Kanye West - Blood On The Leaves
"I’m 36 years old and I have 21 Grammys. That’s the most Grammys of any 36-year-old. Out of all of those 21 Grammys, I’ve never won a Grammy against a white artist. … So when the Grammys nominations come out, and ‘Yeezus’ is the top one or two album on every single list, but only gets two nominations from the Grammys, what are they trying to say? Do they think that I wouldn’t notice? Do they think that, someway, that I don’t have the power to completely diminish all of their credibility at this moment?” -Kanye West (source HuffPost)
One of my favourite articles of 2013 was Sarah Kendzior’s ”In defence of complaining" on Al Jezeera online.
I loved it because Kendzior perfectly set out how the traffickers of optimism operate (intentionally or not) in concert with the status quo. When people pointing out problems are told to “lighten up, suck it up, chin up, buck up”, Kendzior points out, they are being told —
"In other words: shut up."
hello I have been meaning to do my list of the writers of colour thing but here’s one they prepared earlier—-
Reading List: Books Released by African Authors in 2013
A. Igoni Barrett, ‘Love is Power, or Something Like That’
- A powerful short story collection from the author of ‘From Caves of Rotting Teeth’, Nigerian writer Igoni is also something of a literary activist, pioneering a 6-week reading tour by prominent African writers across 4 cities; and founder of the Book Jam reading series. Read more of his work on Guernica and AGNI.
NoViolet Bulawayo, ‘We Need New Names’
- Zimbabwean writer Bulawayo won the Caine Prize in 2011 for her story ‘Hitting Budapest’. She recently spoke at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York where she said “I write from my blood’. This is her debut novel.
Mukoma wa Ngugi, ‘Black Star Nairobi’
- The name gives it away: the Kenyan author - who splits his time between Kenya and the US - is the son of African lit giant Ngugi wa Thiong’o. He’s also a professor at Cornell University, and his first novel, ‘Nairobi Heat’, is being made into a film
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, ‘Americanah’
- Known worldwide for her speeches as well as her books, ‘Americanah’ is the Nigerian author’s third novel. The film adaptation of her bestseller’Half of a Yellow Sun’ (2006) starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor is due to be released later this year. Adichie is the founder of the Farafina Writers Workshop which is currently accepting applications.
Taiye Selasi, ‘Ghana Must Go’
- With endorsements by the likes of Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison, Selasi is quickly establishing herself as a voice to look out for. Her linguistically experimental novel follows a family dealing with love, life-building and the pains of migration. She’s also known for penning the so-called Afropolitan manifesto ‘Bye-Bye Barbar (Or: What is an Afropolitan?)
'There is a Country: Fiction from South Sudan'
- This anthology of eight stories from the world’s newest nation South Sudan is published by McSweeney’s and treats themes of war, migration and displacement as well as love, described as ‘a fresh and necessary account of an emerging nation, past and present’.
Alain Mabanckou, ‘Tomorrow I Will be Twenty Years Old’
- This is Congolese novelist, poet and journalist Mabanckou’s newest novel, based loosely on his childhood in Congo. It follows 10 year old Michel, his dreams and dramas with his 12yr old girlfriend Caroline all set against the ‘big’ geopolitical issues of the day. He’s the author of ‘African Psycho’ and 9 other novels.
Aminatta Forna, ‘The Hired Man’
- Forna is an author and documentary-maker of Sierra-Leonean and Scottish/British heritage. She’s the author of ‘The Memory of Love’ (2010) and her memoir ‘The Devil that Danced on the Water’ (2003) explored the conspiracy surrounding her father’s death by the Sierra Leonean government. Her new novel ‘The Hired Man’ is set in Croatia and looks at the ‘ethnic cleansing’ which followed the dismantling of the former Yugoslavia. It’s been praised by critics.
“ Why don’t we stop telling other women what they should do and instead, simply share with other women what we do ourselves?”
“ Talking about whether Beyoncé is a feminist or not is nowhere near as important as finding ways to lift disadvantaged women out of poverty and violence”
At the press conference, Ms. Woodard tried to ensure that the younger woman next to her [Lupita Nyong’o, 30] got a chance to address the media mainly interested in actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
"This is a great launch for her. She’s not only very gifted as an actor but she’s very intelligent as a woman and she’s very beautiful and she’s very African — however, she’s African," she said later in a hotel suite where she was doing interviews.
"If she was Caucasian, we know she’d be set," much like a Jennifer Lawrence or Carey Mulligan. She would be working until she didn’t want to work anymore and offered scripts for different kinds of roles to allow her to keep unfolding as an artist, she suggested.
"But that has not been the case with women who are, first of all, brown, whether they are brown Latinas, brown and dark brown African-Americans. Yes, there’s Jennifer Lopez, yes there’s Halle [Berry] but they have a European look that the people that green-light and give money and fund things have felt, ‘Oh that’s palatable to the American public.’
"So, it hasn’t happened for generations for all of us coming through when we had the big moment," she said, which is why she has toggled among TV, film and, occasionally, stage.
It will be telling if Ms. Nyong’o is consigned to peripheral or supporting roles. “We’ve been talking about it for years, but we’ll be face to face with it and unable to deny it when she’s as talented, as beautiful and as dark brown as she is. So we’ll see.”
This comes close to describing a very consistent and troubling feeling I identified last year after I moved to Indonesia but have not yet been to properly explain.
The catch is that I don’t know what my home country is. Sri Lanka will never feel like home even though I was born there; and Australia will never be so either even though I grew up there and carry its passport.
I started thinking about this whole thing when I realised I feel more at home in Jakarta than I ever had previously felt in my whole life. Cray.