SAFARI NJEMA

November 16, 2019

"Couldn't there be more intercultural exchange OUR way?"

November 13, 2019

Who talks about refugees in Tanzania, and what do they say?

November 10, 2019

#SudanUprising in Copenhagen

June 23, 2019

On 26 June I moderate talks & debate on #SudanUprising in #Copenhagen.

The Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih joins via Skype.

Kindly read Khalid's article a...

Update: Everyday Poetics: Instagramming Life in East Africa in Belgrade

April 26, 2019

PHOTO EXHIBITION: EVERYDAY POETICS - INSTAGRAMMING EAST AFRICA

April 12, 2019

Owl in Tanzanian Parliament - bad omen for freedom of speech and assembly.

January 30, 2019

On 29 January, when the Tanzanian Parliament (Bunge) was assembled in Dodoma, an owl flew in and watched the assembly. The owl is seen in Tanzanian (e...

''We've died''

January 22, 2019

Bikozulu tells the stories of the people making it through last week's terror attack in Nairobi.

See the Instagram post here

If you ask me, and someti...

FILM: Wakamba Forever

January 21, 2019

Colonianism revisited:

..''a hilarious take on Masaku and McMillan’s first encounter set in the 21st century. From a dramatic re-telling of the Kamba o...

Chuchu: ''We are not the audience. We are the story''.

January 20, 2019

Two important tweet threads (see below) which take point of departure in the New York Times coverage of the Riverside terror attack on 15 January 2019...

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DESIGN: Individuality and Collectivity

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am researching material for an article about African fashion and design - and its relation to expressing identity and individuality rooting in a collective culture - and I am again reading this article 'The Curious History of African Prints' - about where African prints came from. Now, I stumbled over this: 


'But there was a problem: The machine-made version of these cloths developed a crackling effect—a series of small lines, dots, and imperfections where the resin cracked and dye seeped through—that didn’t appeal to Indonesian batik purists. In need of a market for the new textiles, the Dutch turned to West Africa. As it turned out, West Africans were actually partial to these imperfections: They appreciated the fact that no two bolts of cloth were identical.'

It is the imperfections which makes us stand out. It takes courage though to pick imperfection over perfection - doesn't it? 
It could also be said in an entirely different way like a journalist once did when he reviewed the South African band eVoid like this:

 

 

'...to flow like the untainted waters of a languishing African river in no hurry to find the ocean, where you will only merge with many other rivers and lose your distinct and evocative individuality'.

 

See also Pinterest here.

 

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PhD Student, MA in African Studies, journalist and former development worker. Heart tilted towards the Balkans & East Africa: Refugees, Peripheries, Imaginaries & Humanitarianism