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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Libyan photographer Jehad Nga takes us inside Malick Sidibe’s home and studio.

We’re all familiar with the iconic work of Malick Sidibe, one of the world’s most noted vintage studio portrait photographers. His work has been exhibited all over the world, creating a timelessness element to the Mali of days gone by. But what has become of the photographer, his studio and the magic, in the form inspiration, we see when we look at his images? 

Above are possibly the most recent photographs of an aging Sidibe (the very last photograph) in his one-room home, and his studio in Bamako, taken by Libyan photographer Jehad Nga almost a year ago in March 2013. I’m unsure if he’s been interviewed or photographed since.

Photo captions:

  1. A curtain used as a backdrop hangs in Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio. The curtain has been in use since the opening of the studio in 1960 and never has been replaced. Many of Sidibe’s most famous photographs feature the backdrop.

  2. A view from inside Malick Sidibe’s now cluttered and dusty Bamako studio. Virtually nothing has been thrown away over the years from the studio including broken cameras and studio equipment.

  3. Malick Sidibe’s photo enlarger now out of use sits in a corner of the photographer’s Bamako home.

  4. Inside Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, a strobe lighting system has been updated to accomidate his son Kareem’s job as an I.D. photographer.

  5. On the patio of Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, photographs taken by Sidibe as well as ones featuring him over the years decorate a wooden wall.

  6. Inside Malick Sidibe’s home, a huge archive of negatives sits piled up and unprotected. Sidibe and his sons are trying to find people to help them begin to digitally archive his work before much of it is ruined by moisture and dust.

  7. Samba Sidibe (Malick’s younger brother) sits on the floor surrounded by old studio equipment and film negatives in Malick’s bedroom.

  8. Inside Malick Sidibe’s Bamako studio, a collection of Sidibe’s old cameras takes up an entire wall.

  9. Malick Sidibe sits in his bed in his Bamako home. With temperatures rising to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat take its toll on the aging Sidibe. His younger brother Samba and his sons help keep him cool using a hand fan.

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All Africa, All the time.

CHAN2014 Semi-Finals: Ghana and Libya advance to the finals.

Both Libya and Ghana headed into penalties to secure their position in the CHAN2014 finals. Libya beat first-time finals hopefuls Zimbabwe a narrow 5-4 and after Nigeria missed two penalties, Ghana took their place alongside Libya with a 4-1 win. 

(images via CAF FB)

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All Africa, All the Time.

#CHAN2014 Updates: who’s through to the semi-finals?

After being down 0-3 againnst the Lions of the Atlas Mountains, Nigeria beat Morocco 4-3, scoring 3 goals in the second half and their winning goal in extra time, to make it through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Zimbabwe made history for qualifying for the semi-finals round for the first time ever in the team’s history after beating Mali 2-1.

The heated match between Libya and Gabon saw the former team qualified by beating Gabon 4-2 in penalties.

Ghana’s 1-0 win, with a goal that came about as a result of a penalty kick, was regarded with a lot of controversy by many DR Congo fans on twitter who claim the ref did not handle the game fairly.

Upcoming matches: Semi-Finals (Weds. 25th Jan)

  • Libya vs Zimbabwe - 5pm CAT
  • Nigeria vs Ghana - 8:30 CAT

(all images via CAF)

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All Africa, All the time.

Libyan photographer Sasi Harib's images of Libyan woman in a rural part of the country as they go about their daily lives including weaving and food preparation.

Harib’s entire photostream of life and people in various parts of Libya is an incredible collection of photographs that’s as diverse as the country’s landscape and population.

September: Highlighting African Photographers

Libyan photographer Sasi Harib's black and white portraits of Tuareg Libyan women at the Teniri Festival in Ghadames, Libya.

