Perspectives

Perspectives Publication Series

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Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. The series provides a platform for experts from Africa to express their views about issues pertinent to the democratic and sustainable development agenda in the region.

Art is knowledge made visible. For the latest cover of Perspectives we chose an image by Angolan artist Edson Chagas. His work considers the socio-cultural context within contemporary cities looking specifically at consumerist culture and identity politics, pointing towards a broader dialogue between time and space. Lost Not Taken. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town — All rights reserved.

This edition of Perspectives seeks to explore how actors in the state, political parties, and civil society have been able to make those in government less certain about the future balance of power through and outside of the ballot box.

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Perspectives #03/2017: The (Un-) Making of Icons in Africa

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Which African leaders qualify as an icon? Perhaps this is always a controversial question, but it was much easier to answer, say, 25 years ago, when the public memories of Pan-Africanist champions such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere were still fresh, Nelson Mandela had just walked out of prison, and Robert Mugabe was a widely respected leader.

Perspectives #02/2017: Putting People Back Into Infrastructure

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This edition of Perspectives contributes to the ongoing debate on infrastructure development in Africa by sharing snapshots of experience from around the continent, exploring questions about democratic participation, the role of human and environmental rights, and economic transformation.

Perspectives #01/2017: South Africa: Emerging Power or Fading Star?

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Informed by the discussions at an international conference jointly organised by the German Development Institute, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Stanford University on “Emerging Power or Fading Star? South Africa’s Role on the Continent and Beyond”, held 12–14 July 2016 in Cape Town, the articles gathered in this edition of Perspectives shed light on some of the nuances and challenges that define South Africa’s place in the world today.

Perspectives #02/2016: Laughing Out Loud - The Politics of Satire in Africa

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When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

Perspectives #03/2014: What Ya Looking At? Africa Returns the Gaze

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For this edition of Perspectives the Heinrich Böll Foundation asked a number of African intellectuals, writers and analysts to provide their take on Africa’s relationship with Europe. The result is a small collection of interviews, short essays and comments that throw light on the complexities and complexes of this relationship, using analysis, imagery, experience, provocation and humour.

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