Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TEDxDar 2010!!!

TEDxDar is happening May 22nd, 2010!!

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. TEDx Conferences are licensed by TED.

So what is TEDxDar all about?

Well the TEDxDar mission is as follows:

to begin a process of public engagement and exchange of ideas in relation to innovation, society, culture, arts- a wide range of interdisciplinary issues that pertain to Tanzania at a local and global level. The forum is based on the belief in active discourse and public engagement in reaction to institutional constraints on creative development. The aim is to gather a wider array of individuals with various perspectives and specializations to hold TED-like 20 minute talks that will form the basis of a larger conversation.

In order to achieve what is set out by the mission, the conference is also going to be thematically arranged to have talks that focus on specific areas of relevance. The first set out theme is What would Nyerere do? and therefore what should we do (his response, an entirely different one a combination of the two?).

TEDxDar is calling for nominees of speakers that you consider to be relevant to this session theme. Nomination forms are available on the website.

TEDxDar will announce more session themes as time goes by. We encourage active engagement and public nominations. All announced themes may not necessarily be included as TEDxDar sessions, however they will feature as a characteristic of the established session.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Below is an example of some of the experimental literature being produced on the continent. Stemming away from the traditional conventions and expectations of African Literature, this is an example of recreating and redefining Africa's voice in the literary world. A voice based on pure, raw, creative expression. Your comments and criticism of the piece are warmly welcomed, as well as your views on the drift away from traditionally African themes. Can this still be considered African Literature?

Aborted pillows lie on empty beds, thirty seconds to nexus; you slip on the slab of patience purposefully perched next to the frogs stool on your wedding ring. The bell tolls and all of the above, you think you know that you think you feel that you know you’re in love. Mice in white trench coats march up your wallet in to your nostrils. You blow them in, they suck you out, and you’re left trying to figure what it is you are talking about. Maybe it’s a poem, a surreal string of metaphors that you are hoping no one will understand. Perhaps a confession. A bulge just waiting to burst; a concoction of things you’ve never said, words never uttered words you had to release to decrease the clutter. Thirteen gallons of mouthwash were poured into your vehicle. It was either because there was nothing else or because nothing else was there.

I used to find this kind of pointless rambling sophomoric, juvenile, unsophisticated. Now I know that the young ones were the big ones when they were small. So it doesn’t really matter what you say, but rather the fact that you said it all. Someone will make use of it, and if not, than no one at all. I worry sometimes that the clouds travel much too near my toes. They say those with cold feet are the first to run. I justify it by saying “up here I am closest to the sun. Warmer than everyone”.

And furthest away.

It rains on cloudy days, sometimes hard, torrential and piercing. Pot-holed roads turn into cratered riverbeds. Cars into geese being shepherded like sheep by sandal-clad Christi through the deep. Someone said when it rains no one can see you weep. It must be sad to be crying and no one notices.
Sand is grand, but only in groups. Grains travel in troops. Just like hair. And salt.

And armies.

I once saw a platoon of green-spotted warriors travelling along the coast. They marched and marched until they found a brothel and a beer. War, so divine and luxurious when there is nothing to fear.

Maybe, I could sleep a while on these pillow-less beds. One at a time until I got used to the fact that there was no cushion under my head. Just a plain, empty bed. A place for me to lay on a rainy day. Somewhere I wouldn’t be disturbed while I slept. A place where I wouldn’t care that someone wept. A jaguar leaps through a window, carrying a carrion of a carry-on spilling dirty laundry over your eyes. I guess everything is ridiculous when.