September: Highlighting African Photographers

French photojournalist Olivier Martel has travelled the world capturing images of women across the globe from all walks of life. Here are some of his pictures of women from around the African continent including Mozambique, Libya, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

Click photos for captions.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

AFRICA’S oil reserves has hit 132.4 trillion barrels of oil and represents eight per cent of world supply, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said in its latest survey on the continent’s oil and gas sector.

The survey, which was released recently and titled: “Africa Oil and Gas Review”, puts the continent’s gas reserves at seven per cent.

It disclosed that Africa currently supplies about 12 per cent of the world’s oil, boasting significant untapped reserves estimated at eight per cent of the world’s proven reserves.

The report said the continent has natural gas reserves of 513 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 91 per cent of the yearly gas production of 7.1Tcf coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.

According to the  review, the oil and gas industry is grappling with the severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the African continent fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills.

The survey draws upon the valuable experience and views of industry players in Africa‚ including international oil companies operating on the continent‚ national oil companies‚ service companies‚ independent oil organisations and industry commentators‚ to provide insight into the latest developments affecting the industry.

It stated: “Africa supplies about 12 per cent of the world’s oil‚ boasting significant untapped reserves estimated at eight per cent of the world’s proven reserves. The continent has natural gas reserves of 513-trillion cubic feet with 91 per cent of the annual gas production of 7.1-trillion cubic feet coming from Nigeria‚ Libya‚ Algeria and Egypt”.

Poor infrastructure and an uncertain regulatory framework were the two top challenges identified by the new emerging players/markets‚ particularly in Uganda‚ Ghana‚ Tanzania‚ Nigeria and Kenya.

PwC Africa Oil & Gas Industry Leader and Deputy Country Senior Partner, Nigeria, Uyi Akpata, said: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies and regulations are stifling growth, development and investment in a number of countries around Africa.”

“PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ analyses what has happened in the last 12 months in the oil and gas industry and in the major African markets”.

Chris Bredenhann‚ PwC Africa oil & gas advisory leader‚ said: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference‚ uncertainty and delays in passing laws‚ energy policies and regulations are stifling growth‚ development and investment in a number of countries around Africa.”




5centsapound:

Arwa Abouon was born May 3rd 1982 in Tripoli, Libya, to Amazigh roots from both her mother and father’s side of the family.

A native of North Africa; Amazigh means Free People. She received a BFA with distinction, majoring in Design from Concordia University in 2007.

Through her lighthearted photographs to graphic interventions, she questions her own place within a so-called Western culture on the one hand and an upbringing in a Muslim household on the other.

Photos from this year’s carnival celebration of Benghazi being designated as Libya’s Capital of Culture in 2013.

images from NBC & Washington Post

africanartagenda:

Mohamed Istaita

Profile

Country: Libya

Style: Abstract

Paintings:

1. Oryx Eyes

2. Folk Music or Zekkar

thepeacefulterrorist:

SaÏd Sifaw al-Mah’rouq (1946 - 1994)

The Libyan Berberist, poet, linguist, and writer SaÏd Sifaw el-Mah’rouq was born on the 18th of April 1946, in the Berber town of Jado, Nafousa Mountain, north-west Libya. His mother died when he was seven years old. His search for his “Tamazight” identity began when he was fifteen, but by the time he reached full maturity he found himself face to face with the “demons of darkness”, the victim of circumstantial absurdities of Libya’s darkest period in history.

His unique, powerful identity and pioneering, daring ideals attracted the enmity of the Libyan monarchy long before the installation of Gaddafi in 1969, when his scholarship to study medicine in Egypt was withdrawn by king Idris’ government; apparently because he was among the first to call for “revolution” against the corrupt monarchy. The kings’s diplomatic staff granted him the choice to denounce his revolutionary activities or else loose his scholarship, and being who he was he refused to bargain, lost his scholarship, and returned home. After the installation of Gaddafi, he continued to speak out the truth, in the open and without fear, since he used his real name to publish his views that even in today’s free Libya not many will dare to think, let alone voice in the open.

