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BBC News In Pictures: Turning the iconic Ghana Must Go bag into high fashion

Recently I read an article "Turning the iconic Ghana Must Go bag into high fashion" in In Pictures section of the BBC News. I was struck how a bag can have multiple meanings and become a symbol of migration, identity, mobility as well as stereotyping. I'm familiar with such bags. We also use them in India but even in India not everyone uses such bags. We still have three of these bags. They're fairly sturdy bottomless pits usually with black or red border piping. I must admit that I too have a certain disdain toward these bags. They're not 'cool' but I've also learnt that there are advantages to using them. I've seen them in Old Delhi and at railway stations. I've seen people of certain regions in India use them. However, I doubt whether these bags have many takers among upper classes in urban India.

Do you have any stories or memory related with such woven matted bags? It would be interesting to hear your experiences. 

The article is written by Nduka Orjinmo, BBC News, Abuja (19 November 2020)

Languages on the edge: from private archive to shared library

Within the framework of the IIAS programme Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World (HaB), Mali is the site of investigation for language and translation practices with a special focus on opening and connecting ‘marginal libraries’, that is: the often modest collections of print, sound and film records that any individual or institution might possess. In this regard, both the archives of the host institution, Mali’s Institute of Humanities (ISH), and personal files come into play.

Mohomodou Houssouba

The Newsletter 82 Spring 2019

Dar Impressions: The Other Story of Asia-Africa Relations

. . . And so I went to Dar. For an Asia-Africa conference. It wasn’t just any conference, but something quite different altogether. I would like to say that it wasn’t a field of presentations that only spoke and ignored one another, like the tower of Babel. In reality, everything came from all the senses, but nothing was disharmonic, solitary, or monologic. Even if it’s true that international Africa-Asia relations are currently facing a wall, there is another story of Asia and Africa which seemed, at Dar, to indicate the desire for connection and knowledge, to and for another world.

Abdourahmane Seck writes a beautiful note on his impressions of Dar es Salaam and the Asia-Africa: A New Axis of Knowledge Conference that took place in September this year.   

Accidental Exiles: Burmese Stories - Part 2

During the London meeting, one of the exiles jokingly said ‘we are ရေမျောကမ်းတင်’ meaning floating objects coming to rest ashore. A word usually reserved for the economically destitute who cannot afford to settle in one place has been reclaimed by a political exile albeit lightheartedly to depict their capricious and helpless lives. After the meeting, I realized that the place and time of our meeting in May 2017 were both important to contextualize some of the words and tones of the conversation we had.

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