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Culture

Music, book and film reviews from the last 3 months

Music. Kalush Orchestra. Mamma Stefania…let me hear your voice.

In May, with their song ‘Stefania’, they easily won the latest Eurovision Song Contest and caught the attention of the world. Then, Kalush Orchestra is a new phenomenon, having been founded as recently as 2019 by rapper Oleh Psjuk together with some friends. The group takes its name from its birthplace, Kaluš, a city at…

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South Africa. Zapiro, a Graphic Humourist.

Through his cartoons, Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) has been campaigning against apartheid since the 1980s. He has written 28 books and publishes a daily cartoon in the South African Daily Maverick. We went to meet him  Order prevails in Zapiro’s bright and pleasant creation space. Smiling and apologizing when his dog’s barking interrupts the conversation, for…

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Mexico. Between Art and Popular Religiosity.

Mexican folk art is present in all aspects of community life. During the civil (and Christian liturgical) year, no less than 120 traditional religious feasts are celebrated. The greatest of all is the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Almost all the religious festivals that take place throughout the year provide a theme and a…

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South Africa. Creativity that Transforms the World.

Soweto Theatre is a community space where new generations of artists are forged from historical memory A captivating shade of red dominates the modern building, which expands into geometric and irregular shapes, next to the mythical Jabulani amphitheatre. It was there that Zindzi Mandela read the speech “My father says …”, it was 1985, when…

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Africa. Death as a Rite of Passage.

The meaning of the rites of passage in Africa culture. ‘The funeral rites express the solidarity of the living with their dead relative; in some way, the relatives and the whole village accompany the dead and help them reach their destination’. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, during funeral rites those who lift the coffin…

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Ethiopia. The Circus, Art that Gives Dignity.

Through circus art, Kine Circus helps boys and girls in danger of exclusion to find themselves and have a life plan.  “Kine in Amharic has several meanings, including ‘secret’. With our art, we try to convey a message. We talk about the problems that surround us and how to solve them, using the language of…

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Music. Stromae, the Master of pop.

A heart that beats to the rhythm of Africa Paul Van Haver was born in Etterbeek, a small town near Brussels, in 1985. Yet his story really begins only nine years later, in Rwanda, where his father, an architect of Tutsi ethnicity, was killed that year during one of the most terrible genocides of the…

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Morocco. Rabat. Capital of Lights.

‘City of Lights’, as Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco, is called. The name is not prosaic, but full of symbolism to describe a city undergoing a complete metamorphosis that tries to show its mastery while maintaining a balance between tradition and modernity. We visit the city. In recent years Rabat has made an effort…

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The Birthplace of the Rainbow.

Victoria Falls is one of the best known and most spectacular sights in Africa. Its history is lost in the mists of time. We visited this majestic and mysterious birthplace of the rainbow A 1,737- meter-long crack in the ground blocks the way to the Zambezi, which falls with an impressive drop of up to…

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Peru. The Asheninka Minga.

The Asheninka, are an indigenous ethnic group that lives in the centre of the forest in the district of Ucayali in the province of Atalaya in the northern part of Peru. Minga: not only communal work but also small informal tasks for the family. The term minga comes from the Quechua culture mink’a meaning ‘asking…

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Music. Lido Pimienta. To the Rhythm of Cumbia.

Mention Colombia and one immediately thinks of cumbia: a rhythm, an atmosphere, a dance, a way of singing, a synthesis of the essence of a people. A people still struggling to find a balance and social pacification between modernist and traditionalist thrusts, between terrorist regurgitations, the ever-untamed violence of drug traffickers and a complex interracial…

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DR Congo. Dancing to the Rumba Rhythm.

The rumba is a typically Congolese rhythm. This popular music, which crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the slave trade, spread to Latin America. Transformed, it returned home to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo, from where it conquered the African continent and the whole world. Since 2021, it has been…

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Advocacy

Cop 27. Emissions, loss and damage, finance: the decisions.

Cop 27 is over. A first step in climate justice, but zero progress on the central issue of CO2 emissions. The principle of a new fund…

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Baobab

The Tortoise and the Chimpanzee.

The Tortoise and the Chimpanzee had been friends for a very long time and so it was only natural that they should invite each other to…

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Youth & Mission

Pope urges African youth to be protagonists in shaping the…

Young people from nine different countries had a chance to each comment and ask a question to Pope Francis, during the online conversation. At the beginning…

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