Without a doubt Sifaw will be for ever one of Libya’s heroes the real world has ever seen. Berbers around his charming company saw in him a dangerous personality stemming from his alert vision and simple attitude to life. A true legend of Berber history; a powerful and charismatic leader; a genius ahead of his time; a treasure of tales even recorded history miserably failed to see; and a stern activist afraid of absolutely nothing, not even the dark sky and its mythical stars.

The Assassination Attempt on Sifaw’s Life:

Having no other way to buy his loyalty or influence him to sell his soul, he was reportedly “hit-and-run” by a car on the 21st of February 1979, while trying to purchase some medicine for his child from the Najmachemist, nearby where he lived; only to wake up and find himself paralysed from the waist down and with broken bones and limbs. According to his last notes, he was followed by the Libyan intelligence on a number of occasions leading to the assassination attempt. The original report compiled by Hay al-Andulus police in Tripoli, which carried the number (854/1979), listed a “chase” as the cause of the incident and not an “accident” as others had later claimed. In fact the same police report states that the car that hit him had followed him from one side of the dual carriageway to the opposite side of the road, therefore eliminating the accident claim altogether. According to Sifaw himself, reportedly in a latter letter which he intended to send to Gaddafi, the same police report even mentioned the name of the driver of the car that hit him, namely Hasan Alkilani Ahmed Alhmami”, which he said he had no way of knowing if the name was real or “fictitious”. Bound to his wheelchair, he traveled around the world seeking medical help, without any noticeable success. This is not surprising, since all the Libyan departments including the embassies seemingly obstructed his moves for recovery, forged his medical reports, harassed his two children and wife, reduced his wages, refused to pay his insurance claim for so many agonising years, denied him access to medical facilities in Libya, and even was left to starve alone in his flat had it not been for a handful of his devoted friends. He died on the 29th of July 1994 while he was being treated in Tunisia.

The Fictitious “Berber Party”:

The story goes that in 1980 forty Berber citizens from Zuwarah, Jado and Yefren  were arrested and accused of forming a Berber political party (see Berberism for more on this and for a list of names). There is no doubt that some Berber activists did visit Algeria, France and many other countries to buy forbidden Berber books and music, but there is no evidence that the party had actually existed in the real world. The suspects were brought before a revolutionary government court, charged with “Berber Activism”, and sent to jail in 1981: three were executed, Said Sifaw was proven innocent (of course, after the attempt that sent him to the wheelchair instead), and the rest were sentenced to between ten years and life imprisonment. However, one learns later that this so called “Berber Party” was no more than an invention by Gaddafi’s government to warrant the arrest of some activists, and according to Sifaw, listing his name among the members of the party was no more than a ploy to “justify” the assassination attempt made on his life on the 21st of February 1979. Sifaw spoke of being persecuted for being a “Berber”, and that it was him who requested to be returned from Germany to Libya to face the allegations. He said enlisting his name in a fictitious organisation had nothing to do with the secret service, since from the outset of the “revolutionary thought symposium” the attack on “Berberism” was very clear under the name of “populism” [or “tribalism”], a word which people do not understand, he said; and openly demanded a re-trial in this case that was started in his absence and in which a decision was made in his absence while he was actually present in Libya.

The Berber Academy (L’Académie berbère):

Sifaw seems to know some secrets about the Berber Academy which he explicitly declined to reveal in his letter (in Arabic) that was intended for Gaddafi. The following is my own translation of what he said, according to this letter:

