Tag Archives: Popular Culture

Papa Wemba’s popularity

Here’s a link to an excellent  background story from “the Beeb” on legendary Congolese musician Papa Wemba’s central  role in the African music and culture scenes through six decades. I was not aware that he led the Sape movement, which has gotten some recent popular attention in the media over the last few years. He became […]

Ethical Access to “Music Time in Africa”

A recent NEH award of $260,000 to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor supports the digitization and online access to an archive of African popular music dating from the 1960s to the 1980s. It includes about 7,500 hours of audio recordings, program scripts and field notes. The materials were collected and created by Leo Sarkisian for the Voice of […]

Additional resources on Ebola

While the trends appear heartening on the ground with generally fewer new cases in West Africa, there’s still much work to be done (see US Centers for Disease Control update). Here, we offer a few additional resources to supplement earlier posts (including the Ebola Response pocket library on a flash drive offered by WiderNet). African Studies librarians […]

Kongo-Atlantic Dialogues

The 2014 Gwendolen M. Carter Conference, “Kongo-Atlantic Dialogues” will be held this coming Friday and Saturday, February 21-22 at the Harn Museum, in connection with the Harn’s superb Kongo Across the Waters exhibit.  The conference includes distinguished international scholars in a range of disciplines as well a number of artists. The full program for Carter Conference […]

Matatu urban transit map of Nairobi

Beautiful map, important research. Researchers and students at the University of Nairobi, the Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University, and the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT produced [an informal “matatu” urban transit] map – and the underlying data behind it – after carrying cell phones and GPS devices along every route in the […]

Fashion news from Africa: “I am the captain of my soul”

African fashion was recently highlighted in a Guinness beer television commercial. Even more surprisingly, it featured Congolese (Brazzaville) men promoting a strong message of personal worth and agency. As the narrator says, “with every brace and every cufflink we say, ‘I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.’” See: “Ad of the […]

Obituary for Tabu Ley Rochereau

Tabu Ley, “King of Congolese Rhumba” will be remembered at a funeral service today. A report at http://www.worldmusiccentral.org includes the following tribute: Throughout his career, Mr. Rochereau wrote some 3,000 songs and produced some 250 recordings.  He also earned the Honorary Knight of Senegal and Officer of the National Order, the Republic of Chad during his […]