Rarely are the tension and pathos that define the intersection of life’s mysteries as deftly revealed as in Michael Angelo Megla’s collection of poems, “The Art of Clipping One’s Nails.” Throughout these verses of exploration and recognition, Megla juxtaposes the contradictory in a lyric steeped in elegant imagery and possessing the ultimate truth of physical existence. Illusion and Truth are to be found everywhere in Nature, as Megla so eloquently reminds us. We need only open our hearts to embark upon a meditation, at once personal and global, of our role in the universe, a meditation in which the poet is our clear-eyed and authentic guide. Reading Megla is an invitation to come home to our spiritual core, to recognize our Truth in the Universe and to respect that of all of creation. Like an expert alchemist, Michael Angelo Megla reveals the Life, Eternity, Truth, and Art within us and our universe. His verse, wrapped in melody and rhythm, reflects the truth he proffers – beautiful and transformative.
Guigui, E. (2020) Dulce de leche/Sweet Milk (K. Doll, Trans.). Lois de la Haba.
With its focus on recent detective series featuring female investigators, this collection analyzes the authors treatment of current social, political and economic problems in Spain and beyond, in addition to exploring interrelations between gender, globalization, the environment and technology. The contributions here reveal the varied ways in which the use of a series allows for a deeper consideration of such issues, in addition to permitting the more extensive development of the protagonist investigator and her reactions to, and methods of, dealing with personal and professional challenges of the twenty-first century. In these stories, the authors employ strategies that break with long-standing conventions, developing crime fiction in unexpected ways, incorporating elements of science fiction, the supernatural, and the historical novel, as well as varied geographical settings (small towns, provincial cities, and rural communities) beyond the urban environment, all of which contributes to the reinvigoration of the genre.
This collection explores women’s multifaceted historical and contemporary involvement in photography in Africa.
The book offers new ways of thinking about the history of photography, exploring through case studies the complex and historically specific articulations of gender and photography on the continent, and attending to the challenge and potential of contemporary feminist and postcolonial engagements with the medium. The volume is organised in thematic sections that present the lives and work of historically significant yet overlooked women photographers, as well as the work of acclaimed contemporary African women photographers such as Héla Ammar, Fatoumata Diabaté, Lebohang Kganye and Zanele Muholi. The book offers critical reflections on the politics of gendered knowledge production and the production of racialised and gendered identities and alternative and subaltern subjectivities. Several chapters illuminate how contemporary African women photographers, collectors and curators are engaging with colonial photographic archives to contest stereotypical forms of representation and produce powerful counter-histories.
Raising critical questions about race, gender and the history of photography, the collection provides a model for interdisciplinary feminist approaches for scholars and students of art history, visual studies and African history.
Yabouza's 2015 novel entitled Co-épouses et co-veuves chronicles the emotional, physical and social upheavals of two widows, Ndongo Passy and Grekpoubou, after the death of their common husband. Here Yabouza explores an often ignored topic: the condition of widows and their children as they suffer discrimination, marginalization, extreme poverty, and exposure to violence in the aftermath of a sudden change of family status. The author presents this topic by letting the widows and an omniscient narrator describe their experiences and the fabric of the relationships from which they originate. In doing so, I contend, Yabouza attains two results. First, she challenges commonly held assumptions regarding the Central African Republic's liberation and the notion of female national belonging while providing a comprehensive critique of both discourses in the postcolonial era. Second, she creates an opportunity for deeper exploration of widowhood. The author's decision to offer multiple perspectives allows for the debate and discussion of vital female-centric subjects in the virtual space that she creates for her characters.
HÉLA AMMAR IS A MULTIFACETED and politically active individual. She is a feminist, a visual artist, a jurist, and a professor of law at the University of Tunis. Her personal and professional commitment to social causes is reflected in both her artistic production and legal engagement. Art, specifically photography, is Ammar's preferred medium for addressing societal disparity. Since 2003, she has regularly shown her works nationally and internationally, though the 2011 Tunisian revolution and its aftermath significantly increased and expanded the diversity of her artistic engagement.
This article will focus on Ammar's 2018 photography exhibition, À fleur de peau / Body Talks, particularly upon the photographic series of portraits representing seven young Tunisian celebrities, each well known to the media for their political activism and engagement in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
Inherent in the artist's aesthetic expression is a type of reflective commitment that intends to shift the audience's perspectives and assumptions about LGBTQ+ people. Ammar portrays celebrities with their heads concealed under a colorful floral scarf. While communicating the complexities of gender identities, these fine-art portraits, in which the faces remain concealed, help to create a mystery, a curiosity, and an interest in looking further into the lives of these bodies. Indeed, because there is often something comforting about seeing a human figure rather than an unfamiliar face, these bodies, I argue, allow for the establishment of a sympathetic relationship with the viewer. They may represent a call for change: a turning away from the interpretation of the body as a site of struggle and control towards a conceptualization of the body as a conduit for communication and connection.
Au cœur de la première œuvre littéraire de Dora Latiri, Un amour de tn (2013), réside une contemplation de la vie et des attachements qu'un refrain d'une vieille chanson tunisienne synthétise ainsi : "faut-il vraiment mourir pour être aimé enfin ?" (Latiri 2013 : 91-92). Afin de conjurer l'exploitation, l'oppression et la destruction historiques, politiques, environnementales et individuelles, Latiri revisite le sens des attachements à travers une collection de fragments tirés de rencontres, de relations et de connections fugaces. Depuis cette archive de réflexions et mémoires minimalistes se développe une représentation intime et poétique de la vie et de ses complexités.
At the core of Dora Latiri's first literary piece, Un amour de tn (2013), rests a rumination upon life and attachments that a refrain of a Tunisian old song thus synthetizes: "faut-il vraiment mourir pour être aimé enfin?" (Latiri 2013: 91-92). To counteract historical, political, environmental, and individual exploitation, oppression, and destruction, Latiri revisits the meaning of attachment by presenting a collection of fragments drawn from encounters, relationships, and fleeting connections. From this assortment of minimalist reflections and memories an intimate and poetic representation of life and its intricacies is developed.