I know everything about Ait Ahmed despite the fact that I do not know him personally at all, and I know everything about this “Berber Academy” even though I was not one of its members, but all that is behind us now … Perhaps Ait Ahmed and Bosoud Mohamed Aarab (who is responsible for this Academy) know, to exchange “accusations” as usual, but why now? If it was the Libyan Intelligence that accused me of such charge then it is the stupidest secret service in the world. Why? I will not say why, but it is enough to say that Ait Ahmed was finished as a Berber before I was personally born since he is only a Kabylian; and that the charge that I belonged to Ait Ahmed’s party had enabled me to know the exact identity of this person; this person is complicated by his war with his friend Ben Bella, and he did not include Tamazight in his program and his party’s program only after the attempt on my life [in 1979] — he asked for Tamazight to be listed as an official language after the attempt on my life, and therefore the charge ought to be directed at Ait Ahmed who was influenced by what I write in the open in your newspapers and not at myself. I heard he visited you [Gaddafi] last year and so why didn’t you ask him?  Regarding the “Berber Academy” I had no need for any academy because I am myself a Berber academy, but on the 18th of April 1985 you spoke about the academy and you said it was France that created the academy, and here on behalf of the “helpless” Bosoud Mohamed Aarab I will defend him and not defend myselfI came to know about this academy through an article by one of Ben Bella’s friends: Mohamed Harbi, which I have read here in “Jeune Afrique”, in 1978. Mohamed Aarab wanted to secure some financial funding from one of the wealthy Kabyles and this Kabyle was an infiltrator working for the Algerian and the French Intelligence at the same time, and when he intimidated him with a pistol one of the French Intelligence agents was ready to confront him, Mohamed Aarab was arrested, and that was the end of everything; and therefore it was surprising for you to go to Jado [Sifaw’s home town in Nafusa Mountain] and lecture the Berbers about being agents of the French Intelligence when it was the French Intelligence that destroyed the alleged Berber Academy that “lived” on begging and donations from Algerian labourers.  End of translation.

Sifaw’s Literary Work

During the period between 1961 and 1966 he wrote a number of works in which he developed his Tamazight identity. His poems and literary works had similar effects in Libya to those produced by the Berber scholar Mouloud Mammeri in Algeria, whom he met in 1971. Sifaw’s work included a number of studies about Tamazight grammar, language, and Berber mythology, especially his  “Midnight Voices”, a collection of fifteen Berber myths; in which he said, as I would translate: “How can I rescue and preserve  an oral tradition much hated and considered a kind of superstition by its people?” Sifaw spoke of two kinds of colonialism: “modern colonialism” and “ancient colonialism” - but perhaps to this day most people still seemingly unable to grasp the extent of violence in human patriarchal history.  His work was circulated (underground) in Libya across the Nafousa Mountain, Zuwarah and Tripoli, while some of it was published in Libyan official newspapers and cultural periodicals during Gaddafi’s government. Fifteen years after Sifaw’s tragic death, the Libyan Government attempted to put pressure on the Moroccan government to block a lecture about one of Sifaw’s books on the 18th of June 2009. Some of  Sifaw’s work was badly represented and distributed  full of typing, spelling and grammatical mistakes by some Berberists after his death. Some other changes could also reflect dialectical differences, where people copy phrases and then repeat them (or publish them) in their own Berber dialects or languages without paying attention to details — or maybe they had other reasons in mind; who knows? It was also reported that one of his entire works was borrowed by one of his supposed friends whom later turned out to be an agent of the Dictator himself, allegedly to read and maybe report back with some feedback, but instead published it under his name — probably with some modifications to suit the agenda he had in mind. 

Apartment building on Rashid Street in Tripoli, Libya

The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the Northwest African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States. These were Tripoli and Algiers, which were quasi-independent entities nominally belonging to the Ottoman Empire, and the independent Sultanate of Morocco.

(cont. reading)

Further reading.

World Press Photo invites photojournalists and documentary photographers from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to apply for the Reporting Change photo storytelling course.

The trainings aim to support in their professional development through a combination of face-to-face and online learning. The storytelling course is organized in the framework of ‘Reporting Change: Investigating and documenting transition in the Middle East and North Africa’, which is a joint initiative of World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch.

The course: storytelling
Throughout the course, 24 participants will have the opportunity to improve their photojournalistic, storytelling, and editing skills, by learning from established international photographers and photo editors who have been trained for this purpose by World Press Photo.

