"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


congolese rebel watch

Are they dividing or aren't they? My general rule for life and work in the Congo is that if Jason Starnes is worried about it, it's serious. He sounds concerned about the potential ramifications, but I don't think it's time to panic yet.

In other news, my favorite Congolese rebel/politician Jean-Pierre Bemba's war crimes confirmation of charges began at The Hague today. That's one down. If they ever get around to prosecuting every other major Congolese politician/warlord whose election campaign t-shirts I possess, we might get an actual peace deal.

I won't be holding my breath.


Blogger haitianministries said...

You have a collection of Congolese politician/warlord election campaign t-shirts? That puts a fresh perspective on what a serious and committed academic can actually accomplish while doing fieldwork. No doubt, you'll be the envy of this year's incoming class of junior faculty. Oh, yes, and good luck to the prosecution!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 6:22:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

I have a collection of African dictator/war criminal/politician (usually one and the same) fabrics, t-shirts, and other accoutrements. It gets worse with the Bemba shirt. Since I was in the states during the election, I actually convinced a friend who was an electoral observer to call my taxi guy in Kinshasa and send him out with $20 to see what he could find. What we learned from that is that Jean can acquire a lot more electoral material for $20 than I can!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 9:32:00 PM

Blogger haitianministries said...

That's a great selling point next time you apply for funding for field research: fund me and not the other guy because I have all the inside connections and can get more bang for your buck :-)

My wife and I managed to score three Aristide t-shirts with his mugshot and the Haitian Creole campaign slogan "Lape nan vant, Lape nan tet" (Peace of belly, peace of mind) the one time he spoke in Nassau (c. 2001). Since most Haitians typically don't want to draw unnecessary attention to themselves by, say, wearing Haitian Creole campaign t-shirts in public, I think I was the only one to actually wear mine in public after the event was over. Needless to say, I did get more than my share of confused looks from Bahamian locals who otherwise might have mistaken me for a gringo tourist.

BTW, you wouldn't by chance own an official set of "Friendly Dictator Trading Cards: Featuring 36 of America's Most Embarrassing Allies" would you?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:03:00 PM

Blogger haitianministries said...

The reason I ask is because I have an Edwin Meese card from the "Iran-Contra Scam Trading Card" set that I'd be willing to trade for a Saddam Hussein card if one is now in existence. Though, since you're an Africa specialist, I might be willing to part with my Halie Selassie card.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:08:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Wow. No, I don't. But I have a mint-condition Iraqi dinar note with Saddam Hussein's face on it. That's not up for trade.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 2:48:00 PM


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