DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "britain"

Movie Mondays: “Burning An Illusion” - Dir. Menelik Shabazz (1981).

Pat is a single woman, employed, financially independent, carefree and living in her own flat in London, until she meets suave and smooth talking Del. The two start dating and it isn’t long before Del moves in with Pat.

At first, things seem rosy between the them, that is, until Del quits (or loses) his job. As newly unemployed Del becomes more complacent with his situation, fully relying and taking advantage of the care that Pat and her job provide for him, their relationship takes a quick downward spiral and it isn’t long before things heatedly escalate.

Burning An Illusion is a powerful and important film for so many reasons. Not only does it feature a black woman as the central character, Pat - played by Cassie McFarlane - is a woman with complexities that defy stereotypes of black women throughout the history of Western cinema. She’s both strong and sensitive, defiant and desperate, lovestruck and lonely.

The film also tackles a number of issues related to gender roles and expectations within the Afro-Caribbean British community, black consciousness, race, class and other socio-economic factors that personally affect the film’s many characters.

In making this film writer and director Menelik Shabazz, born in Barbados, became the second black filmmaker to produce a feature film in Britain. Shabazz is also the founder of the BFM (Black Filmmakers) Film Festival in England.

The film won the Grand Prix at the Amiens International Film Festival in France, and  actress Cassie McFarlane won the Evening Standard Award for “Most Promising New Actress”.

Burning an Illusion and director Menelik Shabazz were honoured with a Screen Nation Classic Film Award in October 2011.

The relationship between Pat and Del at times reminded me of the couple in Nothing But A Man.

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Artist and ‘angry hypocrite’ Yinka Shonibare MBE uses work to criticize world’s wealthiest.

Where Shonibare’s previous works have been historical in nature, the narrative surrounding some of the artist’s newest pieces is embedded in the happenings of today’s world. Pictured above is Shonibare with one of his latest works entitled ‘Cake Man II’, a piece that carries his signature use of Dutch Wax prints (a somewhat faux-African element he’s become fond of due to it’s mixed transcontinental history between Africa, Asia and Europe) tailored and worn as a suit by a headless man. But this man is not simply an ordinary man, the sartorially suited mannequin is a banker, a life-size human-like symbol of the rich who just keep getting richer.

Atop the figure’s back sits a pile of neatly stacked cakes, perhaps a reference to the falsely quoted infamous phrase not uttered by Marie Antoinette, used in this case to represent both wealth and greed. In Shonibare’s own words, the artists says:

"It’s my tribute to bankers. There’s been a lot of talk about bonuses to bankers and the top 1% literally taking all the cake. So this piece, I guess, is about greed. It has more cakes than anyone could ever eat or manage."

But whilst his work socio-political and critical in nature, Shonibare still acknowledges that he is not all that removed from this system, not altogether an outsider looking in:

"The entire art world is underpinned by capitalism, so I guess I’m biting the hand that feeds me. That’s not to say I can’t pass comment but I know I can be accused of being complicit with the system."

This work will be on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of their “Summer Exhibition" which hosts "new and recent art created by everyone from emerging artists to the biggest names in contemporary art and architecture". It’s the world’s largest open entry exhibition and has been held for nearly 250 years.

MNEK - READY FOR YOUR LOVE (GORGON CITY REFIX)

Watching the “The Last Battle” was not easy. Not simply because it is the telling of actual events, that are still ongoing, that were horrific in nature, but because this gross miscarriage in justice reveals the brutal extent that man’s inhumanity to man can - and has - manifested itself through the that is coloniliasm.

This fight for justice in the ways in which the victims define it lays out a fact that so many of us are aware of - colonialism never really ended, and for as long as we stay silent about our pain, or silence those who still bear the marks of this gruesome period in our history, we malignantly assist those who are responsible for this in leaving the scars of the victims forcibly open and lacing them with the salt of inhumanity and immorality.

Filmed on two continents over four years, The Last Battle traces the story of a small group of elderly Kenyans in their successful fight to win acknowledgement of the abuses suffered at the hands of the British colonial authorities at the height of the 1950s Mau Mau emergency. 
With intimate and disturbing interviews, observational footage, photographs and archive, this revelatory and compelling documentary follows the legal case in London and lays bare a history that was deliberately hidden, allowing the central protagonists to tell the world, for the first time, their stories and what happened to them.
- Kevin Kriedemann

tw: mentions of torture, violence.

