Culture February 2016

Music. Souad Massi meets the “Masters of the Word”

“The fruit of silence – an old Arab saying goes – is tranquillity”. But if silence is broken, art might reveal itself, one could reply after listening at El Mutakallimun, Souad Massi’s latest album. A word that can be translated as “the speakers” or, more freely, as “the masters of the word”, El Mutakallimun is…

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Benin. The Gelede masks: a treasure of tradition

Masks, magical movements, singing: the wisdom of the village is passed down from generation to generation, year after year. It is a warm March morning, all the inhabitants of Lanta Kope, a small village in southern Benin, have gathered to attend the Gelede festival which takes place when the dry season ends and when the…

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Africa. Vernonia amygdalina. The bitter leaf

Vernonia amygdalina, (family Astaraceae) is a medicinal herb commonly known as bitter leaf. This plant is indigenous to tropical Africa and has enormous medicinal uses and is regarded as a gold mine by many African communities. The plant is normally found along rivers and lakes, in forest margins, wood land and open grass land in…

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Book Review. Eritrea at a Crossroads

Few State  are, at the same time, so relevant for the news media (or at least for some of it) and so difficult to cover as Eritrea. Despite having been for years one of the countries from which a great number of refugees try to reach the shores of Europe, no truly new and reliable…

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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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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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