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 "mauritania"

Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako and French-Ivorian director Phillippe Lacôte make official 2014 Cannes Film Festival selections.

Sissako’s fifth film Timbuktu and Lacôte’s first Run have both been selected for screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Timbuktu is a tragic tale based on the recent true story of two lovers who, because they were not officially married, faced the tragic consequences of Sharia law and were executed by stoning for their crime.

Lacôte’s Run, staring the intensely handsome Isaach de Bankole,is a fast-paced drama who’s protagonist, for which the film is named after, is as his name suggests - a runner. But what is he running from? From so much, from everything it seems, most of all, from the assassination of his country’s prime minister - a crime he is guilty of committing.

Omar El Zohairy, a student at the High Cinema Institute, Academy of Arts in Egypt, had his film The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 selected for the Cinéfondation section which focuses on films made by students at film schools.

The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is due to take place from 14 to 25 May 2014.

(top photo by Arnaud Contreras)

theoangelo:

Heremakono/Waiting For Happiness (2002), Abderrahmane Sissako

(via blackfilm)

Collection of vintage portraits of women in Mauritania, taken between the 1930s - 1960s, sent to me by @jimmymansaray.

(click photos for captions)

Various vintage photographs of life in Mauritania during the 1930s - 1960s, sent to me by @jimmymansaray.

(click for captions)

Back in 1981, Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery. Now, over 30 years later, human rights activists still maintain that this heinous practice still exists and that up to 20% of the country’s population are enslaved, despite claims by the Mauritanian government that it is ‘a thing of the past’.

In response to this, the Mauritanian government has now set up an anti-slavery agency that aims to combat the practice and culture of slavery in the country, as well as reintegrate former enslaved peoples into Mauritanian society.

In this conversation hosted by Al Jazeera, The Stream talks to Mauritanian human rights and anti-slavery activists who break down the situation and complexities of the culture and system of enslavement, under-representation, and systematic marginalization in the country that are sustained by ethnic, and sometimes racial, divides, also bringing in a very important perspective on the relationships between black Africans and Arab colonizers.

Ancient Egyptian scarab made from the rare semi-precious stone lapis lazuli.

In ancient Egypt Lapis Lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians also used it in ancient Mesopotamia for seals and jewelry.
 
Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300–3100 BC), and powdered Lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra. In ancient Mesopotamia, lapis artifacts can be found in great abundance, with many notable examples having been excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (2600-2500 BC).
Lapis Lazuli was widely used by Egyptians for cosmetics and painting.  Persian legend says that the heavens owed their blue color to a massive slab of Lapis upon which the Earth rested.

Lapis lazuli was being mined in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan as early as the 3rd millennium BC. Trade in the stone is ancient enough for lapis jewelry to have been found at Predynastic Egyptian and ancient Sumerian sites, and as lapis beads at neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania.

(source 1; 2)

Stills from 1967 French-Mauritanian film Soleil O directed by Med Hondo, that was released in 1973.

Masdar, the clean energy company and creator of the eponymous “green city” on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, launched a $32 million solar plant in Mauritania. The Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant, located in the capital, Nouakchott, will generate 15 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) power and, according to Masdar, is now the largest PV plant in all of Africa.  It will, in fact, deliver 10% of the country’s current electricity load.

Yesterday’s launch of the new solar power plant is significant for several reasons. Masdar City, only one part of the company but the immediate showpiece that comes to mind, is often derided as a fluff project in a country that is one of the world’s highest carbon emitters per capita. And while the United Arab Emirates’ massive carbon output is, of course, concerning, at the same time the UAE’s leadership has shown it is willing to be part of the solution in addressing climate change and energy scarcity. As much of the developed world from the U.S. to Japan is mired in debt and political polarization, there is an opening for such countries in the Middle East as the UAE and nearby Qatar to invest in renewables–after all, their reserves of oil and gas are finite.

Masdar kicked off the Mauritania project last fall as part of its commitment to the UN’s “Year of Sustainable Energy for All.” As announced last year by UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, Sustainable Energy for All aimed to expand modern energy sources to those who could least afford it; double energy efficiency worldwide; and double the amount of clean electricity and power within the globe’s total energy portfolio. The results may not have been as impressive as the goals, but arguably the UAE, Abu Dhabi and Masdar kept their end of the deal.

Mauritania’s energy grid is currently marred by energy shortages and both expensive and dirty diesel generators. Masdar claims the new solar energy plant, with its 30,000 solar panels in Nouakchott, will displace over 21,000 tons of carbon emissions annually and will provide up to 10 percent of the country’s total energy needs. Should this new plant prove to be an important anchor of Mauritania’s energy potential, more hope is on the horizon: Masdar claims the country’s wind potential is four times the its current energy demands.

A foreign policy from an oil emirate that in part relies on delivering foreign aid via renewables? The UAE is certainly moving forward with this strategy with Masdar at the helm.

sarraounia:

Oualata Architecture, Mauritania. 

(via talesofthestarshipregeneration)

twirlmart:

Nouakchott, Mauritania

Steve McCurry

(via dynamicafrica)

noiseymusic:

We happened to be in Nouakchott, Mauritania while chilling in Africa so we decided to stop in at the country’s only record store, Saphir D’or. Turns out it rules! We chatted with Ahmede Valle, shop proprietor and seasoned DJ, about record collecting and the unifying powers of music.

florenceandthenightingale:

Chinguetti Mosque, Mauritania

Photograph by David Clifford, 4See/Redux

Constructed in the 13th or 14th century, the spare Friday Mosque was the heart of the ancient city of Chinguetti, Mauritania, a vibrant trading center on the trans-Saharan route.

The city’s original purpose was to provide religious education to travelers, thus the importance of its mosques.