s head coach, despite winning last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (the second man as player and coach to achieve this title), and having gotten the Super Eagles to the last 16 stage of the World Cup, Algeria are keeping Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

Keshi’s resignation has not been made formal yet but there are already talks that he might become Bafana Bafana’s new coach.

Despite the controversies surrounding the West African teams, often attributed to the corrupt practices of soccer officials in their countries, this World Cup was monumental for Africa in many ways. From having two teams in the round of 16 for the first time ever, to Asamoah Gyan’s top African player scorer feat.

See footage of the Algerian team’s return parade.

Algeria and Nigeria through to Round of 16 Stage.

Two African teams have successfully managed to make it past the group stage at this year’s FIFA World Cup. Algeria have made history as this is the first time the country has ever made it past the group stage at a World Cup tournament. Nigeria have twice made it to the second stage of the World Cup but lost 2-1 to Italy in 1994 and 4-1 to Denmark in 1998.

After Algeria’s 1-1 draw with Russia yesterday, the North Africans managed to finish as runners up in group H. Unfortunately for Ghana, the odds tipped in favour of the USA as the  Black Stars succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Portugal and, despite their 1-0 loss to Germany last night, the USA’s goal difference allowed them to stay above Portugal even as both teams finished with the same amount of points.

Nigeria, the first and only other African team through to the next round this year, and Algeria both face some stiff competition in their next matches.

The Super Eagles will play one of the favourite and most tipped teams to win the World Cup this year as they face France who have scored a combined total of seven goals at this year’s tournament so far.

Algeria have their work cut out for them as Les Fennecs find themselves facing Germany who are yet to lose a game at this year’s World Cup.

Both Nigeria and Algeria play their upcoming matches on Monday, June 30th, with Nigeria taking on France at 18:00 (CAT) and Algeria facing Germany at 22:00 (CAT).

More African World Cup History Made As Algeria Defeat South Korea 4-2.

Just when we though things couldn’t get better for Africa at the World Cup, Algeria played a phenomenal game against South Korea scoring a total of four goals - the most scored by any African team in one match at the World Cup ever.

Algeria have qualified four times for the World Cup, in 1982, 1986, 2010 and of course, 2014. During their World Cup debut in 1982, they caused  “one of the great World Cup upsets on the first day of the tournament with a 2–1 victory over reigning European Champions West Germany.” This was also the last victory Algeria saw at the World Cup, until today.

South Korea did put up a good fight scoring two goals in the second half after being down 3-0 at half time. South Korea’s worst loss in World Cup history was in 1954 where Hungary beat them 9-0.

Algeria only need one more point to qualify for the next round.

They face Russia on Thursday.

On Africa and the World Cup by Nate Holder.

We all know that Africa is not a country, nor are we a homogenous group of people aligned in culture and interest from Cape to Cairo. So why is that during the World Cup, individual African teams are burdened with being representatives of the entire continent?

One thing that has always caught my attention is how Africa and African football teams are spoken about at the World Cup. It seems as though the last African team left in the tournament somehow carries the hope of not only their nation, but the whole continent of Africa. Headlines such as ‘Ghana – Africa’s Best Hope in Tough World Cup Pool’ and ‘Why do African teams underperform at the World Cup?’ are common and go without questioning if the idea itself makes sense. The idea that African teams are spoken about in very different terms to teams from the rest of the world. Listen closely at how many times commentators and presenters will say things such as, ‘These players are not just representing their country, but are also representing Africa’.

Though Ghana were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by Uruguay, the fact that they reached the quarterfinals was seen as not only a triumph, but a possible glimpse into the future as Ghana equaled the best result by an African team in World Cup history. Watching Luis Suarez’ handball and sending off, Asamoah Gyan’s subsequent penalty miss and Abreu’s audacious chip to win it was one of the most heartbreaking events in recent World Cup history. It endeared Ghana and in particular Asamoah Gyan, to hearts all over the world; not just African hearts.

In a BBC World Cup preview show some nights ago, Reggie Yates spoke about the history of African sides at the World Cup and about the chances of Ghana escaping the group of death this year. He quoted the African saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. But on a continent where approximately 2000-3000 different languages are spoken, not to mention possibly 8000 dialects, the idea of the “African proverb” makes no sense. Africa is not a country. To even think of referring to a saying as a “European” or “South American” proverb is almost unheard of, so why is Africa excluded from this consideration? Lately, in talk of the World Cup, it often seems as though Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Algeria all get lumped together when the need to explain how they perform and where they come from arises.

Speaking of under-performing, do African teams really underperform?

