Imagine Africa: Volume 3 by Bhakti ShringarpureImagine Africa: Volume 3 by Bhakti Shringarpure

Imagine Africa: Volume 3

EditorBhakti ShringarpureContribution byZanele Muholi, Abdourahmane Waberi

Paperback | June 6, 2017

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Through a collage of poems, essays, fiction, conversations, and visual art, Imagine Africa: Volume Three brings together some of the most essential writers, artists, and thinkers of contemporary Africa. Including powerful photographs in color by Zanele Muholi, stills from the films of Jean-Pierre Bekolo, and works of fiction and poetry from nine languages, Imagine Africa: Volume Three offers a glimpse into a kaleidoscopic and vibrant continent.

The series is published by Island Position, the literary imprint of the Pirogue Collective - the cultural expression of Senegal's Gorée Institute, which aims to celebrate the diverse voices and imaginations of the continent of Africa and its diaspora. The collective encourages vital dialogue between writers and visual artists from across Africa with those from other parts of the world.

Spanning across numerous languages, traditions, and media, Imagine Africa: Volume Three brings together some of the most essential voices and visions of Africa today.

Contributors include:

   • Hassan Hajjaj
   • Reesom Haile
   • Chika Unigwe
   • Isaac O. Delano
   • Kerry Bystrom
   • Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa
   • Breyten Breytenbach
   • Hassan Ghedi Santur
   • Alfred Schaffer
   • Sanmao
   • Tarek Eltayeb
   • Diekoye Oyeyinka
   • Jean-Pierre Bekolo
   • Kenneth Harrow

Translators include:

   • Nicole Ball
   • David Ball
   • Charles Cantalupo
   • Akin Adesokan
   • David Brookshaw
   • Kai Krienke
   • Sara C. Hanaburgh
   • Michelle Hutchinson
   • Mike Fu
   • Kareem James Abu-Zeid
   • Bhakti Shringarpure
   • Abdourahmane Waberi
   • Zanele Muholi
   • Jean Senac
   • Emmanuel Dongala
Fiction by Abdourahmane Waberi, Chika Unigwe, Isaac O. Delano, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, Emmanuel Dongala, Hassan Ghedi Santur, Sanmao, and Diekoye Oyeyinka. Poetry by Reesom Haile, Jean Sénac, Alfred Schaffer, Breyten Breytenbach, and Tarek Eltayeb. Photography by Hassan Hajjaj and Zanele Muholi, with an essay by Kerry Bystrom. A conversa...
Title:Imagine Africa: Volume 3Format:PaperbackDimensions:168 pages, 6 × 7.7 × 0.4 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:091467174X

