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Sundance Award-winning film Fishing Without Nets Opens to Limited Release In New York City This Friday.

Shot some 40 miles away from Puntland, Somalia, using Kenyans of Somali descent, Fishing WIthout Nets is the first feature from filmmaker Cutter Hodierne. The film follows Abdi, a struggling young Somali fisherman who turns to piracy as a way of supporting his family.

Incorporating elements of realism in a documentary-like fashion, the most important factor in the film is undoubtedly the dialog. It offers a multi-layered and contextual look into the world of Somali piracy from the Somali pirates themselves.

The short version of the film, which you can watch here, won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

New Yorkers will be able to see the film at Cinema Village where a Q&A with director Cutter Hodierne will follow the 7pm screening on Friday, October 3rd, as well as the 7pm and 9pm screenings on Saturday, October 4th.

On Tuesday, October 28, the film will be available on Digital HD and VOD.

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All Africa, All the time.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

As the top African producer of coffee, and seventh in the world, Ethiopia has a long-standing relationship with the consumption and use of coffee. Ethiopia is home to coffee arabica, a species of coffee indigenous to the country. Considered to be one of the better tasting coffees, it is believed that coffee arabica was the first coffee plant to cultivated and grown in the southwest of the country. It is said that the first instance of the effects of coffee being noticed came about when Ethiopian shepherds in the 9th observed the reaction of their herds after eating the fruit.

Today, one of the ways that Ethiopians (and Eritreans) continue to demonstrate their love of coffee and their historical relationship with the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil, is through what is known to outsiders as a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony or Buna by Ethiopians. Often, this practice takes place in peoples homes and at Ethiopian restaurants which is where I first experienced a Buna, in Addis Ababa.

Conducted entirely by women, the Buna process involves the roasting, grinding and serving of coffee. Washed coffee beans are roasted in a pan, similar to the process of making popcorn. As the aroma of the coffee begins to fill the air, the preparer takes the roasting coffee and walks around letting the fresh scent of the coffee settle around the room.

Once roasted, the coffee is then put in what is called a Mukecha - a tool used for grinding. Another tool, called a zenezena, is used to crush the coffee in a pistil and mortar fashion. Some places will use modern coffee grinders to save time as it can be a slightly laborious and time-consuming task. After the coffee has been crushed, the fresh coffee powder is put into a jebena, a clay pot. Water is added and the mixture is boiled before being ready to be served in small usually white porcelain cups called cinis.

Each serving round of coffee has a name - the first being Abol, second is Huletegna and the third and final round is called Bereka.

Watch an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony take place.

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All Africa, All the time.

Grace Mahary for Ohne Titel resort 2015.

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All Africa, All the time.

NEW MUSIC: Mizan -  Thru.

New York-based singer-songwriter of Ethiopian descent Mizan released the latest video from her Dark Blue EP earlier this week. The dreamy lo-fi track, and accompanying video, tell a breezy tale of blissful summer affair that’s so nostalgic that, along with the grainy film and serious 90s r&b beat, makes the song seem decades old in that classic and timeless way.

Fanus, an 18-year-old woman in search of asylum from #Eritrea and #Lampedusa survivor, tells the story of her journey form the Horn of Africa to Western Europe.

As the boat went down, Fanus struggled to escape from the chaos of people thrashing around in the water, holding on to floating corpses. “I’d never been in a body of water before. I was trying to stay afloat by splashing my hands like a dog.”

Read more.

Fanus, an 18-year-old woman in search of asylum from #Eritrea and #Lampedusa survivor, tells the story of her journey form the Horn of Africa to Western Europe.

As the boat went down, Fanus struggled to escape from the chaos of people thrashing around in the water, holding on to floating corpses. “I’d never been in a body of water before. I was trying to stay afloat by splashing my hands like a dog.”

Read more.

Liya Kebede Stars in Prabal Gurung’s First-Ever Print Campaign.

For his first ever print ad campaign, Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung features the Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede like we’ve never seen her before - bold, simple but still incredibly striking.

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My Top 5 African Dishes for a Hearty Valentine’s Day.

Jollof rice with chicken/meat/fish and fried plantain:

Predominantly eaten in West African countries such as Senegal (it’s country of origin), Ghana and Nigerian, jollof rice has become a staple meal acceptable for any occasion - from weddings to birthday parties. With a preparation time of a little over an hour (depending on your serving quantities), the ingredients needed are easy to obtain. The flavour of the rice is dependent on how you prepare to the stew, whether mild or spicy. Vegetables such as peas, carrots and sweet corn can also be added to the mix. For a slightly healthier option, boil or grill the plantain instead of frying it. Similarly, grill the fish or chicken.
Vegetarian option: Substitute chicken/meat/fish for moi moi (contains egg).

Ethiopian injera with sides:

The very thought of eating this Ethiopian teff-grain flat bread with my favourite sides (doro wat, shiro, ye’abesha gomen, etc), is enough to get my mouth watering. With a near-endless possibility of traditional sides (you can also add your own creations), this meal can easily be adapted to suit various palettes. Although injera can be made at home from scratch, you’re much better off buying it from a restaurant. Want it gluten-free? Here’s a recipe for that.
Vegetarian option: go meat-less, stick to vegetable sides.

Senegalese thiéboudienne:

Another feature from Senegal because the food there is just that good. Although I’ve only ever been to Dakar once, as a child, the experience and taste of eating thiéboudienne is not one easily forgotten. Served on a large platter, this meal usually comes with either a rice or cous cous base and is laden with fish, stew and vegetables.
Vegetarian option: leave out the fish.

Moroccan couscous salad:

What I love most about couscous is just how versatile it is. It’s easy to make (from a box) and a great base for a range of different meals. For a salad option, simply make some couscous and add your favourite salad bits.
Vegetarian option: I think this one is obvious.

