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Culture February 2013

Latin America – The Art of good living

Good living, or buen vivir in Spanish – living in harmony with oneself, other members of the community, nature and one’s surroundings – is central to indigenous life. “Each indigenous community has its own way of interpreting the concept of buen vivir,” says Cecilia Ramírez, a representative of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum and member…

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Book Review – Africa and the war on drugs

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  According to recent UN reports, African countries face an increasingly grave threat. This is not the HIV/Aids epidemic, nor ongoing conflict, terrorism, or corruption. It is a plague – not unrelated to all the former – that seemed to have spared Africa its worst depredations: drugs.Nigerian drug lords, khat-chewing Somali pirates, crystal meth-smoking gangs…

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Music – Staff Benda Bilili

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  Some years ago, Staff Benda Bilili were better known among the Kinshasa police than among music lovers. Even in a city dubbed ‘capitale de la musique’ (the capital city of music) by Congolese websites, it is not easy to become an artist if you come from a poor neighbourhood and you live on a…

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Ghana – Garments that speak of history

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  Cloth has always had a very important social function in the Ashanti kingdom. The colours and type of fabric worn underscore events and indicate the ceremonial occasion, as well as differences in status and gender. The patterns and motifs represent proverbs, anecdotes and the history of the Akan people – a history that has…

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Advocacy

10 Ways We Pretend War is Not a Crime.

Advocacy, more than economic interests, is about consciousness and knowledge. It is about building a strong democracy, holding those in power accountable. It is about…

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Baobab

Why the Hippo lives in the Water.

Many years ago the hippopotamus, whose name was Isantim, was one of the biggest kings on the land; he was second only to the elephant. The…

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Youth & Mission

Saving the Planet and Ourselves.

Australia, Philippines, California and Central and South Africa have been recently hit by severe drought and endless forest fires.  Thousands are suffering. Plants and animals perish.…

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