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robertogreco : senegal   12

Senegalese Designer Selly Raby Kane's Timeless Looks & Futuristic Sounds From Dakar Okayafrica.
"The new Alien Cartoon soundtrack is a collaboration with Senegalese hip-hop mainstay Ibaaku. He mixes sounds of swarming insects and cartoon sound effects with triumphant synths. The result is complex, futuristic and earthy. Selly Raby Kane imagines that the explosive Alien Cartoon cosmos look and sound like a future Dakar."

[Direct link to SoundCloud playlist: https://soundcloud.com/i-man-2/sets/alien-cartoon ]
music  sellyrabykane  aliencartoon  ibaaku  insects  cartoons  2015  senegal  africa  synth 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Africa tops the best food in the world league – By Richard Dowden | African Arguments
"If you said the words “Africa” and “food” and asked most people in the western world what the connection was, I would bet my Sunday lunch that many people would say: “None. They don’t have any. They’re all starving.”

So the news in The Lancet this week that Africans have the best diets in the world is wonderful and spectacularly ironic. According to the researchers, out of the top ten best national diets in the world only one is not African, Israel. And not a single African country is in the bottom ten. However, there are four European countries at the bottom of the table. Is there any other development in the world where Africans sweep the board? A few years ago Africans were reported to be the most contented and optimistic people in the world. I hope that is still true.

Top of the healthy eating league table was Chad, a country often associated with drought, followed by Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Somalia. I can remember seeing starving people, children with Kwashiokor and distended bellies in four of them but in each case the cause was war. Drought can impoverish and force people to move but very rarely does it directly kill.

The research has been carried out for The Lancet Global Health journal by researchers using national data from almost 90 per cent of the world’s population. They analysed people’s diets between 1990 and 2010 by taking 17 food groups, including healthy ones: fruit and veg and fish as well as junk food (saturated fats and processed meat). Then they questioned people about which of these they ate and how much.

Chad, a country often associated with drought, comes top, followed by Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Somalia. They are a mix of countries with large dryland areas and others with heavy rainfall and fruit-rich rainforests.

In arid Somalia for example the people traditionally drink lots of camel’s milk which is very low in fat and good for you. But they also breakfast on flash-fried, almost-raw liver. Yes I’ve tried it. Yuk!

I once watched a camel being slaughtered for lunch. A man simply lopped its head off with an axe and then chopped it up with a machete. It was then cooked and we sat around the carcass eating lumps of meat with our fingers although it was so tough as to be almost inedible. Strangely the staple diet of many Somalis these days is spaghetti. And they eat it in the way I always wanted to but was never allowed to as a child – with fingers from a communal bowl, head back, open mouth and sucking and slurping the tails.

The cuisine I know best is Ugandan where, in the south, the word Matooke – banana – means food. They say if a Muganda has not eaten Matooke, he or she has not eaten. Twice a day they tuck into mashed banana steamed in banana leaves. It is usually eaten with groundnut sauce. Delicious.

There is also an array of Ugandan green vegetables and fruits that just fall out of uncultivated trees. No wonder some inhabitants have a reputation for being laid back, even lazy?

But Ugandans too have peculiar dietary habits. I was teaching a class in school one hot, sleepy afternoon when one of the pupils suddenly shouted and pointed out of the window. Millions of flying grasshoppers, Ensennene, had arrived and swarmed around the school. The class emptied despite my shouts of “Sit down! Stay here!” But I noticed that most of the students were carrying plastic bags. They knew this was the time of year when grasshoppers would hatch and swarm. They were on their hands and knees in no time chasing the clumsy hoppers and flyers and, tearing off their legs and wings to pop them into the plastic bags to be deep fried for dinner.

The Baganda also eat flying ants and some of the students persuaded me that these were best eaten live straight from the anthill. They took me to a nearby termite mound and hacked into it, picking out the grubs and carefully proffering them to me. I had seen deep fried ant grubs in the market but to this day I am not sure whether the raw ones really are a delicacy or just another opportunity to make a fool of a gullible white man. Once you got over the wriggling sensation on your tongue they didn’t taste too bad.

I noticed that Nigeria is not there in the top ten. No surprise there! Anyone who can drink Nigerian Egusi pepper soup must have a mouth made of cast iron. Ben Okri once took me to dinner at his favourite restaurant and insisted that I drink the soup – “the best Egusi in London,” he said. I agreed but a minute after I took the first sip I was in the toilet mopping the tears streaming from my eyes. My mouth took days to recover. Did you bribe the cook to leave the top off the pepper pot Ben?

