More than half of the one billion Africans will be living in an urban environment in 2025. Like all around the world, these African cities have issues to resolve around garbage disposal, a lack of housing and the use of the public space. How could Africa cope with this? The Afrika Museum
and African Architecture Matters
asked African architects and designers to make a blueprint of Africa's future. I was one of the jury members for this competition, presided by Ghanaian architect Joe Addo
, along with Ghanaian architect and writer Lesley Lokko
and Malian filmmaker Manthia Diawara
. The best designs wil be shown starting April 1st in the Blueprints of Paradise
exposition. My book on urban life in Africa, Gin-tonic & Cholera
is also part of the exhibition. The Mobile Expo
, designed by Equipe Amsterdam
shows material I gathered in the African cities I lived in: Luanda, Bukavu, Ibadan, Jinja, Maputo en Bobo-Dioulasso.
Blueprints of Paradise, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, April 1 - October 31
'What African area are you exploring these days?' I was asked in a recent e-mail. My answer: 'The exotic Dutch town of Den Helder...' The last month I've been working on my first radio documentary, partly staged in that seaside town in North-Holland. It is not a entirely out of touch with the rest of my work though, because indirectly the subject is African. In The Invisible Son
Somaly mother Zahra tells how she tries to keep her son on the straight and narrow path. This documentary for VPRO's Holland Doc is my first radio production ever. Curious? It will be broadcasted this Sunday on Radio 1, and after that you can check it out on the Holland Doc website.
Sunday evening March 27 9 PM on Radio 1: De onzichtbare zoon (Dutch spoken)
She lacks money for an attorney, so Congolese Gorette Mawazu tries to assert her rights to her illegally occupied piece of land herself. For 15 years the Congolese justice system has been sending her from pillar to post. In the film Kafka in Congo
Mwazu's case tells in a nutshell what's wrong in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In her own words: 'There is no justice in Congo.' This Sunday the Movies that Matter Festival screens this documentary, after which I'll lead a debate about democracy and justice in the Central African country. Eventually Mawazu manages to get a state appointed lawyer. But in order to entitled to be represented by one, she has to pay 300 $ for a 'poverty certificate'.
Sunday March 27, 13.00, Movies that Matter, Filmhuis Den Haag zaal 6, English spoken