Culture September 2015

Africa. Warbugia ugandensis: a miraculous plant

Warburgia ugandensis (family Canellaceae) is also known as the ‘Uganda Green Heart Tree’. This evergreen tree is a dominant species in Uganda, Kenya and in some parts of Ethiopia. It is considered an integral part of African traditional medicine by many traditional healers or herbalists across the continent. The tree can grow to 5-30 mtr…

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Burma. Pa-O. The forgotten People

The traditions and customs of the ethnic group Pa-O are little known and gradually disappearing. Telling children that they are descendants of a father who was a weiza, a supernatural being, and a mother, who was a dragon, may make for a good story, but for the ethnic Pa-O it is more than a fable.…

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Music. To touch everybody

A tribute to women and Africa marks the comeback of Dobet Gnahoré on the musical scene. Released in April 2014, four years after her previous album, Na Drê includes fourteen tracks mainly dedicated to these two themes, which the Ivorian-born singer constantly intertwines. “I speak of beaten women, of those in love, of those who…

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Book review. At the root of the ‘resource curse’

The exploitation of natural resources, from diamond to oil, is among the most debated issues when dealing with Africa. Scores of news stories, op-eds, documentaries, research papers and even works of fiction have been dedicated to this subject, to the extent that sometimes whoever approaches the matter for the first time finds himself at a…

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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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