Posts tagged with ‘Africa’

Mapping Ebola

Via The New York Times:

Patient Zero in the Ebola outbreak, researchers suspect, was a 2-year-old boy who died on Dec. 6, just a few days after falling ill in a village in Guéckédou, in southeastern Guinea. Bordering Sierra Leone and Liberia, Guéckédou is at the intersection of three nations, where the disease found an easy entry point to the region.

A week later, it killed the boy’s mother, then his 3-year-old sister, then his grandmother. All had fever, vomiting and diarrhea, but no one knew what had sickened them.

Two mourners at the grandmother’s funeral took the virus home to their village. A health worker carried it to still another, where he died, as did his doctor. They both infected relatives from other towns. By the time Ebola was recognized, in March, dozens of people had died in eight Guinean communities, and suspected cases were popping up in Liberia and Sierra Leone…

…Now, with 1,779 cases, including 961 deaths and a small cluster in Nigeria, the outbreak is out of control and still getting worse. Not only is it the largest ever, but it also seems likely to surpass all two dozen previous known Ebola outbreaks combined.

Images: What You Need to Know About the Ebola Oubreak, via The New York Times. Select to embiggen.

Twitter to be available on mobile phones without Internet →

Not only will the rest of the world now have access to genuine African content; but with the introduction of more and more affordable e-reading devices, including tablets with e-reader apps, we will see more Africans reading local content.

via Publishing Perspectives. The independent publishing world in Africa has promise for the future, despite having more challenges than most locales. Previously a “no man’s land,” more and more independent publishers are going digital including Snapplify

Snapplify is an African-based digital publishing company, with partners all over the globe, that has played a major role in helping numerous local publishers and authors leverage their digital publishing platform to give their content the global push. Not only does this mean they will experience international traction, but because Snapplify supports Android (the dominating OS in Africa)  there will soon be a proliferation of accessible local content available on the mobile stores.

 

One Man’s Mission to Capture Mozambique 

After giving up his original career path of architecture, photographer Filipe Branquinho followed in his father’s footsteps and began investing in his own camera equipment. He started out on a humble 35mm Fuji film camera with only one lens, but soon his collection—as well as his fascination and skill—grew. His most recent photo series, “Occupations”, focuses on modern life in capitalist Mozambique, specifically in the capital city Maputo. Branquinho explains his inspiration and style in an interview with The Leica Camera Blog:

Mozambican photojournalists went through many different episodes of the local history. In a very short period of time they saw colonialism, the Independence (in 1975), post-colonialism, socialism, communism, civil war, democracy and today’s dynamic capitalism. But, the main subject of their photos was always the people and injustice that they faced in their daily lives.

Even if I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the aesthetic aspects of a photograph (composition, color, light, etc.) and try to make my work very close to fine art photography, the human condition is always there. I think that this might be the main influence of the Mozambican photographic school: to photograph the story of the people and their places.

FJP: A growing number of photo and video journalists are beginning to capture portraits of people in order to tell their story in one single frame.  Since the world is so saturated and connected with modern technology, I think that photojournalists are getting back to the basics. There is a certain element of magic when getting to peak into someone else’s life, someone you didn’t even know existed. It’s real, it’s genuine and it’s irreplaceable. — Gabbi

Images: Selected from the series “Occupations” by Filipe Branquinho via Leica Camera Blog. 

Loud Silence

Loud Silence in an innovative approach to video journalism made by local people for Africans and an international community. The days of boring news talk shows and static documentaries are over, as we take stories directly from the streets. — Kevin Taylor, Co-Founder, Loud Silence Media.

Loud Silence, a group of Ghanian documentarians, has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help continue telling stories throughout Ghana. 

Here’s some of what they’ve done:

Recently, we have produced pieces on illegal gold mining; discrimination (and murders) against the disabled; amputee football; homes that flood during any rain; waste management and kids who pick through trash for a living; affects of the new oil industry in Ghana; turning garbage into energy; cyber-scammers, and controversial elections and political stories.

Take a look at their Kickstarter and the trailer they’ve created. It’s a good demonstration of the quality and subject matter of their work, and what they’re trying to accomplish within the Ghanian media environment.

FJP: Getting behind local, independent media is important and it would be fantastic to push them well beyond their $12,000 goal.

You can also learn more about them and view their work on their Web site.

Images: Selected stills from the Loud Silence Web site.

Everyday Africa Takes over The New Yorker’s Instagram Feed
Via The New Yorker:

This week, the photo collective Everyday Africa, a project focussing on images of daily life in Africa, will be posting to The New Yorker’s Instagram feed. Nine photographers across the continent, from Mali to Kenya, are contributing.

