Read it! Loved it! More Lockdown Reads

by - 09:24

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I'm back with a round-up of my reads from the past week and, I must say, this time I read a mix of new and old articles. Here we go!

Beginning with this piece from Paris Review on Senegalese writer, Mariama Ba, as part of their feminise your canon series. Then, moving on to The Republic's First Draft series - a weekly column about reading, books and writing. This week's edition featured Nigerian writer, Suyi Davies Okungbowa. Side note: I love the yellow aesthetics used for First Draft

Screenshot via The Republic

Hannah Giorgis might be one of my favourite culture writers, and the past week I spent a lot of time reading a number of Giorgis' articles. Starting with this brilliant piece centred on Princess Carolyn and Diane Nguyen getting the endings they deserved on BoJack Horseman (the series sixth, and final, season aired earlier this year).

"For a series that spent so much of its running time exploring the interiority of one depressed, narcissistic (horse)man, BoJack closes out with a refreshingly broad  purview - namely, one that appreciates the show's leading women as stand-alone characters rather than as mere accessories to the protagonist's growth."

Other articles from Hannah Giorgis I devoured this week includes The Art of Shooting a Modern Black Romance on The Photograph starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield and When Black Artists Make Mediocre Art.

I am trying to keep my pandemic-related reads to a minimum, but I didn't do too well on that front this week. It was difficult as more beautiful writing was shared this week by African women on their personal experiences around what is happening in the world at the moment.

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma who writes about embracing technology at the moment, "missing bodies", and the loss of a certain kind of intimacy.

"It is amazing just how much contact we usually engage in almost on a daily basis even in our contemporary, isolated lives ... As I make essential runs to the grocery store and to the park for exercise in the present climate, I am disoriented by how deserted and devoid of human presence the world around me is. Strangers whose proximity has been integral to my sense of being human are now missing bodies."

Image via Times Select

Another personal and honest piece about living in these current times comes from Rama Salla Dieng writing on being tired all the time due to combining caring, parenting and home working.

"In reality, we were all grieving. We grieved as we realised the farce of it all. The precariousness and the fragility of it all. Our normal lives and our self-care routines."

Another one I read this week, includes Elizabeth Adetiba's piece on Caster Semenya and the cruel history of contested black femininity. It looks at how the bodies of a growing number of athletes who are women and mostly from African countries, are put direclty in the crosshairs of World Athletics' regulations due to their hyperandrogenism

Beyond reads, African Arguments have put together a watch-list of African films and TV shows that can be streamed, while many of us stay at home. To that list, I'd like to add Atlantique (Atlantics in English). There's also this short film Boys No Dey Cry, on toxic masculinity, mental health, religion and family I learned about while reading this article on men's mental health in Ghana

I end with an Oral History of 1997's 'Cinderella' - remember the one with Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother? And that's it - things I've read (and watched) the past week. 

Brandy in her Cinderella dress. Photo by Debra Martin Chase. Image via Shondaland

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