ISBN - 13:9780914671749

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Read from the Book

Abdourahman Waberi Translated from the French by david and nicole ball The Divine Song an excerpt lily williams, Sammy’s grandmother, was lucky enough to have known his great-great-grandmother, who was born in Africa. She was a very beautiful woman. Tall, with her skin the color of night. She came into the world in the court of a great king. The old woman told the children that all the Blacks bought by the Whites did not become slaves. At the time, in this royal court, lit by six torches dipped in okoumé resin, salt was a precious product; her grandfather was in charge of lighting. She said that life was pleasant before the arrival of the soul-eaters. But little by little, all joy was extinguished. As soon as night fell, the villages were deserted. The soul-eaters would go out on the prowl, preceded by hyenas, jackals and vultures. All the Blacks did not become slaves, the old woman repeated for our innocent ears. Often captives would disappear during the voyage, definitively escaping from slavery. Vanished into thin air. They had special ways and fetishes that assured their access to the unknown by taking steep, dangerous paths. Growing up with my African parents was an incredible piece of luck, she would whisper, for from an early age, I had the opportunity to listen to many stories. In those days, said the old lady named Adelina, to be a good person you had to acquire supernatural powers in yout early adolescence. It was the duty of the grandparents to see their grandchildren reach adolescence before they could transmit to them the secrets surrounding the preparation of magic potions. Making fetishes and relics was practiced away from the visible world, in the depths of the forest. And the Blacks of the Coast who were the Whites’ allies were extremely interested in supernatural powers. It made their mouth water. Attracted by the smell of blood, they threw themselves into the search for fetishes, walking back and forth over the deepest reaches of the land, killing everything in their path. But the men of the forest were adept at using the cutlass. Nothing could resist them, not even an assault by a herd of water-buffalo. If by chance they were captured by the courtiers of the coast, tied up and ready to be delivered to the Whites, all the men of the forest needed was a password for their bonds to be sundered immediately. They fled. Once, twice, ten times. But unfortunately for them, the men of the forest could not all get very far because the Whites would kill them with their long rifles. Others would panic and say to themselves: “We must stay calm because the stick in the hands of the White man can kill an elephant.” This, said my grandmother’s grandmother, named Adelina in honor of a Spanish nun, is how they carried off the men of the forest, defeated by the fetishes of the Whites. The ones who fled would plunge deep into the forest, hiding in the Mbelet and Mamfumbi mountains, searching for new fetishes. The results did not always measure up. My grandmother Adelina’s grandmother had heard that the powers of some fetish-makers would only awake on moonless nights. The Whites would hear the far-off growls of the panther that protected the Ouidah court and at the exact same time, the carcass of a slave would begin to jerk around at the bottom of the hold. Frightened, the Whites said to themselves: “Look at him! His eyes are coming out of their sockets. He has the hair of a panther. What can we do? He’s in a trance.” Without delay, the Whites would throw him overboard. On contact with the water, the spirits would free his fleshly envelope and leave. And the slave, or, more exactly, his mortal coil, would die of drowning out at sea. While his ethereal part, eternally renewed, would return to the forest just like that, at the snap of a finger. That is what was told to me by the grandmother of my grandmother named Adelina in honor of a Spanish nun who came to the assistance of the Blacks of Florida. And that’s what I myself told my little Sammy, baptized Sammy in honor of an ancestor whose face was all spotted with red freckles as if he had come out of an inferno. This black redheaded ancestor had known the Spanish nun. His name was Samuel, too. Lilly was not an ordinary woman. She was a born storyteller. And like the teller of the seven truths, she would roll out her esoteric stories while keeping their codes and enigmas to herself. Once the story was over, she would pick up her bundle again, spring to her feet and return to her big stainless steel basins. To her sheets and the rest of the wash, for she fed her children and grandchildren by means of her soapsud-cover wrists. All one could do was wait for the next occasion. On summer evenings, there was no lack of spontaneous festivities. The grounds and backyard of the church were full to bursting. Weddings, baptisms, harvests, the arrival of new people in the neighborhood, any occasion was matter for celebration. Members of the family, neighbors, tenant farmers of surrounding towns, wandering singers, the parishioners and the passing pilgrims would all come together for interminable feasts followed by interminable dances and celebrations. The old woman’s stories were a revelation. Her whole lineage kept a trace of them without knowing it. Lilly was one of those people who could draw a family toward the light, the light of day, to dawns and never to sunsets.

Table of Contents

hassan hajjaj
Portraits 22, 86, 124, 142

abdourahmane waberi
The Divine Song (La Divine Chanson) 1
Translated by david and nicole ball

reesom haile
My Washington Agenda ✣ Bitter and Cold ✣ Adam, You ✣ No Regrets 7
Translated by charles cantalupo

chika unigwe
Heart of Darkness 11

isaac o. delano
The Age of White Rulers (Aiye d’Aiye Oyinbo) 23
Translated by akin adesokan

zanele muholi
“Massa” and Minah 33

kerry bystrom
Essay: Queer(y)ing Domestic Service 39

ungulani ba ka khosa
Ualalapi 44
Translated by david brookshaw

jean sénac
Sketch of a Total Body ✣ The Prince of Aquitaine ✣ The Fig Tree Laurels 59
Translated by kai krienke

emmanuel dongala
Group Photo by the Riverside (Photo de groupe au bord du fleuve) 75
Translated by sara c. hanaburgh

breyten breytenbach
“That Ship Has Flown" ✣ Measures ✣ The Dance of the Stones
The T0-end ✣ The To-dead 87

hassan ghedi santur
Tell Me a Story 103

alfred schaffer
Man Animal Thing 115
Day(Dream) # 5,106 ✣ Shaka’s Brief Flirtation with Romance
‘Self-portrait as 007’✣ Day(Dream) # 1,516 ✣ Day(Dream) # 1,516
Shaka Finally Finds The Love Of His Life
Translated by michelle hutchinson

Desert Dining 123
Translated by mike fu

tarek eltayeb
A Hoopoe ✣ Stars ✣ Birth 131
Translated by kareem james abu-zeid

diekoye oyeyinka
Stillborn 135

jean-pierre bekolo and kenneth harrow
Filmmakers at the frontlines: A conversation 143

Editorial Reviews

"The anthology sings with gorgeous visual imagery [and] rings with cries for freedom... Mention must also be made of the brightness of the translations; how their precision highlights and uplifts the poet's vision... The choice to display translations side by side with the original work subverts the expectations of the English-speaking reader, who is so often unused to seeing other languages displayed equally alongside English. This is a truly international book. A stunning collaborative work, which is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Africa, art, politics, or humans." - Zozi, Cadaverine Magazine (for Imagine Africa: Volume Two)"The Imagine Africa books are brilliant compilations of essays, poems, short stories, and photography." - Brooks Goddard, Boston University"Muholi's work is politically potent, capable of communicating on multiple frequencies simultaneously, confronting the audience's preconceived notions of gender binaries, class, sexuality and race." - Jenna Wortham, The New York Times Magazine