Thursday, March 27, 2014

From the Jiwar Facebook page

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ten things I’ve learnt in five days in Barcelona

1. Barcelonans love all things organic
Recommended: Woki Organic Market

2. Affordable food is everywhere
Recommended: Macchina, Origens, Veg World India

3. Wednesday is cinema night
Four euros for any film. Be warned, long queues!
Recommended: Cine Verdi

4. There’s an English language bookshop a three minute walk from my apartment that stocks a wide range of non-fiction and fiction.
Recommended: Hibernian Books, Carrer de Montseny 17, 08012

5. Catalan flags are everywhere!
Hanging from balconies, pasted onto lampposts and graffitied on walls.











6. Flamenco rules!
A packed out and intimate performance at Flamenco Barcelona featuring an hypnotic cantaor y cantaora, a tight three-piece band and a spellbinding bailaor.
Recommended: Flamenco Barcelona, Carrer Progres, Barcelona

7. Protest lives!
It seems wherever I go, protest follows me.
See: Stop Pujades Transport

8. Gaudi is great
So say the hundreds who queue to visit the master’s work.

9. Sex is out in the open
Billboards for call girls and escort services (sorry, no pictures, but they’re there on the motorway driving out from the airport into the city centre).

10. Do believe the hype
Barcelona is rightly known as the capital of culture and is called “inspirational.” For once, this isn’t just marketing flan.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Four more years...

Monday, 21st January, 2013
Sunday, 20 January, 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012

My books of 2012

Two-thousand-and-twelve was a bumper year for quality non-fiction. Here is a selection of my top books from the last twelve months:

A compulsive combination of travel, history, ethnography and memoir  from the acclaimed Indian writer. An absolute gem.
A counter intuitive and engaging study of Asia's intellectual response to Western imperialism that contains many lessons for Africa.
A compelling exploration of the years immediately following World War II and preceding the Cold War that expose the depths of European postwar depravity.
The subtitle to this epic examination of  postwar Eastern Europe says it all. Scholarly and  engaging, Pulitzer Prize winner, Anne Applebaum delivers a timely history lesson.
I must admit, I haven't actually read Artemis Cooper's comprehensive biography of the late travel writer, however, having listened to extracts on Radio 4's Book of the Week, it's top of my list for 2013.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas night theatre

Roverman’s production of Ebo Whyte’s play, Don’t Mess With A Woman was a fantastic end to a humid Kumasi, Ghana, Christmas Day.

Whyte’s tale of a modern-day woman scorned was brimming with narrative goodness. The two-hour performance was delivered by a stellar cast accompanied by a fine house band against a basic but appropriate backdrop. The culturally-relevant storyline, and punchy dialogue, blended humour and drama with a moral message, and was perfect for the youthful audience.


The production provided further proof that Ghana is full with theatrical talent, something, I hope, will be developed and recognised in the near future.

Currently doing a residency at the National Theatre, Accra, Roverman’s festival of five Ebo Whyte plays is a must-see for both theatre vets and neophytes alike.

Catch it while you can!









Tuesday, November 27, 2012

European odyssey, part 6: France & Switzerland

Gatwick Airport, UK

View from the 39th floor: Lyon, France

Lyon Part Dieu train station

Culoz, France: The French Outback

Geneva

Zurich (Singing / Human Christmas tree)
Zurich main train station

Swiss beer

Zurich

Lausanne
Lausanne
Lausanne

Basel

Basel Christmas market

Basel Christmas market

Basel train station

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Support Yenkassa - Ghana Life!

I came across this wonderful blog (love Tumblr:)) and project today and I was so pleased to find that someone is out there actively trying to document Ghana's oral history before it's too late. I hope this video inspires you to support the project, too.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The man who turned his home into a public library

From the BBC:
"You don't do justice to these books if you put them in a cabinet or a box"

If you put all the books you own on the street outside your house, you might expect them to disappear in a trice. But one man in Manila tried it - and found that his collection grew.

Hernando Guanlao is a sprightly man in his early 60s, with one abiding passion - books. They're his pride and joy, which is just as well because, whether he likes it or not, they seem to be taking over his house.

Guanlao, known by his nickname Nanie, has set up an informal library outside his home in central Manila, to encourage his local community to share his joy of reading.

The idea is simple. Readers can take as many books as they want, for as long as they want - even permanently. As Guanlao says: "The only rule is that there are no rules."

Thursday, September 06, 2012

European odyssey, part 5: Sofia, Bulgaria

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia
Hagia Nedelja Church, Sofia

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