Let’s look forward to hearing someone say not that they have dined like a king but they have dined like an African. I look forward to seeing the courses in African cuisine and more African cookbooks lining the bookshop shelves.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society."
richarddowden  food  africa  nutrition  uganda  somalia  chad  ivorycoast  senegal  gambia  mali  sierraleone  diet  misconceptions  health  lifestyle  well-being  drought  war 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Duro Olowu Shares Vintage Senegalese-Inspired Fashion Film Okayafrica.
"Duro Olowu, the innovative Nigerian designer whose bold technicolor prints have been favorites of ours the last few seasons, has unveiled a new fashion film in support of his recent Spring/Summer 15 collection. Senegalese model Kinee Diouf stars as the face of Olowu’s S/S 15 film, and her languid movements in the collection’s gowns, A-line skirts, capes and oversized jackets showcase the structural genius and elegance of Olowu’s pieces. The Lagos-born designer, who now calls London home, found inspiration for the collection’s vivid patterns and flowing silhouettes after a recent trip to the Senegalese island of Saint-Louis, where the appliqued starched brocade used for the garments was made. Japanese film noir, 1940’s pinups and the cover artwork for The Pointer Sisters eponymous debut album also acted as reference points for Olowu as he constructed the collection’s retro looks. Watch the film, directed by Portuguese fashion photographer Luis Monteiro, below. For more from Duro Olowu, see photos from his explosive Fall/Winter 14 and Spring/Summer 14 shows at London Fashion Week."
duroolowu  nigeria  senegal  2015  fashion  fabric  textiles  glvo  africa  kineediouf  clothing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Afripedia - Welcome to creativity
"Afripedia [af-ri-pee-dee-uh] noun, plural

A platform and a visual guide to art, film, photography, fashion, design, music and contemporary culture from African creatives worldwide.



About Afripedia

When Africa is changing, when the world is changing and the perspective is shifting, the image of Africa and Africans needs to change too.

Afripedia is promoting and collaborating with a new generation of storytellers leading the way. A source for art, design, videos, photography, fashion, visual arts, music and contemporary culture from the African continent and African creatives working all over the world, Afripedia is a platform and future forum for African creatives worldwide.

First to launch from Afripedia is a five-part documentary series portraying artists and creatives like kuduro superstar Titica, wordsmith genius Nástio Mosquito, producer MC Sacerdote and 3D animator Andrew Kaggia. Premiere on Swedish television and Afripedia.com later this year.

Initiated by Stocktown Films, Afripedia is very much a collaborative project. Editors, curators, users, creatives and artists will be doing this together. Welcome to creativity, welcome to Afripedia."

[Angola trailer: https://vimeo.com/105886615
Kenya trailer: https://vimeo.com/107640329
South Africa trailer: https://vimeo.com/108409160
Senegal trailer: https://vimeo.com/108542270
Ghana trailer: https://vimeo.com/108873122

See also: http://stocktown.com/afripedia-welcome-to-creativity/ ]
africa  angola  kenya  southafrica  senegal  ghana  2014  afripedia  art  design  dashion  music  film  photography  stocktownfilms  culture 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Minority languages: Cookies, caches and cows | The Economist
"OUSMANE sweats under a tin roof as he thumbs through a Chinese smartphone that he is selling at the technology market in Bamako, Mali. Words in French, Mali’s official language, scroll down the screen. “A ka nyi?” (Is it good?) a customer asks him in Bambara, Mali’s most widely used tongue.

Mozilla, the foundation behind Firefox, an open-source web browser, wants Ousmane’s customers to have the option of a device that speaks their language. Smartphones with its operating system (OS) are already on sale in 24 countries, including Bangladesh, India and Mexico, for as little as $33. Other countries will be added as it makes more deals with handset manufacturers. And Bambara is one of dozens of languages into which volunteer “localisers” are translating the OS.

Mozilla has 230 localisation teams, says Jeff Beatty, who co-ordinates some from his office in Utah. Their work takes both time and ingenuity. Firefox for a computer uses about 40,000 words; for the phone OS, 16,000. Translators must express technological terms in languages shaped by livestock, farming and fishing, and choose alternatives for culture-specific words such as “cookie”, “file” and “mouse”.

Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

The world speaks nearly 7,000 languages. Mali, with a population of 15m, has 13 national languages and 40-60 smaller ones, depending on where the border between language and dialect is drawn. Firefox is available in 90 languages, which serve almost all of the 40% of the global population already online. Apple’s most recent computer OS offers 33 languages out of the box, and the new iPhone, 35. Google offers 150, including dialects (and some spurious ones such as “Pirate”). But some languages spoken by millions are excluded, including Tibetan (3m-4m speakers) and Bambara (10m, including those for whom it is a second tongue). Bringing the rest of the world online is not just a technical challenge, but a linguistic one.

As a non-profit, Mozilla can put effort into languages that offer no prospect of a quick return. Songhai and Fulah, recently made available in Firefox, are spoken mainly by poor, illiterate herders and farmers in the Sahel, who do not have smartphones. But when such people eventually get online, they will benefit more if they can do so in their own tongues.

