Culture September 2014

Music – Back to the roots

It is not frequent that a few seconds of music summarize the features of a whole album: nevertheless, after having listened at Vieux Farka Touré’s Mon Pays, that appears to be exactly the case of the brief opening instrumental solo of the first track, Diack So. Indeed, since the first notes, the Mali-born guitarist and…

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Ethiopia. Wasa: bread and symbol of life

In southern Ethiopia, among the Sidamo and other ethnic groups, wasa is the staple food-crop. It is a dark flour, obtained from a bulb plant called ‘wese’, or in the national language ‘ensete muse’, popularly known as ‘false banana’. The ‘ensete muse’ requires a portion of a rhizome to reproduce. The most common way to…

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Book review – Drone Warfare

Definitely, Medea Benjamin is not afraid to tackle controversial themes: on the contrary, it seems she considers being silent on some issues the deadliest possible sin. She has dealt, in her previous books (some of which date back to the late 80’s) with the embargo imposed on Cuba and the stories of Latin American women,…

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Kenya. Pokot. The rite of initiation: ‘Sapana’

‘Sapana’ is a celebration undertaken by young men, around 20 years of age, to become recognized as adult men. Only after the rite, will they be considered as adults meaning that they will be allowed to sit at the meetings with the elders, ‘kokwö’, and participate in sacrifices, ‘kirket’. We look at the rite of…

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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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