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 "north africa"

NEW MUSIC: Magic System ft Chawki - Magic in the Air.

Ivorian sensation Magic System team up with Moroccan singer Ahmed Chawki in this football-like anthem super catchy Francophone dance tune.

Just in time for Brasil 2014? Perhaps.

MORNING SONG: OUM TARAGALTE - SOUL OF MOROCCO.

A great song (of which I have zero understanding of, sadly) recently sent to me by a follower on twitter. 

Beautiful video! 

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All Africa, All the time.

"Jomaa Meter" Set Up by Tunisian Group to Track Leader’s Performance.

In a similar fashion to Egypt’s “Morsi Meter" that tracked the performance of Mohammed Morsi’s short-lived presidency, the founders of the Morsi meter have helped Tunisian organization "I Watch set-up up a “Jomaa Meter" to evaluate the progress and promises of their leader Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

The founders of the Jomaa meter hope this initiative will help foster a greater sense and culture of accountability in Tunisian politics.

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All Africa, All the time.

Some of the stylish men photographed by Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj for his ‘My Rock Stars’ series.

The series highlights some of his personal inspirations in these eclectic and vibrant frames influenced by iconic African photobooth photographers and his North African heritage.

Aside from photographing his subjects and uniquely decorating each photograph, Hajjaj often dresses them up in clothes made by him and works with them to capture their individual personalities.

Some of the faces shown here are Nigerian musician Keziah Jones, Algerian singer Rachid Taha, British-Nigerian rapper Afrikan Boy, British fashion designerJoe Casely-Hayford, OBE, Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun and American singer Jose James.

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All Africa, All the time.

Pic of the day: Journalists around the world are uniting for the release of Al Jazeera journalists arrested in Egypt under the hashtag:  #FREEAJSTAFF 

In Photos: The Mourning “Mothers of Tunisia”

During times of conflict, it is often said that those who suffer most are those not directly involved in the fighting or the initiating of the violence. 

Through the recent years of political instability and violence in Tunisia, people from all walks of life have been on the receiving end of insurmountable tragedies. These women photographed by Sophia Baraket represent a part of the population that have been directly affected by the country’s dire straits. From war to the wrecked ships, martyrdom to migration, all the women pictured are strewn together by the similar tragedies they’ve suffered involving their children.

These are the faces of loss, suffering and seemingly neverending pain. These are the mourning “Mothers of Tunisia”.

  • Khemissa Oueslati is the mother of Mohamed, a policeman who was shot dead at age 23 while inspecting a vehicle at a checkpoint. Had he lived, Mohamed would have married his fiancee later this year.
  • Faouzia Zorgui is the mother of Walid, who died in a detention cell in a neighbourhood police station. The police claimed he died from a “cannabis overdose”. Faouzia filed a claim against the police, and says she is being pressured by the same people she claims beat Walid to death.
  • The death of Chokri Belaid was the first major political assassination since the Tunisian uprising. Chokri was shot dead early in the morning of February 6 last year. His stepmother had raised him since he was three years old.
  • Jeanette Errhima is the mother of Wassim. He called his mother on March 28, 2011 to tell her he planned to take a boat to the island of Lampedusa, in Italy. After being told that Wassim had died, Jeanette spent 12 days at the hospital after attempting to burn herself to death.
  • Friends and neighbours of Jeannette whose sons have also tried to make it to Europe. Most believe their sons have started new lives in Italy, though many haven’t heard from their sons since they left.
  • Rebha’s son was only 18 years old when he left the house and boarded a boat. She swears having seen him on TV, but has not received any news in the past three years.
  • Chelbia Zayeni has lost two sons since 2011. Khaled was shot dead when he was 18 years old during an anti-police demonstration in January 2011. His brother Mohamed el-Hedi died near where his brother was shot, in a police van after clashes between angry youngsters and security forces.
  • Nabiha is the mother of Wajdi, who told his parents he found a job in Libya. Two months after his departure, he called to inform them he was joining the Jabhat al-Nusra armed group in Syria to fight against Bashar al-Assad. Wajdi was killed and buried in Aleppo on January 2, 2014.

The Egyptian Mona Lisa

I never get bored of people playing around with DaVinci’s, especially when non-Western artists provide their own take on the ever-mysterious painting that is the Mona Lisa.