The trainers are:
·  Magdalena Herrera, France/Cuba, director of photography Geo France
·  Jenny Smets, the Netherlands, director of photography Vrij Nederland
·  Donald Weber, Canada, photographer VII Photo Agency
·  Michael Zumstein, France, photographer Agence Vu

The course consists of three phases beginning with a five-day face-to-face introduction to storytelling with the aim of producing a story idea and work plan, followed by the production of this photo story while receiving online coaching from the trainers. The course will end with a five-day face-to-face workshop in which the produced stories are discussed and edited.

Who can apply?
The training program is open to advanced professional photographers from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, with experience working in the region. For full application details, please visit the application website.

Location and dates
The workshops will be organized in Egypt and Tunisia, in cooperation with local partners. Participation is free of costs. All travel and lodging expenses will be covered by World Press Photo.Twenty four selected participants will divided in two groups: the first group will start in April and finish in July, the second group will start in May and finish in August 2013.

Application process and deadline
To apply, please visit http://workshop.worldpressphoto.org.
The deadline to register is 21 February 2013. In the first week of March, an international, professional and independent committee will select the 24 participants, based on the quality of work and motivation for participation. To ensure fairness, the selection will take place anonymously.

Grant
After the course, the ten most promising participants have the opportunity to produce a story in the region. For this, ten grants of €2,000 each will be available. A selection of the produced stories will be published in a book and an online production.

Reporting Change project
The project runs between 2012 and 2014 with the goal to document change and give support to democratic processes in the region that is undergoing change. While each organization will concentrate on their respective fields of expertise, the programs will work toward a joint goal using complementary approaches — journalism training, in the case of World Press Photo, and research and advocacy, in the case of Human Rights Watch — to reach a target audience that includes policymakers, journalists, civil society actors, and the general public. World Press Photo will be training strong, professional, and self-reliant visual journalism communities in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as documenting and showcasing local perspectives of the regional changes.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.

AFRICANS YOU SHOULD KNOW:Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt
Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt was an Imazighen religious and military leader in the region known then (the 7th century) as Numidia, Algeria today, who dedicated her life to leading Imazighen resistance campaigns against Arab expansion of the Umayyad Dynasty in Numidia. Her Muslim opponents gave her the nickname al-Kāhinat (the priestess soothsayer) for her reputed ability to foresee the future. 



Dihyā succeeded Kusaila as the war leader of the Berber tribes in the 680s and opposed the encroaching Arab armies of the Umayyad Dynasty. Hasan ibn al-Nu’man marched from Egypt and captured the major Byzantine city of Carthage and other cities (see Umayyad conquest of North Africa ). 
Searching for another enemy to defeat, he was told that the most powerful monarch in North Africa was “the queen of the Berbers” Dihyā, and accordingly marched into Numidia. The armies met near Meskiana in the present-day province of Oum el-Bouaghi, Algeria. She defeated Hasan so soundly that he fled Ifriqiya and holed up in Cyrenaica (Libya) for four or five years. 
Realizing that the enemy was too powerful and bound to return, she was said to have embarked on a scorched earth campaign, which had little impact on the mountain and desert tribes, but lost her the crucial support of the sedentary oasis-dwellers. Instead of discouraging the Arab armies, her desperate decision hastened defeat.
Hasan eventually returned and, aided by communications with the captured officer adopted by Dihyā, defeated her at a locality (presumably in present-day Algeria) about which there is some uncertainty. Before the battle, foreseeing the outcome, she sent her two real sons over to the Arab army under the care of the adopted son, and Hasan is said to have given one of them charge of a section of his forces.
According to some accounts, al-Kāhinat died fighting the invaders, sword in hand, a warrior’s death. Other accounts say she committed suicide by swallowing poison rather than be taken by the enemy. This final act occurred in the 690s or 700s, with 702 or 703 given as the most likely year. In that year, she was, according to Ibn Khaldun, 127 years old. This is evidently yet another of the many myths which surround her.
Her sons Bagay and Khanchla, converted, and led the berber army to Iberia.
Another, lesser known account of Dihyā claimed that she had an interest in early studies of desert birds. While this view may or may not be plausible, some evidence has been recovered at the site of her death place, modern day Algeria. Several fragments of early parchment with a painting of a bird on them were found, although there’s no way to conclude the fragments were hers. However, it is possible that she began her interest while in Libya, as the painting was of a Libyan bird species.
Supposedly, she had a passion for ornithology that shaped science and learning in the early Middle East. Today, many look up to her for her great findings and independence.
In later centuries, Dihyā’s legend was used to bolster the claims of Berbers in al-Andalus against Arab claims of ethnic supremacy—in the early modern age, she was used by French colonials, Berber nationalists, Arab Nationalists, North African Jews, North African feminists, and Maghrebi nationalists alike for their own didactic purposes.
(source)

