African Studies

100 Years of Silence: The Germans in Namibia

One hundred years ago, the Herero people of Namibia were nearly exterminated by German colonial soldiers in what has become known as the first genocide of the 20th century. Herero men, women and children were rounded up like cattle and put into Germany's first ever concentration camps. Four years later, three-quarters of the entire Herero nation had perished at the hands of German colonialists.

A Griot's Story

What is a griot? Historically, they are wandering African musicians considered to be a repository of the oral tradition. This film focuses on a master drummer, Adame Drama of Burkina Faso, a descendant of a long line of griots. He is a contemporary griot whose mission in life is to preserve his heritage and pass it on to the next generation.

A Love Apart

A Love Apart

This beautifully filmed documentary was shot in Niger, in the barren landscape of the desert, where a nomadic tribe, the Tuareg, keep their traditional ways. A charismatic teenager, Rhaissa, is about to marry a man she has never met. She learns from her girlfriend Fatima that her husband-to-be is not very handsome nor has an abundance of "ashek" or pride. But Rhaissa only giggles for she is resigned to her fate.

A Panther in Africa

A Panther in Africa

In 1969, a young Black Panther named Pete O'Neal was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. O'Neal fled the country, and has lived in Tanzania since. He is one of the last American exiles from an era when activists considered themselves at war with the US government.

A Place Without People: Tanzania

A Place Without People: Tanzania tells the story of the eviction of the indigenous people from their lands in Tanzania to clear space for the creation of the world's most famous nature reserves. In Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest nations, the government, tourist industry, and conservation organizations have advanced the idea that Africans are intruders into what was once a pristine Garden of Eden.

A Question of Madness: The Furiosus

A Question of Madness: The Furiosus

In Capetown, South Africa, in September 1966, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, was stabbed to death in Parliament. The course of South African history was changed by the assassin, Dimitri Tsafendas, who was written off as mad and condemned to twenty eight years of imprisonment.

Addo's Elephants: Back from the Brink

From the depths of the African bush comes a heartwarming tale of survival and a scientific journey. . . the story of a huge herd of elephants condemned to death by a government decree. Today there are more than 350 elephants in South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park - descendants of the handful that not only survived the massacre of 1918 but also the guns of the ivory-traders.

Africa I Remember

Africa I Remember

Tunde Jegede, a black musician and composer, bridges two classical traditions. His instrument is the Kora, an African harp lute whose roots are in the court of 13th century Mali. First introduced to the Kora in Britain by a Senegalese musician, Tunde later studied in the Gambia where he found himself immersed in its rich oral tradition. In this film, we follow him to the villages of West Africa where he learns from local musicians.

Africa in the 21st Century - Mali & Senegal

Islam has influenced West Africa since the 11th century, but only in the last 100 years has the religion grown so rapidly in Senegal and Mali. One prominent sect, the Murid movement which grew out of Sufism, has millions of followers and wealth accumulated from peanut cultivation. As a force of conservative Islam, its economic and political power must be watched by the West.

Africa in the 21st Century - Somalia

Africa in the 21st Century - Somalia

Independent since 1960, Somalia has seen virtually constant political upheaval. Chaos still reigns in the capital, Mogadishu, and throughout Somalia. Some 80 percent of the nation is under the power of guerrillas and local warlords. Taking advantage of the chaos, Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al Qaeda frequently infiltrate.

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