Daily Archives: July 17, 2022

In Senegal, Underwater Museum Highlights Environmental Woes


Jul 17, 2022

Senegal has opened an underwater museum just off the coast from its capital, Dakar. Its goal is to raise awareness of environmental problems in the bay. Allison Fernandes explains in this report narrated by Carol Guensburg. Camera – Mbaye Ndir.

Remi Piet on G20 finance leaders talk about Climate Change


Jul 17, 2022

CGTN’s Sally Ayhan speaks with Remi Piet, Senior Partner, Embellie Advisory about the G20 summit meeting and how leaders are coming together to tackle imitate climate threats.

Europe and China endure extreme weather from heat and floods


Jul 17, 2022

As fires rage across Europe and floods inundate China, scientists caution extreme weather events are likely to happen more often across the globe due to climate change.

To space, for Earth, for all | Rachel Lyons | TEDxStGeorge


Jul 17, 2022

When viewing the Earth from space, many astronauts experience overwhelming feelings of awe, transcendence, and connectedness with humanity and the planet, commonly referred to as the Overview Effect. Space for Humanity Executive Director, Rachel Lyons, discusses how this view could be the post important perspective of our time, and is becoming accessible to more than just professional astronauts and the ultra-wealthy.

spaceforhumanity.org #tedxstgeorge #tedxtalk

Rachel Lyons is a key advocate of the space movement. She is Executive Director of Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization which aims to use the spaceflight experience as a way to expand our perspective on Earth. Under her leadership, Space For Humanity has received public support from some of the space industry’s most prominent and influential leaders including Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, NASA astronauts and other industry leaders.

Ultimately, Lyons believes that if we, as individuals, take on a grander perspective, we can contribute to greater societal change. She works to expand her perspective every day through leadership training, spending time in nature, learning about space, movement and dance. It is her wish that people from all over the world understand we are part of something much greater and in turn use that perspective to treat each other and our planet with deeper respect. https://spaceforhumanity.org/ This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Trump Coup Exposed: Midnight Military Meeting Led Trump To Jan. 6 Rally, Navarro Plot


Jul 14, 2022

The 7th Jan. 6th hearing unleashed new details on the shady, ‘off the books” meeting with Trump and controversial figures Sidney Powell and the CEO of Overstock which reportedly centered on the extreme plot to order the military to help steal the election. In Pat Cipollone’s testimony he claimed to not understand how they got into the White House, asking immediately ‘Who are you?’ when entering to break up the meeting. As The Beat previously reported, an aide of Peter Navarro allegedly let in these plotters who were not cleared to be in the White House. Navarro, the normally loud Trump warrior, told Ari Melber he had “no comment on that” meeting.

Weapons Industry Gets A 450,000% Return On Investment After Paying Off Politicians


Jul 17, 2022

According to a new report by Public Citizen, the weapons industry is poised to make a 450,000% return on their investment after showering lawmakers with a modest payoff of $10 million. The defense industry gets a new windfall from Congress every single year in our ever-increasing military budget, and we are likely just a few years away from sending them $1 trillion every year. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

US COVID Cases Climb as Regulator Approves New Vaccine


Jul 17, 2022

Biden administration renews calls for jabs and boosters

German Museum Handed Over Two Benin Bronzes to the Nigerian Government – Lai Mohammed


Jul 17, 2022

German Museum Handed Over Two Benin Bronzes to the Nigerian Government – Lai Mohammed

Africa’s Struggle for Its Art: History of a Postcolonial Defeat: , Bén édicte Savoy, Susanne: Meyer-Abich

A major new history of how African nations, starting in the 1960s, sought to reclaim the art looted by Western colonial powers

For decades, African nations have fought for the return of countless works of art stolen during the colonial era and placed in Western museums. In Africa’s Struggle for Its Art, Bénédicte Savoy brings to light this largely unknown but deeply important history. One of the world’s foremost experts on restitution and cultural heritage, Savoy investigates extensive, previously unpublished sources to reveal that the roots of the struggle extend much further back than prominent recent debates indicate, and that these efforts were covered up by myriad opponents.

Shortly after 1960, when eighteen former colonies in Africa gained independence, a movement to pursue repatriation was spearheaded by African intellectual and political classes. Savoy looks at pivotal events, including the watershed speech delivered at the UN General Assembly by Zaire’s president, Mobutu Sese Seko, which started the debate regarding restitution of colonial-era assets and resulted in the first UN resolution on the subject. She examines how German museums tried to withhold information about their inventory and how the British Parliament failed to pass a proposed amendment to the British Museum Act, which protected the country’s collections. Savoy concludes in the mid-1980s, when African nations enacted the first laws focusing on the protection of their cultural heritage.

Making the case for why restitution is essential to any future relationship between African countries and the West, Africa’s Struggle for Its Art will shape conversations around these crucial issues for years to come.

Review

“[This] revelatory new book charts the course of an all-but-forgotten movement. . . . . [Savoy’s] investigation yields a riveting scholarly whodunnit that doubles as a timely warning.”—Julian Lucas, New Yorker

“A fascinating account of lies and disinformation from European institutions in the debate against restitution. . . . Savoy’s deeply researched book marks a shift in tone from the many articles written recently on the African restitution debate . . . that erase African voices, focusing instead on the efforts of European intellectuals.”—Nosmot Gbadamosi, Foreign Policy

“A closely observed look at the resistance of European museums to repatriate artwork looted from Africa during the colonial era. . . . A thoughtful study in the ethics of art collection.” ― Kirkus Reviews

“An incisive and eye-opening history of the first restitution debates that developed from the mid-1960s through to the mid-80s.”—J.J Charlesworth, Art Review

[Africa’s Struggle for Its Art] reveal[s] a vital understanding of the global story of struggles for African heritage restitution and its historical defeat. . . . [The] book serves as a warning that we have been here before and that last time we lost the battle. But it also serves as a kind of arsenal, to not fall for previous tricks, to expose old lies and to build upon what was already built by so many African and allies over decades.

