Monthly Archives: March 2018

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 uniform, arriving to inspect the work.” Salvador Sylvan beams as me tells me this. Sankara’s […]

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.” When I arrive for our scheduled meetings, I see him, and his friends Jacques, ankle […]

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, bridges, schools that stand for just 2 months and fall apart In the meantime our […]

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 only the latest of a number of attempts the people of the country have made […]

They Called Them ‘Riots’, And The People ‘Rioters’

There have been outbreaks of violence against Mr. Compaoré at least six other times since 1999, most recently in 2011, with government buildings defaced and protesters taking to the streets. Mr. Compaoré has always managed to stay in office through a combination of negotiation, conciliation and restrained use of firepower. The New York Times, October […]

The Birth Of A Network–Guy Kam And The Intellectuals

Me Guy Hervé Kam is a former magistrate and a lawyer, who trained at the University of Ouagadougou and has a specialised degree in human rights from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. A man of sophistication and confident comportment, he carries himself with the air of casual confidence mixed with subtle aloofness. So what was he […]

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 Abdoulaye Diallo, coordinator of  the Norbert Zongo Press Centre. [Soré, 2008] I am sitting with […]

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 in the earth. Their bodies attack the hard ground with shovels, as other men stand […]

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 a bit, to tell the world about where his ideas, and the words for his […]

Investigations And Interrogations–Risk As A Job Requirement

Norbert Zongo is emerging as the untold story of this revolution. Media coverage of the uprising against the Blaise Campaoré regime focused on the way images, words and ideas of Burkina Faso’s young, revolutionary, Marxist leader, Thomas Sankara, continued to inform and influence the younger generation of Burkinabé. It was Sankara’s image that you could […]