Stone, cotton or oil

Stone, cotton or oil Streams of water trickle from the cotton sacks packed onto the truck, on a high wall. The load no longer weighs only eight tons, it weighs much more, but the accounts are settled, so it doesn’t matter. In my sweater, in my socks, the cotton fibres intertwine with threads of oil. If the truth is light and lies are as heavy as lead, the truck, wobbling at five miles an hour down the steep road, is carrying a great load of lies. But perhaps it is the opposite, that lies are light and the truth is heavy. In the eight hours I spent in the village, the price of a barrel of oil fell by a dollar.

24.11.2018 | by Paulo Faria

Declaration of war 1

Declaration of war 1 I said to one of them, who was very injured, “The troops can’t do anything for you, what do you want before you die?” He asked for water, I told the soldier to fetch water but gave him a signal not to go, that it wouldn’t be necessary. I picked up an FBP submachine gun, which wasn’t reliable, and fired a shot to kill him, but he stepped to the side.

25.06.2018 | by Vasco Luís Curado

What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences

What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences Part of our task is to build a canon, knowledge, and a way of knowing. This is happening against the backdrop of a movement by South African students to decolonise their universities; Black Lives Matter protests in the United States; and in the context of a much deeper history of national reimagination across Africa and the world.With this history in mind our faculty is working towards what we consider a decolonial social science curriculum. We’ve adopted seven commitments to help us meet this goal, and which we hope will shift educational discourse in a more equitable and representative direction.

15.06.2017 | by Jess Auerbach

Decolonising the curriculum in SOAS, World Philosophies

Decolonising the curriculum in SOAS, World Philosophies Philosophy students should be encouraged to engage with the challenging work of thinkers like Kwami Anthony Appiah, Franz Fanon, Achille Mbembe, Valentin-Yves Mudimbe, Enrique Dussell and Walter Mignolo just as they do with Parfit and Strawson. Should we not all be in the business of engaging, to quote Nietzsche, with 'what may be thought against our thought'?

04.04.2017 | by World Philosophies

Duplo vê

Duplo vê Duplo vê*, is at once, the name for the letter W in Portuguese (inspired by the title W ou les souvenirs d’enfance by George Perec) and also the “double sight” of a cross-eyed God. Duplo vê could have a subtitle: essay on the strabismus of God.

17.02.2017 | by Mattia Denisse

The Current Situation (2015)

The Current Situation (2015) The current situation tells us in what way we should create empathy with the images of the world. Or how the images of the world are themselves empathy, understanding. An abstract economical system that obsessively copies the natural chaos. Distribution, or relationship. The act of transaction and of eternal and permanent conflict.

27.04.2015 | by Pedro Barateiro

Crossing Music's Borders: 'I Hate World Music'

Crossing Music's Borders: 'I Hate World Music' I hate world music. That's probably one of the perverse reasons I have been asked to write about it. The term is a catchall that commonly refers to non-Western music of any and all sorts, popular music, traditional music and even classical music. It's a marketing as well as a pseudomusical term — and a name for a bin in the record store signifying stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else in the store.

20.07.2012 | by David Byrne

The Protean Web: Literature and Ethnography in Lusophone Africa

The Protean Web: Literature and Ethnography in Lusophone Africa This book discusses colonial and postcolonial textuality under the theoretical scope of Literary Theory, Cultural Critique and Anthropology. It focuses mostly but not exclusively on Angola and Moçambique. In these countries, Ethnographic Fiction has emerged as a genre that inspired until this day "violent readings" of history and society.

29.11.2011 | by Ana Maria Mão-de-Ferro Martinho

How to Write About Africa

How to Write About Africa In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.

15.07.2011 | by Binyavanga Wainaina


Communities Communities are above any kind of suspicion; they are incorruptible and have an unfailing vision for the future of humanity. At least that is how some missionaries for the new religion called ‘development’ think. The trope of civil associations serves to illustrate this sanctified sanctifying concept. This pure thing does not exist. Thankfully. What there are human things, with the faults and virtues of all human things.

04.07.2011 | by Mia Couto

"Terceira Metade": in the shadow of silence

"Terceira Metade": in the shadow of silence What to do with his secret? He was the first to wake up in the Village, and the only one who would know that the fire was dead. Was the circle broken? Would he be haunted by the spirits of the elders for his negligence of loving nature? And had there been such negligence?

01.06.2011 | by Ondja ki

Preview: poems from the book “Fragments d’un Crépuscule Blessé”

Preview: poems from the book “Fragments d’un Crépuscule Blessé” The air erodes Its shadow quivers My land is lost sand My skin a black target A rough weave of laments How could anyone believe that a mother is anything but love?

16.03.2011 | by Céléstin Monga

Four poems by Dambudzo Marechera

Four poems by Dambudzo Marechera The Bar-Stool Edible Worm I’m against everything Against war and those against War. Against whatever diminishes Th’ individual’s blind impulse.

14.01.2011 | by Dambudzo Marechera

African Contemporary Art: Negotiating the Terms of Recognition - Interview of Vivian Paulissen with Achille Mbembe

African Contemporary Art: Negotiating the Terms of Recognition - Interview of Vivian Paulissen with Achille Mbembe I hate the idea that African life is simple bare life - the life of an empty stomach and a naked body waiting to be fed, clothed, healed or housed. It is a conception that is embedded in "development" ideology and practice. It radically goes against people's own daily experience with the immaterial world of the spirit, especially as it manifests itself under conditions of extreme precariousness and radical uncertainty. This kind of metaphysical and ontological violence has long been a fundamental aspect of the fiction of development the West seeks to impose on those it has colonized. We must oppose it and resist such surreptitious forms of dehumanization.

09.06.2010 | by Achille Mbembe

National Liberation and Culture

National Liberation and Culture In fact, to take up arms to dominate a people is, above all, to take up arms to destroy, or at least to neutralize, to paralyze, its cultural life. For, with a strong indigenous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of its perpetuation. At any moment, depending on internal and external factors determining the evolution of the society in question, cultural resistance (indestructible) may take on new forms (political, economic, armed) in order fully to contest foreign domination.

02.06.2010 | by Amílcar Cabral

Lily on the beach

Lily goes to church and prays a lot, but she is always wondering when this “f…” Jesus will come and finally knock on her door, toc, toc, toc…

12.04.2010 | by Barthélémy Toguo