As more languages are added, the Firefox OS will create a sort of global Rosetta stone. It uses all parts of speech, and older, colourful words are pressed into service. Mozilla has created a statistical tool for linguistic analyses. And though 40,000 words is not a whole vocabulary, it is a significant part. As well as bringing the linguistically excluded online, localisation may keep small languages alive."
language  localization  mozilla  code  coding  2014  firefox  senegal  fulah  africa  nigeria  technology  metaphor 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Beat Making Lab
"Our mission is one of cultural exchange. We collaborate with cultural centers, connect youth to a global audience, and contribute equipment and training."

[via: http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-02/and-beat-making-lab-goes-ethiopia and
http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-09/what-happens-when-you-mix-culture-talent-health-and-passion-music ]


"What is Beat Making Lab?

Beat Making Lab is an electronic music studio small enough to fit in a backpack. We collaborate with communities all around the world; donating laptops, microphones and software to community centers and conducting two-week residencies with talented youth. We film workshops and shoot music videos as part of a weekly web-series with PBS Digital Studios. Our goals include cultural exchange, innovative collaboration, and social/entrepreneurial impact.

Beat Making Lab is an initiative of ARTVSM LLC, a production company that funds innovative projects merging the worlds of art and activism, “by any medium necessary”. Production funding for the Beat Making Lab web-series is provided, in part, by PBS Digital Studios."


Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

In June 2012, we set up our first international lab in the Democratic Republic of Congo, partnering with Yole!Africa in Goma to train over 20 young people in music production and entrepreneurship. We reached thousands more through public performances and international media coverage as part of Yole’s annual SKIFF Festival (Salaam Kivu International Film Festival).

Each student trained in Goma was asked to help train others in their community, to ensure long-term impact. DJ Couler, a Beat Making Lab student and MC from Goma explained the process, “when the instructors return to the United States, for us that will not be the end. It will be more like a continuation, or even a beginning for us because we will be able to teach others how to create their own beats.”


Why Beat Making?

Music is a tool to build dialogue, amplify voice and strengthen solidarity. As hip-hop and electronic music have developed into global culture, there is a growing need for resources, education and software to help youth express themselves in these genres.

Beat Making Lab does not require students to be able to read standard music notation, or play a traditional instrument. The participants learn the techniques of beat making through composition, sampling, and songwriting on the most powerful instrument of the 21st century: a laptop.

The results are computer-based electronic dance music and hip-hop songs. This approach and pedagogy radically broadens the population that can be served through modern music education.


Our Story

Beat Making Lab started as an innovative course on music production and entrepreneurship taught in the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Dr. Mark Katz (author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip Hop DJ) in 2011. Professor/emcee Pierce Freelon joined Apple Juice Kid to co-teach the popular class in 2012, and was instrumental in transforming the curriculum for implementation in a community setting. Together, Freelon and Apple Juice Kid formed ARTVSM LLC, and initiated a grassroots campaign to crowd-source the funds to donate training and equipment to Yole!Africa. Their efforts culminated in a collaboration with PBS Digital Studios, which will be airing webisodes documenting Beat Making Labs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Panama, Senegal, Fiji and Ethiopia, each Wednesday on the Beat Making Lab youtube channel.
music  beatmakinglab  sound  youth  projectideas  uncch  stephenlevitin  markkatz  congo  panamá  senegal  fiji  ethiopia  goma  collaboration  culturalexchange 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Mare Liberum | thefreeseas.org
"The Free Seas / Mare Liberum is a freeform publishing, boatbuilding and waterfront art collective, based in the Gowanus, Brooklyn. Finding its roots in centuries-old stories of urban water squatters and haphazard water craft builders, Mare Liberum is a collaborative exploration of what it takes to make viable aquatic craft as an alternative to life on land. The project draws from sources as diverse as ocean-crossing raft assemblages, improvised refugee boats built in Senegal and Cuba, and modern stitch-and-ply construction methods which make complex, classic boat designs approachable by novice builders.

We are currently building a fleet of Liberum Dories, a design that we based on the historic 15′ Banks Dory. The frame of this boat can be constructed over the course of a single afternoon using minimal tools and basic building skills…"

[via: https://twitter.com/MatthewBattles/status/257171302991949824 ]
water  environment  boats  liberumdories  dories  cuba  refugees  senegal  mareliberum  brooklyn  collective  art  gowanus  gowanuscanal  nyc  waterways  boatbuilding 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Africa en Buenos Aires - lanacion.com
"Cada año, cientos de jóvenes del continente negro llegan a la Argentina escapando de guerras y miseria; de dónde vienen, con qué sueñan y qué piensan del país los vendedores de bijouterie que coparon el centro"
argentina  buenosaires  migration  immigration  africa  senegal  assylum 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Democracy in Dakar : Nomadic Wax
"African Underground: Democracy in Dakar is a groundbreaking documentary film about hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal. The film follows rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal and examines hip-hop's role on the political process. Originally shot as a seven part documentary mini-series released via the internet - the documentary bridges the gap between hip-hop activism, video journalism and documentary film and explores the role of youth and musical activism on the political process."
senegal  africa  hiphop  music  politics  documentary  activism  democracy  film 
march 2009 by robertogreco

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