Category Archives: Interviews

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 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 […]

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 […]

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, where we are sitting in now.” We are in Le Balai Citoyen’s main Ouagadougou centre. […]

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 of his legacy, and his sacrifices and proud to continue the struggle in my own […]

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 image of Haile Selassie stitched on. We greet each other at the broadcast offices of […]