Here, Egyptian illustrator FaTma WaGdi places herself wearing a hijab in her digital rendition of this 16th century portrait, poking fun at the expressionless original subject.

In filmmaker Karim Zoubir’s documentary for Al Jazeera’s Witness segment, we meet Casablanca-based divorced single mother and camerawoman Khadija. Although her family do not approve of Khadija’s profession as a wedding videographer as it keeps her away ‘til very later hours at night, she is the main breadwinner amongst them (she lives her parents, her brothers and her sister).

The realities of Khadija’s everyday life and unconventional profession, given the context of her environment, are so well captured in this near-50 minute peek inside of her world. From interactions with her closest friends and family, to potential clients and business partners.

Since travelling into the Sahel region of Northern Western Africa (Mali, Niger, Libya, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania)  in 1999, French photographer Arnaud Contreras has been documenting the intersection of music and youth culture in these areas, as well as the juxtaposition of where Western influences meet local cultures and traditions, something seen in the music of bands like Tinariwen that combine sounds of the electric guitar with their own Malian musical heritage.

All this happening against the background of areas that have become highly susceptible to threats of terrorism, human trafficking, migration of undocumented persons, and the pressures on cultural and natural heritages from tourism, governmental authorities and other infringing groups. 

5 Places to Visit in North Africa

The selection of countries to visit in North Africa is smaller than those featured on the list of West African countries simply because the number of countries that make up the Northern African region are far less.

Agadir, Morocco

A southern coastal city and popular beachfront destination, the Moroccan city of Agadir is a mostly warm place tourist hub with lots to do and see, from historical spots like the Museum Municipal du Patrimoine Amazigh, to cultural experiences like shopping at the Souk El Had. Above all, Agadir is known mostly for its pristine coastline and the surfing village of Taghazout only about 15 km away.

Aswan, Egypt

Far more relaxed than other popular major cities such as Cairo and Luxor, the southern Egyprian city of Aswan sits along the banks of the great River Nile and is mostly home to a Nubian population. This historic city offers so much to see and do all year round - from temples and museums, to appreciating the Nubian culture through architecture and art, and sailing along the Nile.

Meroe, Sudan

In an area known as Nubia, in Meroe, Sudan, there are close two hundred pyramids in this northeast part of the country that lies near the banks of the River Nile. An incredibly historic site, home to the Merotic Kingdom (Kingdom of Kush), the richness of this past empire is embedded in the distinct architecture of these unique pyramids - a must-see for all history enthusiasts.

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Distinctly known for it’s breathtaking white and blue architecture, the village of Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia is major tourist hotspot, but that doesn’t stop it from being a must-see area when making plans to either visit North African destinations, or when in Tunisia. It’s picturesque layout will leave you astounded at the beauty of the village, and it’s idyllic coastal location will render you speechless.

Tikjda, Algeria

Located in a mountain range named Djurdjura, north of Algeria, Tikjda is a ski resort with a unique view of the Mediterranean Sea on clear days. Although not as well-equipped as other major ski destinations worldwide, the resort offers the opportunity to experience this winter sport at far less a cost than other more popular ski destinations.

P.S.: Before you travel anywhere, it is important to do your research on the place(s) you plan on visiting and make an informed decision on whether visiting there would be in your best interests, as well as that of the local community. 

November: Highlighting Travel & Exploration in Africa

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: Habiba of Habiba’s Project

When travelling to a different country, there’s no better way to get a fulfilling and non-commercialised experience by understanding and navigating terrain that is new and foreign to you with the help of an insider - someone who knows and is sensitive to the intricacies of the culture there.

We’ve all seen tourist images of Egypt and really, they’re the same ol’, same ol’: relics of Ancient Egypt - the Syphnx, pyramids, monuments. and other bastions of this period in history. But the truth is, Egypt is so much more than it’s past and it seems that many still see it as a country that reached its peak in centuries gone by. For this very reason, the work of Egyptian-based photographer Habiba sheds an intimate and important insiders perspective of life in parts of Egypt, mostly Cairo, firsthand.

As part of this month’s focus on ‘Travel & Exploration’, I spoke to Habiba about her experiences photographing sights, sounds and scenes in her own country.

In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?

