Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Youth in Africa: Caught in a “Social Moratorium”

Posted in African Politics by ruben eberlein on February 5, 2014

Africa’s youth is on the move, it is often said. But where is this journey leading to? In my fourth article for a series on theory and everyday life on the continent for Konkret, I tackle this question with the help of selected literature which focuses on the navigation of young people in the shifting and stormy weather that coins the life in many African countries. You can download the article (German) here.

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Living and Dying in Kinshasa

Posted in African Politics, Culture, DR Congo, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 17, 2013

cemetryState1Filip de Boeck’s movie Cemetery State about life at the huge graveyard Kintambo in Kinshasa and the neighbouring slum named Camp Luka is a must-see for everybody interested in modern city-life in Africa. The anthropologist, for a long time acquainted with the capital of the DRC, follows a crew of young men while they take care of the dead in a city that is marked by grotesque disparities and contradictions. In course of their work, they challenge long-standing social hierarchies in their gerontocratic societies. Read my short review of the movie that appeared in the latest issue of Blätter des iz3w (pdf). The film can be ordered here.

The Niger Delta: Resistance in a Soft Variant

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on May 6, 2013

What happened to the 50.000 or so ‘militants’ resp. ‘revolutionaries’ after the amnesty programme in 2009 in the Niger Delta? The fate of the leaders of the revolt is well known. Not a small part of them became successful businessmen often in the security industry which raises the question of what is the difference between racketeering and a security contract in the oil-rich south-eastern region of Nigeria. But there have been popular responses, too. Paul U. Ugor describes in the latest issue of “Africa” the proliferation of artisanal oil refineries in Delta state where many young people operate. They see their work as a softer variant of resistance against the corrupt state and multinational oil firms. Worth reading!

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The Seven Year Itch: Is it Finally Over in Sierra Leone?

Posted in African Politics, Sierra Leone by ruben eberlein on June 17, 2009

kroobayfreetownIn 2002, Sierra Leone’s regional war officially ended. But deep social, economic and political problems remain. Abuse of power, the drug trade and youth unemployment are considered to be the biggest challenges in Sierra Leone. Three years ago, I finished a paper entitled ‘”We don’t believe in politics, we believe in reality” – Social domination and its perception amongst young people in today’s Sierra Leone’.
You can download it here (112 kb, pdf).