Tag Archives | culture

Emmanuel Macron’s unconventional visit to Nigeria was low on policy but high on culture

On his first trip to Nigeria as president, France’s Emmanuel Macron seemed anti-establishment. Yes, he landed to the regular pomp of a presidential welcome and had a meeting with Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria’s capital. But beyond that, much of the 40-year old’s visit was removed from government business. First was a conspicuous trip to New Afrika Shrine, a concert venue in Lagos owned by the family of the Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The late musician, a fierce anti-government critic, railed against successive military regimes through music and was jailed several times by military leaders, including current president Buhari who served as head of state between 1983 and 1985. Indeed the New Afrika Shrine replaced the original venue after it was burned down in 1977 by the army. Given its proudly anti-establishment roots, a visit to the Shrine does not typically feature in a visiting president’s itinerary. But Macron was quick to dispel any notions that his visit was unusual given the shrine’s cultural value. “It may be a surprise that a French president goes to the shrine, but it never surprises anyone if I go to the Albert Hall or the Met,” he said. While there, Macron […]

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Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres, eds. North Africa and the Making of Europe: Governance, Institutions and Culture (New Texts Out Now)

Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres, eds. North Africa and the Making of Europe: Governance, Institutions and Culture (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Muriam Haleh Davis (MHD) and Thomas Serres (TS): We were motivated to edit this volume after spending the 2015-2016 academic year at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, which has a strong focus on European politics and integration. As North Africanists, we felt that it was important to think about Europe from its margins, particularly as pressing questions about the past and future of the European Union were being posed by politicians across the region. We therefore organized a series of conferences on “Europe Seen From North Africa,” which brought together scholars from North Africa, Europe, and the United States. The insights and questions raised during those conferences form the basis of this volume. MHD and TS: This volume addresses current debates on the definition of European space as a cultural, economic, political, and geographical unit. While the European Union (EU) presents itself as an area of freedom, security and justice, the vision from the periphery is far less enchanted. Indeed, Europe seems to be facing two, interrelated crises: the rise of Islamophobia […]

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