Here’s The New Yorker on Instagram.
And here’s Everyday Africa on Tumblr.
Image: A motorcycle taxi driver uses his feet to steer in Bamako, Mali on January 29, by Glenna Gordon

Everyday Africa Takes over The New Yorker’s Instagram Feed

Via The New Yorker:

This week, the photo collective Everyday Africa, a project focussing on images of daily life in Africa, will be posting to The New Yorker’s Instagram feed. Nine photographers across the continent, from Mali to Kenya, are contributing.

Here’s The New Yorker on Instagram.

And here’s Everyday Africa on Tumblr.

Image: A motorcycle taxi driver uses his feet to steer in Bamako, Mali on January 29, by Glenna Gordon

Reporting on Africa Through Interactive Comics
via Color Lines:

I ask Bunmi Oloruntoba why he works in comics; his answer speaks volumes.
“In many ways, the medium is like the African continent itself: it’s misrepresented,” he says. “When it comes to the continent, you know, it’s the conflict, it’s war, it’s the famine. And in comics, it’s Spiderman, the Hulk, superheroes! One genre within the medium has grown so large that it eclipses the medium, and people can’t see the potential. Just like it’s hard to see the humanity, the complexity, the drive of all the things Africans are doing, because it’s been eclipsed.”
This eclipsing is what novelist Chimamanda Adichie has called the problem of the ‘single story.’ Oloruntoba, a Nigerian-born journalist and academic in Washington, D.C., is proposing a solution: collide Africa’s single-story problem against comics’ single-story problem, and see what interesting new particles appear. With literary editor Emmanuel Iduma, he runs 3Bute.com (pronounced tri-bute), adapting other writers’ stories about Africa into three-page comics — and then wrapping those comics in a ‘mashable’ layer that lets any reader dot the panels with their own public annotations. Mouse over a drawing of a laptop surrounded by partiers, and you can watch a Youtube music video of the Hausa hit they might be dancing to; mouse over a drawing of Charles Chikwanje boldly refusing to reveal the name of his gay lover on Malawi television, and get a recommendation for a biography of Bayard Rustin. It’s new-media innovation, historical context, Wikipedia rabbithole, and sometimes even loyal dissent, side by side. And all of it is a living antithesis to the single story.

FJP: What’s really neat is that 3Bute uses what they call a mash-up platform that lets writers and artists collaborate on the 3 page visualizations. Each works like a pinboard where readers can tag a story with relevant context. Visit the site and check it out.
Image: 3bute.com collaborated with the Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary prize, to adapt all the stories shortlisted into comics. Above is a screenshot from Bombay’s Republic by Rotimi Babatunde.

Reporting on Africa Through Interactive Comics

via Color Lines:

I ask Bunmi Oloruntoba why he works in comics; his answer speaks volumes.

“In many ways, the medium is like the African continent itself: it’s misrepresented,” he says. “When it comes to the continent, you know, it’s the conflict, it’s war, it’s the famine. And in comics, it’s Spiderman, the Hulk, superheroes! One genre within the medium has grown so large that it eclipses the medium, and people can’t see the potential. Just like it’s hard to see the humanity, the complexity, the drive of all the things Africans are doing, because it’s been eclipsed.”

This eclipsing is what novelist Chimamanda Adichie has called the problem of the ‘single story.’ Oloruntoba, a Nigerian-born journalist and academic in Washington, D.C., is proposing a solution: collide Africa’s single-story problem against comics’ single-story problem, and see what interesting new particles appear. With literary editor Emmanuel Iduma, he runs 3Bute.com (pronounced tri-bute), adapting other writers’ stories about Africa into three-page comics — and then wrapping those comics in a ‘mashable’ layer that lets any reader dot the panels with their own public annotations. Mouse over a drawing of a laptop surrounded by partiers, and you can watch a Youtube music video of the Hausa hit they might be dancing to; mouse over a drawing of Charles Chikwanje boldly refusing to reveal the name of his gay lover on Malawi television, and get a recommendation for a biography of Bayard Rustin. It’s new-media innovation, historical context, Wikipedia rabbithole, and sometimes even loyal dissent, side by side. And all of it is a living antithesis to the single story.

FJP: What’s really neat is that 3Bute uses what they call a mash-up platform that lets writers and artists collaborate on the 3 page visualizations. Each works like a pinboard where readers can tag a story with relevant context. Visit the site and check it out.

Image: 3bute.com collaborated with the Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary prize, to adapt all the stories shortlisted into comics. Above is a screenshot from Bombay’s Republic by Rotimi Babatunde.

Call for Entries: $1 Million African News Challenge →

The African Media Initiative has opened a $1 million news challenge. The initiative will offer grants from $12,500 to $100,000 for African-based projects and is modeled after the Knight News Challenge in the United States.

Via African News Challenge:

This innovation challenge focuses on journalism and the news media.

We are looking for disruptive digital ideas for improving the way that news is collected and disseminated.

By digital ideas, we mean tools or strategies that use the Internet, mobile platforms, data driven journalism, computer assisted reporting, digitally augmented reality, or other electronic means to improve the relevance and impact of news media.

Your ideas should be focused on providing pragmatic solutions to realworld challenges facing Africa’s media.

Your innovation should fall into any of four broad categories: news gathering; story telling; audience engagement; or the business of news.

The competition opens today with the submission deadline on July 10.

More information is available here.

Infra Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a perennial occupant on the list of the world’s most unfortunate places. Over the past 15 years, 40 armed groups have waged rebellions, counter-rebellions and outside incursions to control either the country or a desired part of it.

The result: over 300,000 killed, another 5 million deaths due to disease and starvation, hundreds of thousands of rapes, countless mutilations.

Last summer, Richard Mosse began exhibiting and publishing his photos from Eastern Congo in a series of work he calls Infra.

The name comes from the Aerochrome film Kodak created in 1942 that Mosse used to shoot his subjects.

Via No Caption Needed:

Aerochrome is a false-color reversal film designed, according to Kodak, “for various aerial photographic applications, such as vegetation and forestry surveys … monitoring where infrared discriminations may yield practical results.” More to the point, it was intended for military purposes and in particular camouflage detection as it rendered the reflections of infrared and green typical of healthy foliage in strong red tones, making it stand out against the façade of dead and dying leaves—often seen in diluted magenta tones—used to conceal the enemy. In short, its purpose was to make the invisible visible.

The result of Mosse’s use of Aerochrome are the highly saturated images seen here. In a review of his work, the Guardian suggests the striking visuals deconstruct cliched war porn and make us reconsider what is actually happening: 

But where this technology was invented to detect enemy positions in the underbrush, Mosse uses [Aerochrome film] to make us call into question pictures we thought we understood. These are the images we take for granted from Congo: the ruthless militia commander, the rape victim, an unwitting peasant. But in Mosse’s pictures, Congo’s photographic clichés are represented in a counterpoint of electric pink, teal blue and lavender. By representing the conflict with an invisible spectrum of infrared light, he pushes us to see this tragedy in new ways.

Mosse described his work in an interview with Aperture last summer. In it he discusses the history of representing warfare and trying to capture what is “real”.

Photographic realism has become so inscribed upon twentieth-century depictions of war that we often forget that there were other forms before it: the panorama, the history painting, even 3-D spectroscopic views of the battlefield. In the past, this is how the public understood their wars—as distant sweeping landscapes of enormous scale and detail. I feel that early war photographers like Mathew Brady and Roger Fenton were influenced by these precedents. But they were soon forgotten with small-format technologies, and with changes in the way that wars were fought during the twentieth century. Warfare is constantly evolving; it has recently become abstracted, asymmetric, simulated. We are so removed from the experience of war in the West that I feel the genre may shift once more. The realist forms that were so powerful throughout the twentieth century may now be obsolescent.

In my practice, I struggle with the challenge of representing abstract or contingent phenomena. The camera’s dumb optic is intensely literal, yet the world is far from being simple or transparent. Air disasters, terrorism, the simulated nature of modern warfare, the cultural interface between an occupying force and its enemy, the martyr drive in Islamic extremism, the intangibility of Eastern Congo’s conflict—these are all subjects that are very difficult to express with traditional documentary realism; they are difficult to perceive in their own right. Very often I am fighting simply to represent the subject, just to find a way to put it before the lens, or make it visible by its very absence. This process is inherently “Romantic” because it often requires a retreat into my own imagination, into my own symbolic order.

But the real is central to my interests, as it’s something that eludes conventional genres, particularly Realism. The real is at the heart of contemporary global anxiety; proximity to the real is endured by us all. But I feel that the real is only effectively communicated through shocks to the imagination, precipitated by the Sublime. That may seem like an archaic term, but what I’m referring to here is contemporary art’s unique ability to make visible what cannot be perceived, breaching the limits of representation.

Visit Mosse’s Web site for more images from this series. The Aperture interview along with other coverage of his work can be read here.

Liberian Journalist Reports on Female Genital Mutilation, Goes into Hiding
Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Mae Azango, a reporter for the daily FrontPage Africa and New Narratives, a project supporting independent media in Africa, told CPJ she had gone into hiding after receiving several threats for an article she published on Thursday about Liberian tribes practicing female genital mutilation on as many as two out of every three girls in the country. “They left messages and told people to tell me that they will catch me and cut me so that will make me shut up,” Azango said. “I have not been sleeping in my house.”
Wade Williams, the editor of FrontPage Africa, said that several people around town had confronted her over the article, which was widely discussed on radio programs. Williams also said that the newspaper and its personnel were receiving threatening phone calls. “They said that for us putting our mouth into their business, we are to blame for whatever happens to us,” she said.

Azango is a regular contributor to Global Post and won a 2011 grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to cover reproductive health in Liberia.
Image: Mae Azango (pictured above right) via New Narratives.

Liberian Journalist Reports on Female Genital Mutilation, Goes into Hiding

Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Mae Azango, a reporter for the daily FrontPage Africa and New Narratives, a project supporting independent media in Africa, told CPJ she had gone into hiding after receiving several threats for an article she published on Thursday about Liberian tribes practicing female genital mutilation on as many as two out of every three girls in the country. “They left messages and told people to tell me that they will catch me and cut me so that will make me shut up,” Azango said. “I have not been sleeping in my house.”

Wade Williams, the editor of FrontPage Africa, said that several people around town had confronted her over the article, which was widely discussed on radio programs. Williams also said that the newspaper and its personnel were receiving threatening phone calls. “They said that for us putting our mouth into their business, we are to blame for whatever happens to us,” she said.

Azango is a regular contributor to Global Post and won a 2011 grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to cover reproductive health in Liberia.

Image: Mae Azango (pictured above right) via New Narratives.

Mali Celebrates African Photographers
Via the BBC:

Hundreds of artists, collectors and curators have gathered in Mali to celebrate one of Africa’s biggest photography exhibitions, Bamako Encounters. Ecological concerns are a major theme this year. This work is from the series A Vanishing Wetland by Nigerian artist Akintunde Akinyele.

Mali Celebrates African Photographers

Via the BBC:

Hundreds of artists, collectors and curators have gathered in Mali to celebrate one of Africa’s biggest photography exhibitions, Bamako Encounters. Ecological concerns are a major theme this year. This work is from the series A Vanishing Wetland by Nigerian artist Akintunde Akinyele.

In February, the Globe and Mail published a map to show Moammar Gadhafi’s influence in Africa.

In Mali, for example, Gadhafi’s money and diplomacy have helped resolve conflicts between rebels and the government.

And in Sudan, the 20,000 troop peacekeeping mission includes African Union troops that are heavily funded by Gadhafi’s Libya.

We modified the map for display here so click through to learn more.

H/T: Torie (The Political Notebook) via G+.

In February, the Globe and Mail published a map to show Moammar Gadhafi’s influence in Africa.

In Mali, for example, Gadhafi’s money and diplomacy have helped resolve conflicts between rebels and the government.

And in Sudan, the 20,000 troop peacekeeping mission includes African Union troops that are heavily funded by Gadhafi’s Libya.

We modified the map for display here so click through to learn more.

H/T: Torie (The Political Notebook) via G+.

What’s happening in Somalia? This is happening in Somalia.
via nationalpost:

Source

What’s happening in Somalia? This is happening in Somalia.

via nationalpost:

Source

Photo of the Day: A Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier stands in line during a rehearsal for the Independence Day ceremony in Juba, on July 5, 2011. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic).
Via the Atlantic:

Last Saturday, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence, creating the newest nation in the world — the 193rd nation to join the United Nations. The new country has been in the making since a referendum last January, when nearly 4 million southern Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan by a margin of more than 98 percent. The region has been involved in civil wars for at least the past 50 years, and the days-old nation is already battling several armed groups within its new borders. Many issues still remain unresolved — the oil-rich region continues to rely on pipelines that run through Sudan, and a revenue-sharing agreement has not been reached. The new nation, which is comprised of more than 200 ethnic groups, has a largely rural economy, and poverty, civil warfare, and political instability will be the biggest of many challenges for the new administration. Gathered here are scenes from South Sudan as it made its debut on the world stage this weekend.

Check it: 35 images of a newly born nation.

Photo of the Day: A Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier stands in line during a rehearsal for the Independence Day ceremony in Juba, on July 5, 2011. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic).

Via the Atlantic:

Last Saturday, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence, creating the newest nation in the world — the 193rd nation to join the United Nations. The new country has been in the making since a referendum last January, when nearly 4 million southern Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan by a margin of more than 98 percent. The region has been involved in civil wars for at least the past 50 years, and the days-old nation is already battling several armed groups within its new borders. Many issues still remain unresolved — the oil-rich region continues to rely on pipelines that run through Sudan, and a revenue-sharing agreement has not been reached. The new nation, which is comprised of more than 200 ethnic groups, has a largely rural economy, and poverty, civil warfare, and political instability will be the biggest of many challenges for the new administration. Gathered here are scenes from South Sudan as it made its debut on the world stage this weekend.

Check it: 35 images of a newly born nation.