“—Molemo Molloa, Africa is a Country

“Africa’s Struggle for Its Art usefully charts the prequel to current campaigns pressuring for the return of colonial plunder. . . . This is a history that few of us know.”—David D’Arcy, The Arts Fuse

“An incisive perspective.”—Tobias Carroll, Inside Hook

Review

“Impressive, well-researched, and beautifully written, Africa’s Struggle for Its Art looks at the long march for the return of artistic treasures to the African continent. This is an instant classic, a masterpiece. There is clearly a need to understand the history of Africa’s demand for the repatriation of its art, and that need is fully satisfied here.”―Souleymane Bachir Diagne, author of African Art as Philosophy

“A prequel to present debates on restitution, Africa’s Struggle for Its Art deftly details the tenacity of Africans who demanded the return of cultural property and the persistence of European arguments against it. Bénédicte Savoy’s text is not only a history, but also a forceful directive to Europe to finish the project of repatriation. This is a must-read for anyone who takes seriously the urgency of returning Africa’s stolen patrimony.”―Steven Nelson, dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

“The current debate about the fate of African art looted by Europeans is not as new as it may seem. In this book, Bénédicte Savoy masterfully combines powerful historical and material sources to show its origins and long history of reluctance, and the accompanying story of a troubling debate failing to become action.”―Ittai Weinryb, author of The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages

“Bénédicte Savoy adds a new and unexpected perspective to the current restitution debate. She reminds us that the quest for the return of African cultural objects goes back much farther than commonly purported and that decades-old arguments for restitution, similar to ones made today, were repeatedly stifled.”―Barbara Plankensteiner, director of the Museum am Rothenbaum–World Cultures and Arts (MARKK) Hamburg

About the Author

Bénédicte Savoy is professor in the Department of Art History at the Technical University of Berlin and was professor at the Collège de France in Paris from 2016 to 2021. She is the coeditor of Translocations: Histories of Dislocated Cultural Assets; Acquiring Cultures: Histories of World Art on Western Markets; and The Museum Is Open: Towards a Transnational History of Museums. She is the author (with Felwine Sarr) of The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics, known as the Sarr-Savoy Report. She lives in Berlin.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Princeton University Press (April 5, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0691234736
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0691234731
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches

NEH ‘Ajami Project

Context and Background

ʿAjamī is the Arabic term for non-Arabic, or foreign, and refers to non-Arabic languages that are written in the Arabic script. While it is common knowledge that languages such as Urdu and Persian are written in the Arabic script (and thus qualify as ʿAjamī), it is much less well known that numerous African languages also have ʿAjamī traditions—ones that often exist alongside the European-introduced Latin script.

A particularly rich tradition of ʿAjamī literatures lies in the Sahel, an area of West Africa that has come into focus with the rise of groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, and AQIM (Al-qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) in Mali. Recent events in Niger and elsewhere in the region have signaled the urgency of developing a more nuanced understanding of this increasingly important world region. The ʿAjamī literatures of the Sahel have much to offer in this respect, providing a window into the history and lived experience of peoples in this region. This history has generally been available to us only through a European lens—whether in European languages or African languages written in the Latin script.

This project aims to advance the understanding of ʿAjamī in sub-Saharan Africa through comparative examination of four major West African languages: Hausa, Mandinka, Fula and Wolof. It brings together a multi-disciplinary team of experts working on different languages and contexts to achieve two interlinked goals: 1) to show the importance of ʿAjamī by building collections and analyzing representative manuscripts, and 2) to conduct interpretive humanities research that will open up a sustained examination of the ʿAjamī phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa. Through these two research trajectories, as well as our collection and analysis of ʿAjami texts, we expect to contribute to the understanding of literacy, showing its multiple forms, degrees, and custodians – thereby going considerably beyond the understanding of literacy that Goody and others initiated some 50 years ago. The collections, analysis and research findings will be brought together in digital galleries prepared by the digital humanities team at Boston University’s Geddes Language Center, and will be made available to the public, students, teachers and scholars of Africa and Islam. Selected manuscripts in each of the four languages will also be published in peer-reviewed journals.

While there have been studies of particular African ʿAjamī literatures, this project will be the first to take a comparative approach, looking at the ʿAjamī phenomenon across a number of languages. The four languages are spoken by large populations stretching across West Africa. Each has played an important role in the spread of literacy and in the dissemination of the diverse and tolerant strains of Islam that have characterized West Africa for the last millennium.

Our aim is to raise the visibility and salience of ʿAjamī by making significant textual materials available to the scholarly community and the wider public and to encourage future study of these rich sources of new information on Muslim West Africa. We will explore the role of ʿAjamī in the extension of literacy and the spread of Islam by analyzing texts in the four languages, all of which have significant literary traditions in ʿAjamī, dating back several centuries.

The project team will digitize, transcribe, translate and prepare multimedia instructional resources of selected ʿAjamī materials from the four languages. We will publish annotated versions of the selected texts, which will appear in Arabic and Latin scripts, with English and French translations. These will be made available to the widest possible audience through open-access online web galleries.

Project Updates

Project Leadership

Project Contributors

* * *

[See related West African material:]

with maps

Senegal-river-entrance.and images:

Senegal-Geneoa

and photographic records

Ecole-Indigene