AFTERNOON SONG: Sade performing ‘Love is Stronger Than Pride’ live.

Helen Folasade Adu looks absolutely breathtaking and ethereal in her all-white shimmering two-piece ensemble. My emotions are somewhere between complete awe and a pathetic sense of envy at just how glorious her aura is.

A man being deported to Angola was unlawfully killed on a British Airways flight after security guards restrained him, an inquest jury has found.

Jimmy Mubenga, 46, died after becoming ill as the aircraft prepared to leave Heathrow Airport in October 2010.

The father-of-five had been restrained by G4S security guards, an inquest jury at Isleworth Crown Court heard.

He was being deported from the UK after serving a two-year prison sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

'Unreasonable force'

Mr Mubenga was restrained by Terence Hughes, Stuart Tribelnig and Colin Kaler, the inquest heard.

The jury found he died of cardio-respiratory collapse, in which the heart stops beating and a person stops breathing.

Other passengers said they heard Mr Mubenga wailing for help after saying he could not breathe, with one of the guards apparently replying: “Yes, you can.”

Returning the verdict, the jury foreman said: “Based on the evidence we have heard, we have found Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down by one or more of the guards.

"We find that this was unreasonable force.

"The guards would have known that they would have caused harm to Mr Mubenga, if not serious harm."

Richard and John Lander visit the King of Badagry, Nigeria, circa 1830-31.

The two men, brothers and British explorers from Truro in Cornwall, England, had been sent by the British government to explore the length and course of the Niger River and map it. They published their results in a “Journal of an Expedition to Explore the Course and Termination of the Niger”, in 1832.

Note the European arms in the King’s place.

Not sure who the King of Badagry was at this time but you can read more about Badagry, a coastal town in southwestern Nigeria that served as a port during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade where many of the kidnapped and enslaved peoples were transported to Brasil.

Nigeria’s first Christian mission is located in Badagry.

A member of the House of Lords, Lord Lea, has written to the London Review of Books saying that shortly before she died, fellow peer and former MI6 officer Daphne Park told him Britain had been involved in the death of Patrice Lumumba, the elected leader of the Congo, in 1961.

(read more)

On the main road to the home of Zambia Sugar Plc, a large sign advises visitors: “Welcome to Mazabuka – 4km to the sweetest town in Zambia.”

Lying around 100km south-west of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, the town has been described by the chief executive of Zambia Sugar’s parent company as an island of “relative prosperity” in a country where malnutrition and poverty are still rife.

George Weston, 48, who earns £918,000 a year plus an annual bonus of £864,000 leading Associated British Foods, is right. Jobs created by Zambia Sugar in and around its Nakambala Sugar plantation in the Mazabuka district are vital to local livelihoods.

And it is a growing business, an important part of the Kingsmill bread, Primark clothing, Silver Spoon sugar, Twinings Tea and Ryvita crackers empire. The plantation and factory made record profits in 2012 and is expected to exceed 400,000 tonnes of sugar production this year for its Europe and Africa markets.

But as ActionAid’s report into Zambia Sugar’s tax arrangements notes: “Even amidst Mazabuka’s lush green cane fields, the availability of overstretched public services is sometimes literally a matter of life and death. Such public services rely, of course, on everyone paying their due taxes.”

Mazabuka’s Nakambala Urban health centre say two malnourished children die every month with it. At the school, 1,200 children fit into 12 classrooms in shifts taught by 20 teachers.

The local public services need cash from the government, and the state is reliant on almost 20% of its income from corporation tax and taxes on money leaving the country. Yet between 2007 and 2012 Zambia Sugar paid less than 0.5% of its pretax profits in corporation tax. Between 2008 and 2010, it paid no corporation tax at all.

The company says “as a direct result of our investment in Zambia since 2008, the availability of substantial capital allowances has led to virtually no corporate tax being payable”. It also benefits from other tax reliefs, including one for farmers which it won after taking the government to court in 2007.

But ActionAid’s year-long investigation into the complex corporate structure around Zambia Sugar suggests there is a more troubling story behind the numbers. A third of the company’s pre-tax profits – more than $13.8m a year – are paid out of Zambia via tax haven sister companies located in countries where taxes have been, currently are, or are likely to be, lower than in the African state.