If we go by appearances in the last 16 stage (that is countries that qualify from their group), we see that Africa is actually the 4th most successful continent over the last 6 World Cups. The 3rd most successful is North America, with 9 appearances in the knockout stages to Africa’s 5 (Asia has 4, while Oceania has 1). When it comes to quarter-final appearances however, Africa beats North America 3:1, with quarter-final appearances by Ghana (2010), Senegal (2002) and Cameroon (1990) to the one appearance by the USA in 2002. So in terms of progression in the tournament, African sides come in 3rd after Europe and South America. South Korea earned Asia’s only spot in the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup and Oceania’s furthest foray was in the last 16 with Australia in 2006. So do African teams really under achieve? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Did Germany carry the hopes of Europe when they reached the final of the 2006 World Cup? Do the defending champions Spain go into this years tournament being spoken of as Europe’s best hope of a World Cup? Much has been made of the socio-economic problems that Brazil has, and we have heard over and over again, that failure for Brazil to win the World Cup would be a disaster for its people. Would it be a disaster for the rest of the South American continent? Of course not. Perhaps many Argentinians would relish seeing Brazil knocked out before them. After all, Brazil represents Brazilians. Greece for Greeks. Iran for Iranians. Cameroon for…Africans? Sure many Africans will hope that other African side do well, but I’m sure an Ivorian would much prefer to see Ivory Coast progress rather than supporting the African nation with the best squad, out of a sense of ‘Africanism’?

If Nigeria reach the World Cup final against Brazil on the 13th July, many Africans will be cheering for Nigeria. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be some Africans watching the same game wearing Neymar Jr on their backs.

Read his blog and follow Nate Holder on Twitter.

World Cup 2014 Fan Favourite Posters created by Jon Rogers.

Vancouver designer Jon Rogers created a series of posters depicting the fan favourite player, according to Bleacher Report, from each country participating in this year’s World Cup. Above are the posters of players from the African teams currently playing in Brazil for a chance at football’s most prestigious trophy.

prepaidafrica:

Algerian manga artist Fella Matougui, 18, with some of her comics in Algiers.

Manga is flourishing in Algeria. It is a massively popular book form that originated in Japan where it became a cultural phenomenon. Now manga is flourishing in Algeria as well.

“The Algerian manga is our trademark,” said Salim Brahimi proudly. “It’s what we call DZ manga.”

He is the founder of Z-Link, Algeria’s first publisher of manga. And Z-Link’s manga are 100% Algerian, from the drawings to the text. Published in French, colloquial Arabic and soon in north Africa’s Berber language, DZ manga has put a distinctly localised stamp on the form, and the comics are flying off the shelves.

“We are printing 3,000 copies per title,” said Kamal Bahloul, Z-Link’s representative at a book festival in the eastern city of Tizi Ouzou.

“In 2008, 40% of our print run was sold against 70% today,” he added. Since its launch in 2007, Z-Link has been increasing its catalogue and its staff.

”When we started this adventure there were just two of us,” said Kamal.

“Now we have nearly 30 employees. We are growing 5% on average every year.”

In 2008, a year after Salim co-founded Z-Link, he launched a key weapon in its marketing armoury: Laabstore magazine, a monthly review of Algeria’s burgeoning manga, cinema and video game scene.

(via Algeria’s manga a home-grown hit - News | The Star Online)

(via africaisdonesuffering)

Images from Algerian photographer Omar D.'s series Portraits de Femmes, a response to Marc Garanger’s “Unveiled Women" series in which Omar D. seeks to restore the dignity of Algerian women that those photographed by Garanger were stripped of.

Between 10,000 – 20,000 people disappeared in Algeria in the decade following the cancellation of the general election of 1992.

On opening this book, page upon page of faces introduce the reader to this national tragedy. Using the testimony of the families of some of those who have disappeared, Omar D’s photographs present the places where events occurred, their relationship to the surrounding urban and rural landscapes and the lives of those who have been affected.

A striking and forceful body of work, compiled during a single winter as a commission by Autograph ABP, his images tell the story of a practice that has become widespread throughout the world.

Omar D is known for his intimate portraits of a way of life fast disappearing in Algeria, recently exhibited as part of Africa Remix in London, Düsseldorf, Paris and Tokyo and Snap Judgments at ICP, New York.

(sources 1; 2)

429 plays
Rachid Taha,
Zoom

AFTERNOON TUNE: Rachid Taha - Galbi

A deliciously good song from the Algerian rai musician’s latest album Zoom that was released earlier this year. Listening to it for the first time and so far, this is by far my favourite.

khaste-irooni:

Algeria, early 20th century

(via endilletante)

Hazy scenes of life in various parts of Algeria photographed by Franco-Algerian photographer Bruno Boudjelal over a ten-year period, starting in 1993. Published in his 2009 book Disquiet Days / Jours intranquilles, the series consists of a collection of a highly personal visual perspective of Boudjelal’s journey across a country he had become unfamiliar with in some ways.

Through this series of intimate complex interactions, these images speak profoundly to Boudjelal’s position as an insider-outsider in Algeria, which can often be seen through the distance illustrated between the eye of Boudjelal’s inquisitive lens and the subjects in his photographs.

September: Highlighting African Photographers

yadiyadiyadi:

'Creatures' directed by Charlotte Rutherford 

pulitzercenter:

"Between the Lines" features the beautiful portraits of Algerian women whose fading facial tattoos tell a story of place, culture and tradition. This long-form multimedia mini-book is by Wake Forest University Yasmin Bendaas. Available on KindleiPad and browsers for FREE.

AFTERNOON TUNE: Algerian Iqvayliyen (Kabyle) singer Souad Massi gives a near-perfect and incredibly soothing live performance of her song Hagda from her 2005 album Mesk Elil, meaning ‘honeysuckle’.

The album stayed on the album chart in France for almost ten months, following its release.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women