Africa on the Move!

Friday, 6 October, Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324 Amsterdam, 7:30 p.m.

Africa is a continent on the move! Vibrant, restless, self-willed and confrontational: these descriptions apply not just to politics, but to culture and literature as well. This continent deserves the spotlight! That is why NiZA and Hivos have organised a whirlwind evening featuring many African guests. It comes highly recommended for everyone who has a passion for southern Africa!

Politics in The Hague: the Big Leaders Debate
With the Lower Chamber elections just around the corner, the ‘Africa leaders’ in the world of Dutch politics debate on international cooperation in their election programmes. Natasja van den Berg (author of Praktisch Idealisme – Practical Idealism, a handbook for beginners who want to change the world) questions MPs about their efforts on behalf of Africa, revealing the differences between the parties. The invitees are Bert Koenders (PvdA), Kathleen Ferrier (CDA), Hans van Baalen (VVD) and a representative from GroenLinks. The debate will be conducted in Dutch.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s newsroom
Freedom of the press is a rare commodity in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe holds the state media in an iron grip. The intense censorship leads to strange situations: some journalists twist the domestic news into a pro-Mugabe article for their own newspaper, but send a different version to the international press. This bizarre practice takes centre stage in Mugabe’s Newsroom: three short theatre sketches with commentary by Zimbabwean Violet Gonda from the radio station Short Wave Radio, which has moved to London. This performance will be in English.

Zambia: voice of the people or power of the elite?
Zambia will hold parliamentary and presidential elections at the end of September. However, major shifts in power seem unlikely: the political elite are firmly in control, holding back necessary democratic renewal in the electoral laws and the constitution. It is almost impossible for civil society to make objections, causing a sense of powerlessness. Many people have abandoned all trust in politics. How can foreign (bilateral) donors contribute to the empowerment of Zambian civil society?
Featuring Bishop Paul Mususu from the OASIS Forum in Zambia and Wepke Kingma, director of Sub-Saharan Africa, from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This talk will be conducted in English.

Angola: Business for peace
The Dutch business world is eager to profit from emerging markets in Africa. The extractive industry is big business. But what do foreign companies encounter in a former war zone like Angola? How can they contribute to the fragile peace in that country? Inspired by the fascinating documentary entitled Africa: War is business, we depict the complicated relationship between business and conflict. This presentation will be conducted in Dutch.

HIV/AIDS: women as HIV carriers and volunteer aid workers
In the gripping film The Challenges of Care, we see three portraits of African women who have HIV/AIDS. They carry a heavy burden on their shoulders: besides caring for their own health and dealing with their duties as breadwinner and parent/caretaker, they also take responsibility for caring for HIV/AIDS patients in their own community. After the film, Sjoera Dikkers, director of STOP AIDS NOW, will interview Sisonke Msimang, South African HIV/AIDS expert from Open Society Institute Southern Africa, about the social position of women who have HIV/AIDS. The film and interview are in English.

South Africa: One Woman Show BUM
In the hilarious one-woman show BUM: My Bum Is Genetic. Deal With It, South African performer Napo Masheane presents an ode to the African female behind. She even founds a political party in its support! BUM is a funny, clever show, playing with language, rap poetry and of course body art. This show is in English.

Congo: latest book by Lieve Joris
Experience Congo through the eyes of writer Lieve Joris. She recently travelled through the country, following the Congolese rebel Assani, the main character in her new book Het uur van de rebellen (The hour of the rebels). Lieve Joris thrusts the reader into the life of Assani, whose Tutsi origins carried him into what is sometimes referred to as the first African world war. Assani faced death dozens of times, but he survived, resurfacing after five years of rebellion to take his place in the capital city as an officer in the reunited national Congolese army. Lieve Joris will read excerpts from her new book and discuss her experiences in Congo at length. Hosted by VPRO journalist Djoeke Veeninga, the reading will be followed by a signing session. The author presentation will be conducted in Dutch.

From a widely diverse amalgamation or aanmekaargesit: the book as a binding force
What is a man without a Leader? South African writer Lewis Nkosi talks about Mandela’s Ego. Also featured: a marriage across the border, Zimbabweans Wilf and Trish Mbanga discuss the first presidential couple of Botswana, Seretse and Ruth Khama. Hosted by VPRO journalist Kees Schaepman.
Cultural intermezzo: Napo Masheane and musical theatre Korreltjie, Korreltjie Sand, based on the work of poetess Ingrid Jonker. The show will be conducted in English and Dutch.

On Africa: footnotes to a distorted image
The complex reality of Africa deserves many weighty volumes to encompass it all. A discussion among authors, hosted by journalist John Jansen van Galen, including Conny Braam, Rik Delhaas and Renske de Greef (author of Seks in Afrika – Sex in Africa).
Including cultural intermezzo (see above). The show will be conducted in English and Dutch.

The event will also include: information market offering presentations by NiZA, Hivos, Augustus publishers and Athenaeum booksellers, ending by dancing to the smashing Afrobeat of our DJ.