What’s Culture Got To Do With It?

Conference 15-18 June 2009
Uppsala, Sweden

The main aim of the conference is to discuss what role the study of culture – here creative cultural expressions – plays and could play in understanding change in contemporary Africa. The title of the conference should read as: What’s culture got to do with African studies, which in the North almost invariably has been synonymous with social sciences and a utilitarian view on how to contribute to the solution of development problems. There will also be room for discussion on how to continue and strengthen the Nordic-African network created by the Cultural Images programme. We invite both reflection papers and essayistic overviews and academic research results. Papers should not be previously published. The best papers will be edited in collaboration with their authors to form an anthology to be presented for publishing through the Nordic Africa institute. Both researchers and artists are invited.

Ways in which cultural expressions intersect with political and socio-economic issues; ways in which the arts offer another language and vision than the political language and media; the links between cultural expressions, audiences or readership, and activism; the concept, and role of popular culture; modes of ‘reading’ culture; art as aesthetics and as ‘informer’; ways in which arts in Africa as ‘witness’ has been understood or construed; what happens in translation and export, cultural exchange or distortion? These are offered as possibilities, more takes are possible.

This conference concludes the long-lived “Cultural Images in and of Africa” programme at the Nordic Africa Institute, started 1995. It has built up a large network of scholars and cultural workers in the Nordic countries, Africa and the African diaspora. These activities have been led by Mai Palmberg, whose work at the Nordic Africa institute will end January 2010. The activities and research have spanned the genres of music, film, literature, dance, pictorial arts, and theatre, and the images of Africa in the North.

H-Net Network for African Expressive Culture
WWW: http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~artsweb/

Othella Dallas – Diva in Basel, Switzerland


Othella Dallas’ powerful voice and passionate dancing are known throughout the world. Born in 1925, she still is the vibrant “Little Girl from Memphis” at the peak of her career. Othella sings Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Latin melodies in a very personal and fascinating way. Her new CD “I Live The Life I Love”, released in March 2008 is a big success. Othella Dallas toured the world next to Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr. and other great artists. Nowadays her concerts are cultural rarities, a fabulous and unforgettable experience.


The Dods & Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards (UK)

The Dods & Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards celebrate women leaders in society and seek to recognise and promote the work of women in politics, business, the civil service and community leadership.

The Awards which are now in their third year, aim to highlight the achievements of outstanding women role models amongst us.

The Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of Wednesday 4th March 2009.

Shortlisted for – International Public Servant of the Year


Neena Gill MEP-Neena was the first Black Asian female MEP 10 years ago and has contributed greatly not only to the greater good of Europe but has been an excellent ambassador internationally particularly in South East Asia where she has led many delegations. Before this Neena was one of the first black women chief executives in the housing association sector and once again contributed to many policies and issues, in one of her chief executive roles she led a BME housing association for a number of years and brought the issues facing Asian elders and Asian women to the forefront. Throughout Neena’s working career she has always contributed 150% to all that she has undertaken, I am amazed that she has sustained this over such a long period. She deserves to be recognised as a woman that has achieved a great deal and who has contributed a great deal to society as a whole.

Shortlisted for – Entrepreneur of the Year

Samata Angel, Samata’s Muse – I would like to nominate clothing designer, author and public speaker Samata Angel for her work with Samata’s Muse and other activities. Her clothing label creates stunning, unique pieces of clothing for women and since its launch in 2005 has already been recognised for its work by awards and nominations such as the UK Urban Fashion Award “Best Couture Line 2006”, Aristoc Ultra Woman of 2007 and British Female Inventor and Innovator ‘Exceptionally Creative’ Award. In 2008, following participation in the Nolcha New York Fashion Week Angel received a letter of recommendation from Prime Minister Gordon Brown to become an ambassador for national campaign Girls! Make Your Mark. She was also a finalist for the ‘Future Fashion Star of 2008 award’ with Cosmopolitan magazine.

Samata Angel values any support that she is given; as a result she has a good relationship with all of her supporters and the team who help her. Samata is keen to affect others and is always keen to embark on new ventures. She recently completed a 7 month project, launching a guide book series for fashion designers trying to succeed in a competitive industry. The book features exclusive quotes from her supporters such as Nigel Barker of America’s Next Top Model and Celebrity Stylist Nick Ede.

Samata throws herself into charity projects and is an advocate for charity, Hives Save Lives. In fact she recently travelled to Sierra Leone and took part in a fashion show raising money for a community development project. Samata has taken numerous risks financially, emotionally and physically including working a full time job and juggling her business and fully deserves to be acknowledged for enterprising and entrepreneurial approach to life.

Ann Martin-Papazoglou, a Black Expat in Greece created the Baracko Coin


No one understood the power of the coin for getting a political message across like the Ancient Greeks. Their coinage was circulated throughout the ancient world to honor everything from victories, events, and patron deities, to nature. Also, it was the perfect way to let it be known “who did what and where”.


The coin’s designer, Ann Martin-Papazoglou, has taken inspiration from the Greek myths and the stunning classical styles of Ancient Greek coins. The Baracko coin shows the bold, beautiful profile of Obama decked out in the lion headdress of the mighty Hercules. On the left, “backing” Obama, is the majestic Greek coin portraying Hercules in his renowned lion-skin cape that has come to symbolize courage, invulnerability, and winning against all odds.


The flip side of the Baracko is emblazoned with: “Barack Obama U.S. Presidential Candidate 2008”. Around the rim is the famous “YES WE CAN!” motto in five languages: English, Spanish, Greek, German and French. This haunting rallying cry has circled the globe and captured the hearts and imagination of a broad spectrum of people on every continent.


Visit this site and scroll down for prices and ordering information.

Neger Niggersson and Oskar Neger: yup, it’s just like what it sounds like

The press in southern Sweden reported last week that during police training in Malmö used the fictional names “Neger Niggersson” and “Oskar Neger” (Negro) for internal training purposes. What’s up with that?

Well an internal police investigation aims to find out.

Read a version of events in English.

“Neger Niggersson” figur i polisens internutbildning
Av Jens Mikkelsen och Katia Wagner

Vem är Neger Niggersson och Oskar Neger? Det är inte ungdomar utanför en polisbuss utan fiktiva namn som använts i polisens interna utbildning.

Efter Sydsvenskans avslöjanden om rasistiska uttalanden från poliser var reaktionerna från höga chefer unisont fördömande. Samtidigt förnekade de att ett sådant språkbruk skulle vara utbrett inom kåren.
– Jag påstår att det är en isolerad företeelse, sa till exempel Hans Nordin, biträdande länspolismästare i Skåne.
– Jag tror inte att det förekommer bland alla poliser, utan det är enstaka individer som kanske inte valt rätt yrke, säger länspolismästaren Eva Årestad Radner.

Men Sydsvenskan kan idag avslöja att ordet neger också förekommit i polisens interna utbildningsarbete.

Förra våren hölls en utbildning i beslagshantering i polishuset på Porslinsgatan i Malmö.