Essentially Complex

Language and millenialism are not easy. In fact, in this world where we must be careful about correctness, am I even millenial? Maybe I'm pre-millenial (I'm a child of the 80s) or post-millenial (as some kind of matter of personal stance on various theories and approaches). In any case, it is right that we are... Continue Reading →

A retrospective: Banjul

In Banjul: there are open sewers criss-crossed by overhead telegraph poles. there are rusty tin-roofed buildings with moats of standing water. industrial rubbish lines the streets. naturally, there is dust. At the tranquil intersection of Daniel Goddard Street and Independence Avenue, a man pisses against a wall. In any other global city this would be... Continue Reading →

A retrospective: The house of laughter

In the house of happiness - this Maison du Bonheur - a child tries to learn the Qu'ran, confusing Allah Al Akhbar with Ali Baba, Smiling proudly as his mum and dad laugh from the depths of their stomachs. In this happy place, the war against the harmattan that daily brings its carpet of dust... Continue Reading →

Togetherness

I cross the border. Senegalese taximen call out at me. I have 5 dalasi and no CFA Francs. There's no cash machine. An enterprising motorcycle taximan agrees to take me to Kaolack. I spend two hours on the back of his motorbike. Two cash points fail at Kaolack. The third succeeds. My driver continues to... Continue Reading →

Crossing the border, waking the dead

The Gambian border post at Amdallai looks the same as back in 2006. I do not have my belongings searched and am not told lies about carrying illegal materials (such as a radio) as I was back then. There is much less corruption. I walk past the detention cage to the interview room where the... Continue Reading →

Fake News Saved My Skin

Two weeks ago, I left the gleaming hotels of Serrekunda and the Gambia's smaller and dustier capital behind: After a 1.5 hour wait at Banjul's ferry terminal, I board the car and passenger ferry that takes me North to Barra and West-Central Senegal. The ticket costs 25 dalasi, or 38 UK pence. At Barra, I... Continue Reading →

Horse and Cart

We meander between the huts rooved with dried palm leaves and out towards the baobab and palm forest. The only sound is the gentle click-clack of the horse's hooves on the sand. Yaw, the toddler, is - like me - more relaxed and comfortable in nature. We are companionably silent, transfixed by the landscape. The... Continue Reading →

Rural life

The car winds around barely visible tracks in the dry sand. We lose sight of the final buildings prior to the lagoon, tracing out a route between palm trees, sand and sea. After some searching, we come to a fence-line and a rusty, ajar gate. My friend has already disappeared beyond it into the trees... Continue Reading →

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