Before the Zambian taxman gets to it, the company pays large “purchasing and management” fees to an Irish sister company which does not employ a single member of staff, according to its company accounts. Money can flow freely from Zambia to Ireland untroubled by the taxman due to a bilateral treaty.

Associated British Foods says it has repeatedly made accounting errors and it actually has 20 people in Ireland doing “real work”. Yet they were peculiarly absent when ActionAid phoned and visited the offices in Dublin to find that neither the telephone operator nor receptionist had heard of the company.

(read more)

collectivehistory:

Today in History: Jan 12, 1879, the Anglo-Zulu War begins

The Anglo–Zulu War was fought between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.

Following a campaign by which Lord Carnarvon had successfully brought about federation in Canada, it was thought that similar combined military and political campaigns might succeed with the various African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa.

In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring the plans into being, however, there were many obstacles. Frere, on his own initiative, without the approval of the British government and with the intent of instigating a war with the Zulu presented an ultimatum to the Zulu king Cetshwayo with which the Zulu king could not comply.

Cetshwayo rejected the British demand that he disband his troops, and in January British forces invaded Zululand to suppress Cetshwayo. The British suffered grave defeats at Isandlwana, where 1,300 British soldiers were killed or wounded, and at Hlobane Mountain, but on March 29 the tide turned in favor of the British at the Battle of Khambula.

At Ulundi in July, Cetshwayo’s forces were utterly routed, and the Zulus were forced to surrender to the British. In 1887, faced with continuing Zulu rebellions, the British formally annexed Zululand, and in 1897 it became a part of Natal, which joined the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Sources: 1, 2

(via collectivehistory-deactivated20)

DOCUMENTARY: Ghana’s History: The Gold Coast (Colonial Independence From Britain)

A visual historical about the story of Ghana’s path to independence from one of the world’s strongest - if not the strongest - colonial powers, Britain, starting with the revolt of ex-colonial Gold Coast WWII soldiers against the maltreatment from their colonial dictators.

Colonialism was essentially power through manipulation with the real cash cow being Africans as a form of cheap labour, and access to the continent’s mineral wealth.

Muḥammad ‘Abduh (1 January 1849 - 11 July 1905) (also spelled Mohammed Abduh, Arabic: محمد عبده‎) was an Egyptian Islamic jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism sometimes called Neo-Mu’tazilism after the Medieval Islamic Mu’tazilites.
Muhammad Abduh was born in 1849 into a family of peasants in Lower Egypt (i.e. the Nile Delta). He was educated by a private tutor and a reciter of the Qur’an. When he turned thirteen he was sent to the Aḥmadī mosque which was one of the largest educational institutions in Egypt. A while later Abduh ran away from school and got married. He enrolled at al-Azhar University in 1866.
Abduh studied logic, philosophy and Islamic mysticism at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He was a student of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani,a philosopher and Muslim religious reformer who advocated Pan-Islamism to resist European colonialism. Under al-Afghani’s influence, Abduh combined journalism, politics, and his own fascination in Islamic mystical spirituality. Al-Afghani taught Abduh about the problems of Egypt and the Islamic world and about the technological achievements of the West.
In 1877, Abduh was granted the degree of ‘Alim (“teacher”) and he started to teach logic, theology and ethics at al-Azhar. In 1878, he was appointed professor of history at Cairo’s teachers’ training college Dar al-Ulum, later incorporated into Cairo University. He was also appointed to teach Arabic at the Khedivial School of Languages.
Abduh was appointed editor and chief of al-Waqāʾiʿ al-Miṣriyya, the official state newspaper. He was dedicated to reforming all aspects of Egyptian society and believed that education was the best way to achieve this goal. He was in favor of a good religious education, which would strengthen a child’s morals, and a scientific education, which would nurture a child’s ability to reason. In his articles he criticized corruption, superstition, and the luxurious lives of the rich.
He was exiled from Egypt by the British in 1882 for six years, for supporting the Egyptian nationalist revolt led by Ahmed Orabi in 1879. He had stated that every society should be allowed to choose a suitable form of government based on its history and its present circumstances.
Abduh spent several years in Ottoman Lebanon, where he helped establish an Islamic educational system. In 1884 he moved to Paris, France where he joined al-Afghani in publishing The Firmest Bond (al-Urwah al-Wuthqa), an Islamic revolutionary journal that promoted anti-British views.
Abduh also visited Britain and discussed the state of Egypt and Sudan with high-ranking officials. In 1885, he returned to Beirut and was surrounded by scholars from different religious backgrounds. During his stay there he dedicated his efforts toward furthering respect and friendship between Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
When he returned to Egypt in 1888, Abduh began his legal career. He was appointed judge in the Courts of First Instance of the Native Tribunals and in 1890, he became a consultative member of the Court of Appeal. In 1899, he was appointed Mufti of Egypt, the highest Islamic title, and he held this position until he died.
While he was in Egypt, Abduh founded a religious society, became president of a society for the revival of Arab sciences and worked towards reforming al-Azhar University by putting forth proposals to improve examinations, the curriculum and the working conditions for both professors and students.
He travelled a great deal and met with European scholars in Cambridge and Oxford University. He studied French law and read a great many European and Arab works in the libraries of Vienna and Berlin. The conclusions he drew from his travels were that Muslims suffer from ignorance about their own religion and the despotism of unjust rulers.
Muhammad Abduh died in Alexandria on 11 July 1905. People from all around the world sent their condolences.

