Category Archives: Africa

Egyptian sumo wrestler bests a grand champion. Twice. While fasting for Ramadan.

My regular readers know that I’m a fan of sumo, and am especially interested in the globalization of the sport. The top three rikishi (wrestlers) in Japanese sumo are from Mongolia, and top ranks of the sport have recently featured … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 4 Comments

Summer Reading: Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One

Much of my summer reading centers on the idea of civics outside of the conventional bounds of the state. I’m interested in understanding reasons why individuals and groups grow frustrated with traditional state-bound politics, and what forms of civics they … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 2 Comments

“New media, new civics?” and reactions in Policy & Internet

[retweet]This past December, I gave a talk at the Oxford Internet Institute about possible relationships between “new media” and new approaches to participatory civics – I blogged my notes for the talk at the time. The fine folks at OII … Continue reading

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Melodica Music: stepping back in time in downtown Nairobi

I would be sad to return to the pre-internet days of music fandom. I think back to the days of paper fanzines with hazy nostalgia, but in truth, it was pretty wretched to hear about a band you might or … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Media Lab | 1 Comment

Sharp suits, warm beer – Guinness, sapeurs and the seduction of Congolese fashion

A Guinness ad featuring a group of splendidly-dressed men from Congo-Brazzaville, called Le Sapeurs, is making a splash online. The men in the ad (below) are members of Le Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, a group of middle … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 2 Comments

Rest in peace, Teresa Peters

I got an email from an old friend today, the sort of mass email we send our friends and colleagues to update each other on our lives and goings on. I didn’t make it past the first line, because he … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Personal | 3 Comments

Ta-Nehesi Coates and Hendrik Hertzberg at MIT on opinion journalism

Tom Levenson introduces Ta-Nehesi Coates and Hendrik Hertzberg , who are in conversation tonight at MIT’s Stata Center on the topic of opinion journalism. The event is hosted by CMS/W, MIT’s Comparative Media Studies and Writing department, where Coates is … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 5 Comments

Citizen science versus NIMBY?

There are ten graduate students associated with the Center for Civic Media, half a dozen staff and a terrific set of MIT professors who mentor, coach, advise and lead research. But much of the work that’s most exciting at our … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 13 Comments

What comes after election monitoring? Citizen monitoring of infrastructure.

I spent last week in Senegal at a board meeting for Open Society Foundation, meeting organizations the foundation supports around the continent. Two projects in particular stuck in my mind. One is Y’en a Marre (“Fed Up”), a Senegalese activist … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, ICT4D, ideas, Media Lab | 12 Comments

Y’en a Marre – music and mobilization in Senegal

I’m in Dakar, Senegal this week for a meeting of Open Society Foundation’s Global Board, along with the boards of our four African foundations (East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa). The formal meetings begin today, but for the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 2 Comments