Sunday, 23 December 2012

Only a white man in Africa is a good story!

We do not care about African music.
We do not give a damn about Africa.
It is only if a white man goes to Africa that we will care.

In the latest issue of Udvikling (Denmarks Global Magasin) published by the Danish Foreign Ministry there is an article about Mzungu Kichaa written by Jan Kjær.

But why suddenly this interest in East African music?
There has been so many opportunities to write articles about African music. Only when a white man plays African music will we like to hear about it. When black men and women play their music, it is NO story at all, but when a white man adapt African music it becomes a GOOD story.

Through reading the article you will discover that the only reason Jan Kjær has come to know about Muzungu Kichaa is from concerts given in white ghetto hang outs in Dar Es Salaam.

So here we go againg; the only story from Africa worth telling is the story about a white man playing African music in the white ghetto. So sad that our interest in African music comes down to simple old school colonialism.


Happy holidays!
White African

Friday, 7 September 2012

Africa light - bright - or right?

Another white african, the photo communicator Pernille Bærentsen has written a review of Afrikablog . She calls it Africa light. They, Afrikablog, claim to do Africa right as opposed to U-landsnyt? We don't really know. Many have worked with development, and we wanted to make Africa bright. To put Africa in the spot light, so we could see Africa. But enlightenment is also a biased perspective. I prefere the darkness. The fuggy dust over the desert. Blurry contours of storytelling. Here is no right and wrong, nor truth or lies. Only billions of stories that will fuck with your analytic worldview. None of the stories seem to make any sense, but they are, what they are – stories, perspectives of life, footsteps of experience, traces and marks – all equally important for crasping the world we live in.
 
In development work we believed that sending volunteers to Africa would make a difference and change our understanding of Africa. A similar idea seem to have influenced Afrikablog. They are planning a reportage travel to Uganda, where they during 8 weeks will produce an issue of the online magasin. The travel is simultaneously a workshop in journalism.

During 10 years I have been on & off in East Africa. First living and working in Uganda, later being back and fourth many times between Denmark or Europa and Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It is not a closed chapter, on the contrary, it is a life long – I will not say commitment, but rather a ritual. Something I do without thinking, as an automatic response. The people I met who understood a little bit of what is going on in Africa were those who either lived in Africa all their lives or kept coming to Africa throughout their lives. There is no other way of understanding a continent, no short cuts to comprehension. The volunteers never really understood anything. They came and for the most parts they never return. The only cultural interaction they had were by having a local sex partner for a while. It is very hard for me to believe why reportage travels arranged by Afrikablog would be very much different. Therefore the destiny of Afrikablog will probably be Africa light, but if you only do it light, why would you do it at all?

On my part I write my simple and humble poetry and feel satisfied enough – to rephrase some of the extraordnary world literature I was so lucky to be able to read under the strong sun of equator. My prayer to you is that you will go to Africa and thereby loose your European worldview so it cannot be restored and continue to go back just to see the people you have come to know. Though be aware that you will feel lost forever having no heritage and doomed to live in diaspora whereever you are, but it is the only answer I can give to challenge our colonial identities.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Memories

Since I first stepped on East African soil I will always miss looking up into the Tanzanian sky with star formations that I will never comprehend, because there is nothing there that remind me of my childhood.

I will always miss the shores of Victoria Lake in Kisumu, in Mwanza, in Entebbe, in Ggaba, in Munyunyo.

I will always miss Nairobi - and I shall never forget how well I was always recieved in Kampala - and so I will always return to my African home.


Happy Easter to all of you.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Wild, insane or alienated?

One evening I am in a surburb of Copenhagen. I have seen an half bad theatre performance with a friend. She is a brillant artist - and a very sweet person whom I am addicted to share thoughts with. We have just seen a play about insanity. So she askes me if I think I am insane. After a few days I know the answer. I am not insane - but I always feel alienated. I never feel that I am part of something. Maybe I have said this many times. I did not understand it before I went to Africa. Africa made me realise many things about myself. I could never have become myself without Africa. I am always outside something, never inside. On that evening after seeing the play I was talking about who to talk to and the many situations of feeling misunderstood or just not understood at all. Maybe this has nothing to do with Africa?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

African Village

If you ever have been in Copenhagen and felt lost because you became homesick then maybe you felt comfort coming to what has been referred to as an african village in Denmark. In that case you might be interested in this book published in English as well as in Danish by the small book publisher "The Poetic Bureau" located in Nørrebro.


The book is a sci-fi novel about Christiania taking place in a future not very far away, where things have become real crazy and corrupt, but if you are already familiar with the present, you might not get so shocked.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The girl I miss

I have a friend who is dedicated to one purpose and making one woman happy. He gets up early in the morning and works all day and comes home 12-15 hours later. Still he has time for the small girl he has put in this world.

I on the contrary am very superficial. I travel across the world and every day I re-event myself. In the morning I wake up and decide to make another woman happy.

Somewhere very far away there is a girl who needs my help, but I cannot find her. She is maybe the only woman I can dedicate myself to. Here we talk so much about biology and blood, but I do not believe in those things. I already made too many mistakes which will torment me into eternity. This is the reason why I keep travelling across the world until I find her.