"Any way the wind blows" - Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
For some reason, I’m not sure why, I had to think of Binyavanga Wainaina. He was a Kenyan author (died last year), known internationally mainly by wining the Cain Prize in 2002 and his 2005 Granta essay (or rather, “satirical article”), “How to Write About Africa”. The essay made a huge impression on me, both because of its subject and its style.
Binyavanga, arguably, died way too young and never got to write his great novel. Yet his presence in the media and in other writing formats, to me, make him an exceptional African artist and intellectual. Dealing, as an African, with issues such as HIV and homosexuality, only making him politically and socially significant as well. He discussed all of this candidly in an interesting interview with the Guardian.
Issues around identity (in particular the social and collective components of identity) very much interest me. Hannah Arendt of course is particularly interesting from this perspective, but so is Binyavanga Wainaina.
05.05.2020, Niamey, Niger.
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Online encampment of A. S. Barry. Disparate and not-so-disparate thoughts on international relations, development, writing, and life.