April 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment
April 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment
Phola, center, with the girls of the Amazw’Entombi (Voices of the Girls) Writing Club in South Africa.
To me, writing is soulful. It helps me to throw my emotions into paper. It relieves my pain. It also helps show my happiness and life experiences. How wonderful writing is now ever since I started at writing club. I’m starting to love writing. Just keep my hand moving. Writing keeps me thinking. It challenges me. I did know that I had so much so much in my mind that needed to be put down. Sometimes we need a bit of inspiration to get more encouraged. To me, writing is a drum waiting to roll. —Phola, 17 years old | Gugulethu, South Africa
BY KIMBERLY BURGE | GIRLS ISSUE | SPRING, 2013
From their birth—from the names given them—words matter to girls in Gugulethu.
On the first day of our writing club there, I asked each girl to write, with brightly colored markers, her name and its meaning on a nametag. Most of these girls are Xhosa, the second largest ethnic group in South Africa, which claims Nelson Mandela among its numbers. Xhosa parents give their children names with significance attached. When I met each one, I learned the girl-child’s place in her family, what dreams or healing she brought along when she entered the world, what hopes and expectations lie ahead for her.
April 1, 2013 · 1 Comment
Far too often the narratives about women and girls in rural communities whether they be in Asia, or Africa, or South America, are centered on an urgent call for them to look past the proverbial courtyard, to aim for a life beyond the confines of the village, to shed the veil. And we tell them that not doing so would render them invisible, marginalized, or trapped. We’re wrong.
BY GRACE ANEIZA ALI | GIRLS ISSUE | SPRING, 2013
There are no paved roads directly to Chaffe Jenetta — a small Muslim coffee farming community nestled in the remote terrains of Harrar in Eastern Ethiopia. Telephone lines and electric wires are rare in these parts. Women are immersed in their day—fetching water, gathering wood and sticks to stoke fires, and cooking for their families. Among their company, lush mountains and endless blue sky, I felt at home.
February 5, 2011 · 5 Comments
By Grace Aneiza Ali
Panashe (pictured above) was puzzled about why Osato Dixon kept coming to the orphanage in Harare, Zimbabwe where he lived to talk to him. But after a few of their weekly Tuesday meetings had gone by, Panashe was feeling less shy and more at ease with the 28 year-old filmmaker. One particular Tuesday, as Mr. Dixon finally got the precocious 9-year old to settle down for his one-on-one with the camera, Panashe grabbed his identification badge and boldly declared, “Your name is my name!”
August 14, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Zwelethu Mthethwa, Untitled from “Interiors” series, 2001
By Mohamed Keita
In “Inner Views,” currently on view at The Studio Museum, South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of coal and gold miners, brick layers and sugar cane workers in Johannesburg, South Africa.
August 10, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Tamale, Ghana. 1973
of note: Can you take us through this image? What was the story behind capturing it?
Chester Higgins: It was early one morning in the northern town of Tamale in Ghana. I took a walk to the local bus station. I lingered, leaning against the wall and watching the rush as people jumped into and off open busses. Using the camera lens, I scanned and waited, and then among the throng, this little young girl appeared. Using body language, I asked her to stop so that I could photograph her. She complied. Because of her age and spirit, she reminded me of my young daughter, Nataki, left behind in Brooklyn. When I noticed her plucked eyebrows, I suddenly imagined her at the center of a big loving family.
July 1, 2010 · Leave a Comment
e·merg·ing: an of note series following groundbreakers in the making
Sosena Solomon is a young filmmaker who originally hails from Ethiopia. Her latest project, “MERKATO,” explores the fate of one of the largest open air markets in Africa. Sosena is currently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia documenting major destruction of the market already at work. of note’s Grace Aneiza Ali asked Sosena about some of the challenges she’s facing as an e·merg·ing filmmaker.
February 19, 2010 · Leave a Comment
By Grace Aneiza Ali
Originally published on February 19, 2010 for The Defenders Online, a publication of the NAACP LDF
“The last time we all got together like this was in 1975,” says Taiwo Duvall as he stands in one of the gallery spaces at the Dwyer Cultural Center. It’s a frigid Tuesday evening in Harlem. It’s been snowing and sleeting for most of the day. Despite the precarious weather, over 200 people have packed the Dwyer, in what looks and feels more like a family reunion than the Center’s opening for the exhibition, Weusi Revisited: 2010.
Duvall is standing with his daughter and his son-in-law. Mounted on the wall behind them are several of his multi-colored woodblock prints. “Art,” says his daughter proudly, “is definitely a family affair.” Sharing the gallery walls with Duvall are the works of sixteen other Weusi artists. They are the reason for the reunion.
December 2, 2009 · Leave a Comment
By Heather Bent Tamir
Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a mold breaker, a musical innovator, and political firebrand. He didn’t just march to his own beat; he invented it. That beat was Afrobeat, a beguiling blend of jazz, funk, pop, and African rhythms that is now jolting Broadway like a thunderclap. Big, bold, and African but with no cinematic bloodlines (like Lion King), no well-known musical score, and no celebrities on the marquee, ‘Fela!’ on Broadway is proof that there is no pat formula for first-rate entertainment. Read more
August 23, 2009 · 3 Comments
Serenity, 1993 © Kebedech Tekleab
Kebedech Tekleab is one of the foremost Ethiopian artists today. While her “interest on human conditions globally” has inspired much of her work, her own personal narratives and her love of literature, music, drama etc. are equally great sources of inspiration. Tekleab’s pieces have been acquired by the IllinoisHolocaust Museum and Education Center and the Embassy of Ethiopia, among notable others. She is currently a professor of Foundation Studies at the Savannah College of Arts and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
Tekleab first collaborated with E. Ethelbert Miller, literary activist and author of the recent memoir The 5th Inning on The Handprint Identity Project–an exchange between artists and poets. What follows is a conversation between two artists and friends.