May 30, 2018

Memories and beauty captured in Africa

Memories and beauty captured in Africa Memory is among the themes featuring at the African Biennale of Photography in Mali's capital, Bamako: Image copyright Athi-Patra Ruga Image caption Miss Azania - Exile is Waiting is the work of South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga, who uses myth and alternative identities "as a contemporary response to the post-apartheid era". Image copyright Fototala King Massassy Image caption The only Malian to be included in the collection, Fototala King Massassy, puts this down to generations of Malian photographers "tending to fall back on tradition". Image copyright Sarah Waiswa Image caption Stranger in a Familiar Land is the work of Uganda's Sarah Waiswa, who says she left a job in the corporate world to follow her passion for "creating visual poetry". Image copyright Girma Berta Image caption "The beautiful, the ugly and all that is in between" are what 27-year-old self-taught photographer Girma Berta says he tries to capture in his work. Im..
May 30, 2018

The street dancers who dream big

The street dancers who dream big Image copyright Olivia Acland Street dancers in Sierra Leone have a bad reputation - they're often branded as thieves and troublemakers. Dance troupe Roughest Bounds does much to challenge this image. The group, made up of 12 members, is determined to make it big, despite social and financial struggles. Image copyright Olivia Acland Slim, 17, has been dancing since he was seven. "When I started dancing at school I realised I had a talent," he says. "People told me I was good and it felt so great to dance and be applauded. I decided I really wanted to pursue this." Image copyright Olivia Acland But the road has not been easy. Slim's father kicked him out of his house, telling him that he couldn't make money dancing in Africa. Now the group stays together in a two-room apartment belonging to their manager, Samuel, who spotted them dancing on the streets last year and decided to support their talent. They share three thin foam mattress..
May 30, 2018

Life after Ebola

Life after Ebola It has been four years since the Ebola virus outbreak in the West African states of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone was first reported. Photographer Hugh Kinsella Cunningham has been back to document the people still living with the legacy of the disease. Image copyright Hugh Kinsella Cunningham The outbreak in 2014 caused more deaths than all the others combined since the virus was discovered in 1976. The virus affected poverty-stricken areas such as Liberia's West Point, where for many, just coping and surviving are everyday victories. West Point is a densely populated township in Monrovia. When the government imposed a curfew and quarantined the area in a bid to halt the deadly outbreak there was unrest and rioting. Image copyright Hugh Kinsella Cunningham Eva Nah's grandson was killed by police while he was protesting at the quarantine. "All he wanted was to play football and become a mechanic," she says. "His father and mother died so I was everythin..
May 30, 2018

Water power: How one pump is helping an entire community

Water power: How one pump is helping an entire community Image copyright Aisha Augie-Kuta / WaterAid Dodging hippos along the Niger river, photographer Aisha Augie-Kuta reached the remote village of Norandé. It is here that she connected with a community that, despite its proximity to the river, faces a daily struggle for clean water. Despite the countries' shared border, what Augie-Kuta saw was a far cry from that back home in Nigeria. With ox carts carrying water from the river through the dry landscape, she says travelling to the region is going back in time compared with her modern home in Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. In Niger, nine out of 10 people do not have a decent toilet and half the population does not have access to safe water. Drinking dirty water from the Niger river exposed people in Norandé to potentially fatal diseases, including cholera and diarrhoea, as well as regular bouts of stomach pain and dermatitis. Recently, a borehole for drinking water was dri..
May 30, 2018

Winnie Mandela memorial

In pictures: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela memorial Thousands of people have attended a memorial service in South Africa to commemorate the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The anti-apartheid campaigner and ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died on 2 April. Image copyright AFP Image caption South Africa's Deputy President David Mabuza told the crowd that Ms Madikizela-Mandela fought "racial domination, class exploitation and gender oppression". Image copyright EPA Image caption The Mandela daughters, Zanani and Zindzi, were in attendance. Opposition politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi said it was remarkable how they had grown up despite being robbed of their parents in childhood. Image copyright AFP Image caption Mourners gave the "Black Power" salute, as speakers recalled how imprisonment and solitary confinement failed to break Ms Madikizela-Mandela. Image copyright REUTERS Image caption Many people were draped in the colours of the African Nationa..
May 30, 2018

BBC journalist Laeïla Adjovi wins Dakar Biennale art prize

BBC journalist Laeïla Adjovi wins Dakar Biennale art prize The BBC's Laeïla Adjovi has won a top prize for contemporary African art with a series of photos on the theme of breaking free. She won the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor Grand Prix at the 13th Dakar Biennale of contemporary African art, along with French photographer and documentary maker Loic Hoquet. Their work is intended to be a response to the way Africa is portrayed in the media. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet The artwork is a series of photos telling the story of a fictional character named Malaïka Dotou Sankofa. She was given an androgynous look with a "drab skimpy suit". This was "to show that not everyone must fit in the costume of western modernity," says Laeïla. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet The series of photos was taken in an old court house. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet "I wanted to give life to a creature that would express the idea that we are still struggling to bring abo..
May 30, 2018

The Gambian village transformed by graffiti

The Gambian village transformed by graffiti In a bid to lure tourists, internationally-renowned graffiti artists were invited to create artworks in a village in The Gambia, writes the BBC's Clare Spencer. Image copyright Clare Spencer The Belgian graffiti artist ROA is known for painting huge murals of animals on multi-storey buildings in large cities, like London, Berlin and Mexico City. But in the village of Galoya, in The Gambia's Kombo Central District, the scale of his work is much smaller. Image copyright Clare Spencer He paints animals native to the location, like the meerkat, above, and pangolin, below. But that is almost all that is known about him. The person who invited him to The Gambia, Lawrence Williams, knows him simply as Peter. "He is very secretive about his identity" said Mr Williams. Image copyright Clare Spencer ROA was one of many artists to come to Galoya and its neighbouring villages from 2011 for a project called Wide Open Walls. It all started w..
May 30, 2018

Anne Soy: Why DR Congo is confident it will halt Ebola

Why DR Congo is confident it will halt Ebola Image copyright AFP Despite its vast size and dilapidated health system, the Democratic Republic of Congo is confident that it will be able to contain the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease, which is thought to have killed 22 people. There has been one case in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of one million. This has led to fears the disease could spread rapidly through the city, as happened in West Africa four years ago, causing more than 11,000 deaths. Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe was among the researchers who first identified Ebola in 1976 in DR Congo, and has been on the teams that have responded to each of the eight subsequent outbreaks in the country. The disease was even named after one of DR Congo's many rivers. "I am confident because I think we have very good experience of this disease and we'll stop this outbreak as soon as possible," he told the BBC. All previous outbreaks in DR Congo have been relatively small...
May 30, 2018

Tara John: How the US and Rwanda have fallen out over clothes

How the US and Rwanda have fallen out over second-hand clothes Image copyright AFP US President Donald Trump's "America First" stance on global trade has hit Rwanda, by imposing tariffs on clothing exports from the tiny East African nation. The issue revolves around an obscure import, second-hand clothes, and Rwanda's refusal to back down from the fight. When did the dispute start?In March 2018, the US gave Rwanda 60 days' notice that it would be suspending the landlocked country from selling clothes to America duty free - a status it enjoys under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Agoa is the flagship US trade legislation designed to boost trade and investment in qualifying African countries by granting duty-free access to 6,500 exported products. "The president's determinations underscore his commitment to enforcing our trade laws and ensuring fairness in our trade relationships," Deputy US Trade Representative CJ Mahoney said at the time. Those 60 d..
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