Soldiers of Kenedougou #vscocam (at Sikasso)
EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,” IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa
Someone asked me to somehow “verify” that this story is real.
Of course it’s real! The PROBLEM with the coverage regarding these manuscripts is that they’re constantly portrayed as being in “danger” because many of them are still in the possession of Malian descendants. About 700,000 have been cataloged so far, and they have had to be moved in part because apparently extremist groups have tried to firebomb them. Many others are still in the possession of the families they have been passed down in.
Many of these collected manuscripts are being housed in exile, but mold and humidity have been a constant threat. They have been raising funds to try and preserve these manuscripts-you can read more about the project to house and protect them here.
A bit of the history of these manuscripts from National Geographic:
These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.
By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region.
At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.
By the beginning of the 1600s with the Moroccan invasions from the north, however, the scholars of Timbuktu began to slowly drift away and study elsewhere. As a result, the city’s sacred manuscripts began to fall into disrepair. While Islamic teachings there continued for another 300 years, the biggest decline in scholastic study occurred with the French colonization of present-day Mali in the late 1890s.
So yeah, basically the story of this collection’s source more or less ends with “…but unfortunately, colonialism”, as do most of the great cities of Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.
Also, as an additional consideration:
With the pressures of poverty, a series of droughts, and a tribal Tureg rebellion in Mali that lasted over ten years, the manuscripts continue to disappear into the black market, where they are illegally sold to private and university collections in Europe and the United States.
Notice where the blame is placed here via language use: on the people in poverty forced to sell their treasures, as opposed to the Universities in Europe and the U.S. buying them.
It’s really just another face of Neocolonialism.
a sonnet for janis gaye
they say she too young/ kissed 17 candles
and fine/coy smile/girlish giggle/gilded lips
janis. sweet little sexy thang to handle
after the dance of teased comfort from too soon hips
i wanna be your lover/ pleading, each play
come live with me angel/ the tempting refrain
you can have your way if you decide to stay
devotion promised/ fascination remains
janis. kissed 17 candles/ sweet little baby
in need of good experienced company/ who knows all the ways
to ripen tender flesh of blow pop dreams/ maybe
she is of the wanting/ darlin angel ablaze
waiting for the hunter in her own pursuit
they say she too young/ janis / forbidden fruit
My mini-feature as part of the “Bearden 100” - Romare Bearden Centennial:
Collage and gold paint on vinyl film, gold paint on vintage anatomy textbook paper
9 x 12 in
(c) Regina Agu
*This collage is currently on view through October 26 at Fresh Arts in Houston, TX at my solo exhibition “Visible Unseen”.
Visual To Verse: Ife-Chudeni Oputa
Visual To Verse: Ife-Chudeni Oputa
This essay examines 1890s commercial audio recordings—none of which is known to exist today—that reenacted lynchings of African Americans,in particular, the mass spectacle lynching of Henry Smith of Paris, Texas, in 1893. Despite rumors that the recordings were made live, they were in fact examples of an early, nonmusical genre in commercial phonography known as the “descriptive specialty,” which often involved studio reenactments of current events. Like other descriptive specialties, these recordings were meant to exhibit the phonographic medium to capture audience attention. Using descriptions of the recordings from period documents, the essay argues that there was a specific confluence between lynching reenactments and the notion of a “phonographic voice,” between sounds elicited from persons on the edge of “the human” and the sound imagined to come from the machine itself. It places the recordings in the context of contemporary representations of blackness in phonography and ponders their place in the longer history of recorded sounds of blackness. It also argues against the fixation on disembodiment among some media historians and theorists who work on phonography and contemporaneous technologies.
For many Africans, the issue of (im)migration has very real and immediate effects, and often negative consequences, as annually, many individuals from all over the continent risk life and limb to get to greener pastures and supposedly warmer shores.
Now, however, a new Kenyan sci-fi TV drama series seeks to fictionally turn the tables on this reality. Usoni, set in future world, 50 years to come, focuses on the “travel of a couple from the natural disaster stricken Europe to now the now illustrious Africa in 2062. It is a story which focuses on the immigration hurdles of Africans to Europe and looks at how it would be if the reverse were to happen”, says producer Denver Ochieng.
Whilst those of us not in Kenya will not be able to watch the series for now, according to Tech Moran, the plot will be ready for screening on 27th November 2013 at the USIU auditorium open to the students and public.
Computing… (at Bamako)