African Commemorative Cloth: A Series

Welcome to my collection of commemorative African printed textiles. I love them not just because of their colors or designs, or because of the history they bring to life, but also because they represent a true multicultural tradition, by which African communities mixed, chose, and formed objects drawing on Asian and European traditions, creating something unique, practical, and beautiful.

The Measurement of a “World in Turmoil” : Background to a Terrible Idea.

Flashing Lights: a screenshot of impending doom or liberation? ("Foreign Policy"/John Beieler/Google Maps/CartoDB)

A new video making the rounds purports to show every protest in the world since 1979, and draws conclusions that we are living in a “world of turmoil”. Not only is it built on bad data, it returns to the original sin of “statistical” social science : that human society does not appear with numbers attached to it.

Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island

Front Street, Stapleton

My photos from New Brighton, Tompkinsville, St. George, Clifton, Stapleton on the morning after Sandy. The South Shore of Staten Island — far from me — had extensive housing in the storm surge zone, and reports from there are describing devastation and death on a much greater scale than here.

Nice to CC

Image by Tomathon via Flickr In reading about the worrying and hopefully shortlived chaos attending the results of the Cote d’Ivoire elections, I was pleasantly surprised to see a photo of mine used for Radio France International’s article on Ivorian…

What the World Bank Means by Democracy

World Bank Logo

Foreign entities such as the World Bank push for continuity of authoritarian central governments with the imprimatur of newly elected heads of state. This has obvious advantages for Africa’s leaders. It does not, though, look much like democracy. And we cannot be surprised when the outcomes are not very democratic.

Open Letter to the BBC

Image via Wikipedia To the editors of the BBC, Your appalling “Muslim Brotherhood expands westward” by Magdi Abdelhadi  seems entirely based on two writers who have no academic qualifications or credibility and one of whom has a long history of…