Death Of A Native Son

We must dare to invent the future. Thomas Sankara [2007a, 141-144] On the night of October 15, 1987, in a cemetery on the outskirts of the city of Ouagadougo, a group of soldiers arrive by truck, and begin frantically digging

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Death Of A Native Son

We must dare to invent the future. Thomas Sankara [2007a, 141-144] On the night of October 15, 1987, in a cemetery on the outskirts of the city of Ouagadougo, a group of soldiers arrive by truck, and begin frantically digging

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The Many Uses Of Thomas Sankara

What has achieved on October 21, 2014, was no small miracle, and undoubtably the result of decades of determined, courageous and inspiring dissent and resistance by the people of Burkina Faso against the regime of Blaise Campaoré. This uprising was

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The Many Uses Of Thomas Sankara

What has achieved on October 21, 2014, was no small miracle, and undoubtably the result of decades of determined, courageous and inspiring dissent and resistance by the people of Burkina Faso against the regime of Blaise Campaoré. This uprising was

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A Revolution Or A Revolving Door?

In November 2015, months after the ouster of Blaise Campaoré, the people of Burkina Faso elected Roch Marc Christian Kaboré as President. And whereas mainstream international and local media hailed the success as a result of a ‘people’s uprising’, led

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A Revolution Or A Revolving Door?

In November 2015, months after the ouster of Blaise Campaoré, the people of Burkina Faso elected Roch Marc Christian Kaboré as President. And whereas mainstream international and local media hailed the success as a result of a ‘people’s uprising’, led

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Imperialism Is In The Food You Eat

’Where is imperialism?’Look at your plates when you eat. These imported grains of rice, corn, and millet – that is imperialism. Thomas Sankara “He would come on a bicycle. You could see him cycling down the main street, dressed in

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Imperialism Is In The Food You Eat

’Where is imperialism?’Look at your plates when you eat. These imported grains of rice, corn, and millet – that is imperialism. Thomas Sankara “He would come on a bicycle. You could see him cycling down the main street, dressed in

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Brukinabé Rasta And The Living Spirit Of Struggle

The music is blaring over the radio station sound system when I arrive. Reggae. Alpha Blondy. The song–“Coco de Rasta”.  When I meet Jamal, as he prepare for his 2-hour DJ set, he is sporting a jean jacket with an

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Brukinabé Rasta And The Living Spirit Of Struggle

The music is blaring over the radio station sound system when I arrive. Reggae. Alpha Blondy. The song–“Coco de Rasta”.  When I meet Jamal, as he prepare for his 2-hour DJ set, he is sporting a jean jacket with an

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An Odyssey Towards Respect–Art Melody’s Search For Freedom

Art Melody asks that we meet on his small plot of vegetable farm land on the outskirts of Ouagadougou. “It is where I go to do my writing.” He tells me in his gruff voice. “Where I feel most free.”

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An Odyssey Towards Respect–Art Melody’s Search For Freedom

Art Melody asks that we meet on his small plot of vegetable farm land on the outskirts of Ouagadougou. “It is where I go to do my writing.” He tells me in his gruff voice. “Where I feel most free.”

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An Incomplete Triump

“Don’t shoot, you cannot kill ideas!” Surrendering Cuban revolutionary, after the failed attack against the Moncada garrison, Cuba. Within hours of Thomas Sankara’s assassination, the French government sent messages of congratulations to the coup leadership. But the job was not

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An Incomplete Triump

“Don’t shoot, you cannot kill ideas!” Surrendering Cuban revolutionary, after the failed attack against the Moncada garrison, Cuba. Within hours of Thomas Sankara’s assassination, the French government sent messages of congratulations to the coup leadership. But the job was not

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An Indomitable Faith From The Most Inhospitable Space

“My father was a hero of the revolution that bought Thomas Sankara to power.” Ousmane gingerly hands me his father’s commemorative medal, given to him by Thomas Sankara himself, in recognition of his contribution to the struggle. “I am proud

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An Indomitable Faith From The Most Inhospitable Space

“My father was a hero of the revolution that bought Thomas Sankara to power.” Ousmane gingerly hands me his father’s commemorative medal, given to him by Thomas Sankara himself, in recognition of his contribution to the struggle. “I am proud

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Norbert Zongo’s Death And The Roots Of An Uprising

We end up talking about Norbert Zongo. It seems that you cannot meet with a local investigative journalist in Ouagadougou without the conversation turning towards Zongo–him as an example, and his assassination as a turning point in Burkina Faso history.

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Norbert Zongo’s Death And The Roots Of An Uprising

We end up talking about Norbert Zongo. It seems that you cannot meet with a local investigative journalist in Ouagadougou without the conversation turning towards Zongo–him as an example, and his assassination as a turning point in Burkina Faso history.

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Is It About Revolution Or Reform?

“Our organisational structure is very simple.” Kambou pulls out a piece of paper and a pencil from his bag and begins to draw. “We have a national committee here in Ouagadougou,” he looks up at me. “This is the offices,

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Is It About Revolution Or Reform?

“Our organisational structure is very simple.” Kambou pulls out a piece of paper and a pencil from his bag and begins to draw. “We have a national committee here in Ouagadougou,” he looks up at me. “This is the offices,

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The West African Rap Revolution Network

“I am a poet first, a talker second.” Hamidou protests. He wants to sing for me, but I have to persuade him to let me interview him before he does. I explain that I want to get to know him

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The West African Rap Revolution Network

“I am a poet first, a talker second.” Hamidou protests. He wants to sing for me, but I have to persuade him to let me interview him before he does. I explain that I want to get to know him

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Cinema As An Act Of Resistance

On 16 December 1998, around 20,000 people accompanied Norbert Zongo to his final resting place in Ouagadougou. The funeral cortege was over 10 kilometers long. “We left the mortuary at 10AM and we arrived at 4PM at the cemetery”, remembered

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Cinema As An Act Of Resistance

On 16 December 1998, around 20,000 people accompanied Norbert Zongo to his final resting place in Ouagadougou. The funeral cortege was over 10 kilometers long. “We left the mortuary at 10AM and we arrived at 4PM at the cemetery”, remembered

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Street Art And Activism

We have arranged to meet at 11 am, but it takes us longer than expected to find Guigma Osman’s studio. Popularly known as Manoos, Guigma became famous during the uprising because of his cryptic and critical graffiti works that clandestinely

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Street Art And Activism

We have arranged to meet at 11 am, but it takes us longer than expected to find Guigma Osman’s studio. Popularly known as Manoos, Guigma became famous during the uprising because of his cryptic and critical graffiti works that clandestinely

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Reggae Prophets And Revolution

I am a Rastaman from a fairyland They steal and empty the safes In absolute impunity Their children show off money in bars and wash their shoes with champagne Rasta from a country where everything is fine They build roads,

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Reggae Prophets And Revolution

I am a Rastaman from a fairyland They steal and empty the safes In absolute impunity Their children show off money in bars and wash their shoes with champagne Rasta from a country where everything is fine They build roads,

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Reimagining Society

“This is a somewhat troublesome man, [this] Thomas Sankara.” Francois Mitterrand, 1986 Fanon had warned that bourgeois anti-colonial nationalism was really only aimed at capturing the structures of colonialism for its own benefit. He had argued that the goal of

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Reimagining Society

“This is a somewhat troublesome man, [this] Thomas Sankara.” Francois Mitterrand, 1986 Fanon had warned that bourgeois anti-colonial nationalism was really only aimed at capturing the structures of colonialism for its own benefit. He had argued that the goal of

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