I am happy to announce that the Ethiopian City Guides latest issue on Gondar has just been released by the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) in Addis Ababa. This is one of the last projects to emerge from those I (co)managed in Addis Ababa (2011-2014).

The idea of the collection is very simple: help tourists and visitors to discover the hidden gems of Ethiopian cities, thus encouraging them to spend one more night in these cities, and collaborating to the cities’ economy.

Gondar City-Guide, CFEE- Shama Books, Addis Ababa, 2015

Gondar City-Guide, CFEE- Shama Books, Addis Ababa, 2015

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Statue de Bourdelle au Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Alger, DR.

For the 15 years now, demands of return, repatriation and restitution of artefacts stolen during the colonial period have been an endless diplomatic issue between former colonised and colonisers in Africa. How objects of cultural heritage became subjects of conflict?

Not all Africans countries claim for their ‘looted’ heritage, North African countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) barely asked for cultural artefacts to be repatriated. This article explains that difference through the analysis of 50 years of cultural policies in a post-colonial context. It raises questions that help reformulating the dead-end of the question of restitutions. How that difference enlights the relationship between the part (the object in exile) and the all (the heritage in situ)?
This complete article (in French) is now  on line on revues.org:

Jean-Gabriel Leturcq, « La question des restitutions d’œuvres d’art : différentiels maghrébins », L’Année du Maghreb [En ligne], IV | 2008, http://anneemaghreb.revues.org/431

Enjoy your reading*.

*I’m aware it is a very academic article. Research aims at fuelling cultural policies with new matters, doesn’t it!?

Amingo, ex. Nuer war child in Gambella, jan. 2008

New Sudan: Peace and Unity

Southern Sudan is the 193rd State recognised by the UN on the 14th of July 2011. Happy Birthday Southern Sudan: I wish you peace and unity. With a special thought to my friend Amingo I met in Gambella, the Ethiopian border town back in 2008. Here’s an excerpt of my 2008 Gambella Stories, a history of violence, multiculturalism, failed dreams of modernisation in a remote place:*

Amingo is a Sudanese Nuer. He was a war child and one of the refugees who arrived in the 1980’s when the Sudanese civil war opposing the Northern Sudanese government to the Southern Sudanese guerilla resumed. The leadership of the Guerrilla was based in a refugee camp near Gambella city, and almost ruled on the region. It is a long story. Read the rest of this entry »

Above is the presentation related with the article beneath:

« La question des restitutions d’œuvres d’art : différentiels maghrébins », L’Année du Maghreb, Paris, CNRS édition, 2008, p. 79-97 (Dossier « La fabrique de la mémoire : variations maghrébines », dir. Jean-Philippe Bras).

Here is the introduction:

« Eh quoi ? Les indiens massacrés, le monde musulman vidé de lui-même, le monde chinois pendant un bon siècle, souillé et dénaturé, le monde nègre disqualifié, d’immenses voix à jamais éteintes, des foyers dispersés au vent, tout ce bousillage, tout ce gaspillage, l’Humanité réduite au monologue, et vous croyez que tout cela ne se paie pas ? » Aimé Césaire, Discours sur le colonialisme, 1950

Depuis une quinzaine d’années, les demandes de restitutions d’objets pillés par les puissances coloniales ne cessent d’augmenter en nombre comme en médiatisation. Parallèlement, la question des réparations de la dette morale et physique du colonialisme s’est engagée entre anciens colonisés et colonisateurs. Le débat sur les restitutions et les réparations conditionne les rapports Nord-Sud ; comme si, pour faire mentir Aimé Césaire, l’Humanité n’était pas réduite au monologue et que le bousillage devait être payé. La restitution d’oeuvres d’art sert-elle la réparation d’un passé bafoué ? Comment des objets de patrimoine sont-ils devenus des objets de conflits ? Read the rest of this entry »

This is the power point of my presentation to the Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto (CEUAP -Porto) conference of the 2nd – 3rd of October 2008:

Water in Africa: hydro-optimism or hydro-pessimism?

Here is my abstract:

Panel Session: LARGE DAMS IN AFRICA: CASE-STUDIES

Introduction

Large dams’ construction is back in Africa. This paper analyses the frictions between potential economic benefits generated by large-scale dams and the social and cultural impacts, for the specific case of the Merowe Dam in the Nile River, Northern Sudan. This paper focuses on the controversies surrounding the Merowe Dam planning and construction (2002-2008 ) and its impacts on society and culture. The friction between different visions of development will be analysed in order to assess the prospects of an equitable socio-economic development related to large-scale dams’ projects, an ideal hydro-optimistic vision.

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