Ghanaian fufu and peanut butter/groundnut stew/soup.

Peanuts are hands down the greatest nuts there are, simply for this dish. To turn it into a southern African dish, use sadza/pap instead of fufu. For your east African version, use ugali (same as the aforementioned, just a different name).
Vegetarian option: don’t add meat/fish/chicken to your stew.

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All Africa, All the time.

On My Radar: Three African stories told through film at Sundance.


Seen from the perspective of a young female protagonist, Difret tells the story of young 14-year-old girl abducted into marriage who, in an effort to escape, ends up killing her kidnapper and would-be husband. Following this incident, a trial ensues as the fate of Hirut hangs in the balance.

The feature debut of Ethiopian filmmaker Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, the film is based on a true story that occurred in 1996.

Watch: An excerpt from Difret.

Fishing Without Nets

The topic of Somali piracy has been a hotly reported topic in Western media over the past few years. But as with most stories about Africa, the perspective from which it’s been told is often distorted, painting the pirates as scattered collectives of nonsensical rebels without a cause, leaving out much of the complexity of the situation. 

Watch an excerpt/short version of the film.

Finding Fela

If there’s one Nigerian artist whose consciousness has managed to transcend both time and culture, permeating the minds of Nigerians, Africans and the world at large, it is the man who claimed to not fear death - the iconic Fela Anikulapo Kuti. 

In Finding Fela, Academy Award-winningfilmmaker Alex Gabney tackles and dissects the professional career and personal life of the Afrobeat legend, bringing to life the controversial and contradictory life story of Nigeria’s most well-known musician.

Watch: Finding Fela at Sundance.

Hopefully these films will be made accessible to those of us on the continent!

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All Africa, All the time.

Made up of mostly of people of Eritrean and Sudanese descent, thousands of Africans living in Israel marched through the country’s capital to protest the ill-treatment of African migrants.

According to BBC Africa, the protest was spurred by “a law that allows illegal immigrants to be detained for a year without trial.”

Full story on the BBC’s website.


Ermias Ekube

Country: Eritrea

Style: portraiture/Realism


Fun Fact:



1. Untitled


3.Listening the Silence




Eritrean Survivors of Torture Camps in the Sinai

1. The child of an Eritrean survivor of a torture camp in the Sinai photographed at the Eritrean Womens Center in south Tel Aviv, an organization that helps female survivors of the torture camps after they arrive in Israel.

2. An Eritrean survivor of torture camps in the Sinai sleeps at a safe house in the Ard Lewar neighborhood of Giza.

3. Mikele, an Eritrean survivor of torture camps in the Sinai. He poses for a photograph at a safe house in Cairo, displaying multiple torture marks on his back.

4. Seble, a 24 year old Eritrean woman that survived the torture in the Sinai, and now lives at a shelter in south Tel Aviv.

5. Mikele, an Eritrean survivor of torture camps in the Sinai. He poses for a photograph at a safe house in Cairo, covering his face with a cross to hide his identity, and displaying multiple torture marks on his upper body.

6. Beserate, an 18 year old Eritrean immigrant recently released from a torture camp in the Sinai, recovers from a skin transplantation surgery necessary to treat a severe infection on her ankle, caused by the shackles that were chained to her ankle during her time at the torture camp.

7. An Eritrean survivor of the Sinai torture camps living in a cramped apartment in the Ard Lewar neighborhood of Giza.

8.  Filmon, 28, an Eritrean immigrant, lost portions of both hands at a torture camp in the Sinai. He now lives at a state-run shelter in Israel.

9. Weini, 25, is an Eritrean immigrant that survived the torture camps in the Sinai. She now lives at a shelter in south Tel Aviv.

10. Hagos, 23, is an Eritrean survivor of the torture camps in the Sinai. He is now living in a state-run shelter in Israel.

By Moises Saman.

(via shinkhalai-deactivated20140128)

Having been born in the Middle East and growing up in London, Admas Habtelasie has made regular visits to his parent’s homeland, Eritrea, since childhood.

After receiving his MA from the London College of Communication (formerly the London College of Printing) in photojournalism and documentary photography, he traveled to Eritrea in 2005 to begin work on what was to become “Limbo”, an examination the country’s past, future and present. Admas traveled to Eritrea again in 2008 to complete the project, which culminated in an exhibition at Light Work, where he had been an artist-in-residence.


September: Highlighting African Photographers

NOT JUST A LABEL invited Moroccan/Israeli designer Artsi Ifrach (creative mind of Art/c) to Addis Ababa for Ethiopian Fashion Week for fashion show celebrating twenty years of African trade.

Above is a visual representation of Ifrach‘s trip to Ethiopia photographed by Moroccan photographer Laila Hida.

The styling of the photographs capture — a wondrous city of eclectic beauty, rich culture and a burgeoning fashion industry. Ifrach gets resourceful by mixing fabrics, prints with embroideries, kaftan buttons, shimmering colors and embellishments.


September: Highlighting African photographers.

In Pictures: The Hargeisa International Book Fair is one of the largest literature and arts festivals in East Africa, according to the BBC.

Taking place in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland - a country that declared its independence in 1991, the annual celebration is now in its sixth year and includes authors, artists, actors, poets and musicians from various parts of the continent such as Kenya and Nigeria, as well as international artists from Italy and the UK.

Theatre performances, readings and discussions take place during the event, and literature is sold to attendees. This year, the Somaliland Circus proved to be one of the major highlights of the festival.

Though declaring itself independent, Somaliland is not internationally recognized as a sovereign state, but rather an autonomous zone within Somalia.


Djibouti: Gold & Machetes


Djibouti: Gold & Machetes

(via talesofthestarshipregeneration)