Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Africa Category
Corona, Corona

Corona, Corona

  • February 27, 2020
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Fans of Edgar Allan Poe and Hammer horror films will recall Poe’s tale The Masque of the Red Death, and the Roger Corman remake with Vincent Price as Prince Prospero.   For those who don’t, the story describes the attempts by Prospero and a bunch of panic-stricken and fairly decadent medieval nobles to escape a mysterious plague known as the Red Death, by taking refuge in an abbey.

Not one to allow the mass death of the peasants  to get in the way of a good debauch, Prospero stages a masked ball to amuse his guests...

Guest Post: Robert Mugabe (1924-2019): A History of Wounds

Guest Post: Robert Mugabe (1924-2019): A History of Wounds

  • September 07, 2019
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Guest Post from Richard Drayton, Professor of History at King’s College, London.

Robert Mugabe is a hate figure in the West, especially in Britain, where the political right had such important family, economic and political connections to white-minority Rhodesia. And he did his own memory no favours: he was a man with very serious flaws, whose...

Abderramane Sissako’s Timbuktu Blues

  • January 05, 2016
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I have nothing against cinema as recreational entertainment, or going to the movies for the sake of escapism.  Cinema has always served these purposes, and there is nothing inherently ignoble about them.   But such expectations also tend to produce an awful lot of mass-produced ephemeral dross and formulaic over-hyped blockbusters drenched in...

The UN’s Child Rapists

The UN’s Child Rapists

  • April 30, 2015
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Even in a world that seethes with corruption, inhumanity and injustice in so many places, the revelations that French soldiers with the United Nations Minusca peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic have been sexually abusing homeless young boys in exchange for food is a shocking disgrace.

These acts allegedly took place between December 2013 and...

One, two, three viva l’Algerie

  • July 03, 2014
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Algeria is not a country that has had much to celebrate recently.     In the 1990s, the Algerian government’s refusal to accept an imminent Islamist victory in national elections prompted a savage conflict between the ruling FLN and an array of Islamist groups.

An estimated 150, 000 Algerians died in a war of massacres and...

Offshore asylum screening centres: towards a cordon sanitaire

  • June 05, 2014
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Europe’s annual migrant ‘boat season’ is getting underway, and already the numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean are already showing a dramatic increase on previous years.     According to the European Border Agency Frontex, 42,000 people have tried to reach Italy this year,   compared with UNHCR figures of 3, 362 arrivals by the...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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