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April 6th, 2014
thesmithian

He embarked on the task intending not just to rely on historical research but to track down living witnesses to the many tragedies and upheavals that Congo has endured. His efforts were well rewarded…he managed to find Congolese veterans with memories of early white missionaries and colonial officials, and tales of religious uprisings and resistance movements. His witnesses from more modern times include musicians, footballers, political activists, warlords and child soldiers. The result is a vivid panorama of one of the most tormented lands in the world.

more.

He embarked on the task intending not just to rely on historical research but to track down living witnesses to the many tragedies and upheavals that Congo has endured. His efforts were well rewarded…he managed to find Congolese veterans with memories of early white missionaries and colonial officials, and tales of religious uprisings and resistance movements. His witnesses from more modern times include musicians, footballers, political activists, warlords and child soldiers. The result is a vivid panorama of one of the most tormented lands in the world.

more.

January 3rd, 2014
thesmithian

…chronicles the rise and untimely fall of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, is the third of four plays written by Aimé Césaire (1913–2008), the anticolonial visionary and figurehead of négritude. Hailing from the French Caribbean island of Martinique, Césaire was an internationalist whose literary project was guided by his close relationship with Léopold Sédar Senghor—a fellow poet and politician who became the first president of independent Senegal in 1960—and other leaders of decolonization.

more.

October 16th, 2013
thesmithian

"My profession as a medical doctor led me to become a…witness to a mass crime that is hard to fully understand. This is because sexual violence targets our most precious resource: our mothers, our wives and our daughters." — Dr. Denis Mukwege

the Congolese surgeon recently…

accepted the 2013 Civil Courage Prize, awarded by the New York-based Train Foundation…for his work at the Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999 in the capital of…South Kivu.

July 16th, 2013
thesmithian

'…a senior Italian senator insisted that it was “an aesthetic judgment, not meant to be racist,” when he said that Italy’s first black minister looked like an ape…'

Roberto Calderoli, a leader of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League, had told supporters on Saturday that whenever he sees photographs of Cécile Kyenge, the Congolese-Italian minister for integration, “I can’t help but think of her resemblance to an orangutan.”

more.

June 27th, 2013
thesmithian

France…with larger Muslim and Jewish populations than any other European nation, is having something of a crisis of tolerance. The World Values Survey Association recently found that almost one in four French people…wouldn’t want a neighbor of another race…There is clear discomfort that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [pictured above], a French-Congolese tennis player, bested Roger Federer at the French Open, and that the recent winner at Cannes, Abdellatif Kechiche, is a French-Tunisian who dedicated the coveted Palme d’Or…to the young people of the “Tunisian revolution.” Xenophobic feeling, often targeted…French citizens descended from Arab states that were once French colonies, is increasingly commonplace. French authorities are seeking to crack down on this rightward motion.

more.

May 14th, 2013
thesmithian

…in which [the author] evokes with mischievousness and emotion his childhood in Pointe-Noire, the Congolese port city on the Atlantic coast…Alain Mabanckou speaks about African identity, his eclectic influences and why it is difficult to define an “African literature”…

more.

…in which [the author] evokes with mischievousness and emotion his childhood in Pointe-Noire, the Congolese port city on the Atlantic coast…Alain Mabanckou speaks about African identity, his eclectic influences and why it is difficult to define an “African literature”…

more.

November 24th, 2012
thesmithian
Why should we negotiate with the government? They are talking peace but showing us the hand of war.

Bertrand Bisimwa, a spokesman for rebel group M23.

The rebels, who are widely believed to be backed by Rwanda and have also been accused of war crimes, took Goma, a provincial capital, on Tuesday. Since then, they have continued their push toward other strategic cities in eastern Congo…

more. and more.

April 28th, 2012
thesmithian

…brilliantly wraps the vibrant rhythm of the African oral tradition in a corrosive and sarcastic style.

more.

…brilliantly wraps the vibrant rhythm of the African oral tradition in a corrosive and sarcastic style.

more.

March 28th, 2012
thesmithian

Crime and corruption grease every transaction, but the director regards the raw enterprise of his country without judgment. He—and his wily antihero—are much too busy riding the gas pedal.

more. and the director is working on new stuff.

March 9th, 2012
thesmithian

'In some “hot spot” U.S. cities, the HIV infection rate for African-American women is five times higher than the national rate…'

…close to the rate in some African countries…That’s five times higher than the Centers for Disease Control’s previous estimate for African-American women…The study showed that the annual rate of infection was 24 per 10,000 African-American women in six cities: Baltimore; Atlanta; Newark, New Jersey; New York City; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C. Nationally, African-American women’s rate is 5 per 10,000. In the Congo, it is 28 per 10,000.

more.

October 5th, 2011
thesmithian

The Great War of Africa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…ranks among the greatest cataclysms of our time. Some five million people have died in the conflict which raged from 1996 to 2003, and which even now continues…

more.

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