Muḥammad ‘Abduh (1 January 1849 - 11 July 1905) (also spelled Mohammed Abduh, Arabic: محمد عبده‎) was an Egyptian Islamic jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism sometimes called Neo-Mu’tazilism after the Medieval Islamic Mu’tazilites.

Muhammad Abduh was born in 1849 into a family of peasants in Lower Egypt (i.e. the Nile Delta). He was educated by a private tutor and a reciter of the Qur’an. When he turned thirteen he was sent to the Aḥmadī mosque which was one of the largest educational institutions in Egypt. A while later Abduh ran away from school and got married. He enrolled at al-Azhar University in 1866.

Abduh studied logic, philosophy and Islamic mysticism at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He was a student of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani,a philosopher and Muslim religious reformer who advocated Pan-Islamism to resist European colonialism. Under al-Afghani’s influence, Abduh combined journalism, politics, and his own fascination in Islamic mystical spirituality. Al-Afghani taught Abduh about the problems of Egypt and the Islamic world and about the technological achievements of the West.

In 1877, Abduh was granted the degree of ‘Alim (“teacher”) and he started to teach logic, theology and ethics at al-Azhar. In 1878, he was appointed professor of history at Cairo’s teachers’ training college Dar al-Ulum, later incorporated into Cairo University. He was also appointed to teach Arabic at the Khedivial School of Languages.

Abduh was appointed editor and chief of al-Waqāʾiʿ al-Miṣriyya, the official state newspaper. He was dedicated to reforming all aspects of Egyptian society and believed that education was the best way to achieve this goal. He was in favor of a good religious education, which would strengthen a child’s morals, and a scientific education, which would nurture a child’s ability to reason. In his articles he criticized corruption, superstition, and the luxurious lives of the rich.

He was exiled from Egypt by the British in 1882 for six years, for supporting the Egyptian nationalist revolt led by Ahmed Orabi in 1879. He had stated that every society should be allowed to choose a suitable form of government based on its history and its present circumstances.

Abduh spent several years in Ottoman Lebanon, where he helped establish an Islamic educational system. In 1884 he moved to Paris, France where he joined al-Afghani in publishing The Firmest Bond (al-Urwah al-Wuthqa), an Islamic revolutionary journal that promoted anti-British views.

Abduh also visited Britain and discussed the state of Egypt and Sudan with high-ranking officials. In 1885, he returned to Beirut and was surrounded by scholars from different religious backgrounds. During his stay there he dedicated his efforts toward furthering respect and friendship between Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

When he returned to Egypt in 1888, Abduh began his legal career. He was appointed judge in the Courts of First Instance of the Native Tribunals and in 1890, he became a consultative member of the Court of Appeal. In 1899, he was appointed Mufti of Egypt, the highest Islamic title, and he held this position until he died.

While he was in Egypt, Abduh founded a religious society, became president of a society for the revival of Arab sciences and worked towards reforming al-Azhar University by putting forth proposals to improve examinations, the curriculum and the working conditions for both professors and students.

He travelled a great deal and met with European scholars in Cambridge and Oxford University. He studied French law and read a great many European and Arab works in the libraries of Vienna and Berlin. The conclusions he drew from his travels were that Muslims suffer from ignorance about their own religion and the despotism of unjust rulers.

Muhammad Abduh died in Alexandria on 11 July 1905. People from all around the world sent their condolences.