Niger: The Beauty Contest

The Wodaabe of Niger has fascinated Western media for years! They are a nomadic culture, but periodically, they gather from kilometres apart for the amazing and eventful gathering that is the Gerewol. The Gerewol is a beauty contest for the young and eligible Wodaabe men, who compete for the prestige and the female affections that…

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Mauritania: The Art of Henna

The tradition of Henna Art is alive and well in Mauritania. To us that don’t understand, it just looks nice. But did you know that there are symbolic meanings ascribed to the art? There are symbols for love, beauty, protection, health, etc. Hennas are traditionally done in elaborate ceremonies, depending on the reason for the…

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Guinea: Namsa’s Art of Deconstruction

Guinean-Helvetian photographer, Namsa Leuba, takes inspiration from her native land of Guinea in her photography series Ya Kala Ben. Here, she examines the cultures, traditions and rituals of Guinea that may seem ‘weird’ to the West. She photographs ceremonies, exorcism practices and local acrobats in which their performances require physical contortions into unique and bone…

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DRC: War Witch

War Witch is the critically acclaimed movie by Director, Kim Nguyen. The film is set in Sub-Saharan Africa, but even though there is no mention of which country the story takes place in, the whole thing was actually shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). War Witch has garnered quite a number of awards…

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Congo: The Fire of Origins

Congolese author, Emmanuel Dongala, should be in any list of acclaimed African authors. He Grew up in Congo, but left for a western education in the US and France to get, amazingly, a degree in Chemistry. Even now, he lives in the US and teaches a natural science course in a college. His work as…

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Burundi: Oh, We’ve Moved to Burundi

Burundi is not a country you hear about often. In fact, some people would tell you that indigenes actually dissuade tourism and celebrations of culture. But it really is not surprising because the country has been through so much in recent years; they have been rated as one of the poorest countries in the world…

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