Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

SEGUN OLUSOLA, In Memoriam (1935-2012)

He caught God's tide
by its prickly tail
and scaled Ogun's walls
and the rivers of Osun
when the earth was new

Ah, the deep-voiced sage
has gone to the market
he has gone to buy
for his many children
the promise of tomorrow

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mellon Fellowships at Wits University, Johannesburg--Announcement

We invite applications for 2 Fellowship in the WITS ART MUSEUM at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. These fellowships are funded by The Andrew W Mellon Foundation and will be situated in the Wits Art Museum. The positions will preferably be filled by Postdoctoral candidates, but we will consider strong applications from candidates with MA degrees intending to enroll for, or currently enrolled for PhDs. The fellows will work with the curators of the Wits Art Museum and the Chair in the Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa on a research-driven re-engagement with the collections of historical and contemporary African arts in the Wits Art Museum. We are therefore looking for fellows with research experience in one or more of the following fields: African visual art, African music, African performance arts, African dress.  One of the main tasks of the fellows will be to help academic divisions in Wits and at other institutions access, engage with, and use the collections in teaching and research. They will have to outline and drive a series of seminars which will, at the end of the project, be published as a collection of essays. Fellows will be expected to participate in exhibitions and publications planned within the Wits Art Museum.
Each Fellowship will be for a period of 36 months (although we may consider terms shorter than that) and will include a stipend, a shared office with own computer, library access and a small research grant per year. The fellowship project will start in July 2012, and will end in July 2015.
Applications must be sent to Julia Charlton, (Senior Curator at WAM) Julia.Charlton@wits.ac.za  and should include:
  • Title and abstract of the doctoral thesis, or master’s thesis/research report
  •  Copies of degree certificate (or a signed letter from a supervisor saying that the degree will be completed before the candidate is due to take up the position)
  •  Copies of completed articles or published essays (if any) 
  •  A Curriculum Vitae (Resumé)
  •  A letter of motivation
  •  The names and email addresses of two referees, one of whom should be the supervisor of the doctorate/MA dissertation.

Submission deadline 15 July 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

BBC News - African migrants hurt in Jerusalem 'arson attack'

Is it not shocking to hear government officials from the State of Israel describe African immigrants with words like "cancer," and that they constitute, according to a BBC report, "a problem that had to be 'solved'"? When you read about the increasing violence being levied on African immigrants, while government officials speak of nothing other than how to maintain the Jewishness of their state, with apparent little concern about inhuman treatment of people who do not look like the majority, it is impossible to remain silent. So, let me ask: could someone in the Israeli government please remember that these Africans immigrants are first and foremost human beings; that it is unacceptable and wrong to describe them as a "cancer"? Because such rhetoric begets nothing but the kind of terrible, popular anti-African violence we are witnessing in that country today.
BBC News - African migrants hurt in Jerusalem 'arson attack'

On the Lagos Plane Crash

As news of the yesterday's plane crash in Lagos unfolds, and as the number of the dead is reviewed upwards, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. But what we do know is that it took hours for the so-called "First Responders" to get on top of things, to search for victims and put out the fire resulting from the plane plowing into a densely built-up neighborhood. There is so much to say about the terrible state of basic infrastructure in Lagos and Nigeria, and this plane crash once more makes the problem so utterly and embarrassingly obvious. But I do not have energy or composure to address this now. I can say though that I do not know what to make of the fact that President Jonathan has declared three days of national mourning. What are we mourning? The spectacular loss of 150 or so "important" lives, in a country where thousands and thousands perish on its decrepit and overused roads? Or are we asked to mourn the inability of the Nigerian government to provide something as basic as water (to put out Lagos' frequent fires) and access roads to its sprawling neighborhoods? And why three days? My own grief for the dead and wounded will be brief, but I reserve the extended mourning for the failure of governance and all the evils that follow from that--including, as we shall soon find out, this plane crash.