AFRICANS YOU SHOULD KNOW:Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt

Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt was an Imazighen religious and military leader in the region known then (the 7th century) as Numidia, Algeria today, who dedicated her life to leading Imazighen resistance campaigns against Arab expansion of the Umayyad Dynasty in Numidia. Her Muslim opponents gave her the nickname al-Kāhinat (the priestess soothsayer) for her reputed ability to foresee the future. 

Dihyā succeeded Kusaila as the war leader of the Berber tribes in the 680s and opposed the encroaching Arab armies of the Umayyad Dynasty. Hasan ibn al-Nu’man marched from Egypt and captured the major Byzantine city of Carthage and other cities (see Umayyad conquest of North Africa ).

Searching for another enemy to defeat, he was told that the most powerful monarch in North Africa was “the queen of the Berbers” Dihyā, and accordingly marched into Numidia. The armies met near Meskiana in the present-day province of Oum el-BouaghiAlgeria. She defeated Hasan so soundly that he fled Ifriqiya and holed up in Cyrenaica (Libya) for four or five years.

Realizing that the enemy was too powerful and bound to return, she was said to have embarked on a scorched earth campaign, which had little impact on the mountain and desert tribes, but lost her the crucial support of the sedentary oasis-dwellers. Instead of discouraging the Arab armies, her desperate decision hastened defeat.

Hasan eventually returned and, aided by communications with the captured officer adopted by Dihyā, defeated her at a locality (presumably in present-day Algeria) about which there is some uncertainty. Before the battle, foreseeing the outcome, she sent her two real sons over to the Arab army under the care of the adopted son, and Hasan is said to have given one of them charge of a section of his forces.

According to some accounts, al-Kāhinat died fighting the invaders, sword in hand, a warrior’s death. Other accounts say she committed suicide by swallowing poison rather than be taken by the enemy. This final act occurred in the 690s or 700s, with 702 or 703 given as the most likely year. In that year, she was, according to Ibn Khaldun, 127 years old. This is evidently yet another of the many myths which surround her.

Her sons Bagay and Khanchla, converted, and led the berber army to Iberia.

Another, lesser known account of Dihyā claimed that she had an interest in early studies of desert birds. While this view may or may not be plausible, some evidence has been recovered at the site of her death place, modern day Algeria. Several fragments of early parchment with a painting of a bird on them were found, although there’s no way to conclude the fragments were hers. However, it is possible that she began her interest while in Libya, as the painting was of a Libyan bird species.

Supposedly, she had a passion for ornithology that shaped science and learning in the early Middle East. Today, many look up to her for her great findings and independence.

In later centuries, Dihyā’s legend was used to bolster the claims of Berbers in al-Andalus against Arab claims of ethnic supremacy—in the early modern age, she was used by French colonials, Berber nationalists, Arab Nationalists, North African Jews, North African feminists, and Maghrebi nationalists alike for their own didactic purposes.

(source)