I am Habiba, a self-taught Egyptian photographer who’s absolutely fascinated by Art & travel. I live in busy Cairo where my inspiration comes from. I try to show the beauty in the simple things I see while adding a touch of my identity even when I travel. I love Architecture and things that bring dynamism to the eye, and that’s what I try to capture.

What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?

I have always wanted to study photography but never really got a chance to, so I decided I need to keep doing what I love and teach myself somehow. Photography is all about practice and trying new things and so a yearly project seemed like a perfect idea to challenge myself and keep up with my progress. I also consider it a way to document special moments and the wonderful underestimated things I see in daily life.

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

The project is really helping me figure out my own style in photography. It pushes me to try new techniques and shoot new things and therefore get better as a photographer. 

In my experience, I learned to shoot with whatever camera I’ve got, whether it’s a phone, digital or film camera, and I learned that good cameras don’t make you a good photographer. Of course, better cameras help with quality but It’s really all about showing the world things from your own creative perspective rather than depending on advanced technology.

Most of all, I learned that the best shots are natural spontaneous ones. Anyone can get a pretty model and ask her to fake a smile but it takes a true photographer to freeze real moments and turn them into Art.

You never accompany your photos with captions, can you explain the reason behind this?

I feel like this helps my audience interact with me and, in a way, get involved in the project. I want them to wonder what this photograph is all about and trigger their imagination. I also really encourage and appreciate questions about my work as well as feedback.

African women photographers seem very hard to come by, something I find incredibly frustrating as both a woman and lover of photography. Do you share these frustrations or have you ever felt that being a woman has ever restricted you in some way from areas in the world of art/photography that men can more easily access?

That is so true! I get so frustrated for the same reason. Of course, it depends on what kind of work the photographer wants to do. For example, I find Travel and Street photography harder for females. It’s no secret that women have not been exactly looked at as equals in many societies for many reasons, so it can be odd for a woman to go out shooting alone in some areas. I also have to admit that I sometimes worry about other people’s reactions to me taking photos of them or something around them, whereas men are usually more brave in cases like these.

To be fair though, it does have its advantages such as shooting sensitive or intimate cases that involve women, or even in wedding photography since the bride can feel more comfortable.

In the end, sexism is an issue suffered around the world in most fields and not just in photography. I am personally not worried because a lot of actions have been taken against this issue so far and more people are becoming aware of it everyday.

Who and or what inspires/motivates you/your work? Any fellow African photographers?

I am always checking Art blogs and websites such as mymodernmet & colossal, nothing inspires me more than seeing good Art by amazing artists around the world.

I can’t think of a specific photographer or artist right now but I have met amazing photographers around where I live that truly inspire me. As for motivation, it’s enough knowing someone appreciates or relates to my work.

Lastly, where else can you be found online? 
I’m one of the few people who are not on Facebook but you can find me on:
Tumblr: habibasproject (365) & bebba (main blog)
DeviantArt & Behance: habibaelg
Thank you for reading! :)

Casablanca calling

Raphal Liais du Rocher and Yasmine Hatimi with Louis Philippe de Gagoue

(via lindiwelive-deactivated20140123)

Moroccan Amazigh artist Chama Mechtaly uses her artistic gift to channel and pay homage to her Jewish-Amazigh heritage, a part of her that was once suppressed by Morocco’s Arabization policies and sentiments that took ground following the country’s independence from France and Spain.

These oil paintings of Jewish-Amazigh women are often inspired from French colonial portraits and for Chama, this form of historical self-discovery not only helps her to retrace her ancestral identity, but has also served as a way for her to reposition herself as an African, rather than an Arab, and therefore part of the larger indigenous African landscape.

Read more about Chama.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

lacloserie:

Egypte + Jérôme Galland Photographer

(via talesofthestarshipregeneration)

Combining logographic and alphabetic elements, hieroglyphics was the writing system used by the Ancient Egyptians, between 3200 BC – AD 400, that can be found on various media such as pyramid walls and clay tablets, to wooden objects, clay sculptures and papyrus scrolls.

Hieroglyphs can be recognized as three kinds of glyphs: phonetic glyphs, including single-consonant characters that function like an alphabet; logographs, representing morphemes; and determinatives, which narrow down the meaning of logographic or phonetic words.

Despite great efforts by mostly Western historians, “no definitive determination has been made as to the origin of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt.”

The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous objects that contains script written (partially) in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and it has provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

(source)

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists