Africa Blog Roundup: Mali, Protests in Mauritania, Conflict in the Sudans, and More

Lesley Anne Warner and Bruce Whitehouse on recent events in Mali, with attention to the trajectory of the interim civilian government and the continued political involvement of the junta.

In other Mali news, “loyalist” troops have reportedly entered the rebel-held north.

Inside Islam: “Islam and the New Modes of Participation.”

Lissnup: “Mauritania’s Protest Movements.”

Jim Sanders speculates about the class background of Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement.

The Economist on the conflict between the Sudans: “Sudanese brinkmanship knows few boundaries. This makes tank battles more likely but not inevitable.”

Africa Is A Country: “Soviet Cinema and African Filmmaking”:

To delve into this relationship between the Soviet superpower and various African countries is to recognize – on the one hand – the historical fact of an interaction, a relationship. It’s well documented that Russia provided military support to many African liberation movements, sometimes via Cuba. Military support to armed resistance movements, pedagogical assistance in the form of filmmaking equipment and training, guerrilla training by Che Guevara himself in Congo, arms to the MPLA in Angola, support for Cabral, Neto, Michel… through shared ideals ‘Socialist friendship’ was the USSR’s means of coaxing African countries whose national identity was being forged upon a revolutionary nationalism toward socialism; to become extensions of the Soviet empire.

 

But what is harder to trace is how this ‘friendship’ filtered into aesthetic and thematic affinities between Soviet Cinema and African filmmaking, based on the surprising embrace of African filmmakers by some of the most prestigious filmmaking schools in the Soviet Union.

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