Song: Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)

This song represents transculturation in the sense that it incorporates values and cultures from all over the world in one music video. The song was created for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa by popular music artist Shakira. The title, “Waka Waka” translates to “do it” in English, and in context with the rest of the verse it means” come do it this time for Africa.” This phrase and the rest of the song were majorly popular when used to advertise the world cup because it invited patrons to come to celebrate both their own countries’ success as well as those of Africa as a whole. In addition to this, Shakira does a good job incorporating various different identities and cultures in the music video to show the positivity that stems from transculturation.

Climate Driven Migration in Africa

This article details how the climate crisis is driving migration to coastal Senegal, where farms have more success. With this article, we can see how drives for migration can be multifaceted and complex. Economic and environmental drives are interlocked– contingent–, as one causes the other. As the climate changes and the temperature increases, agricultural success becomes more challenging in these migrants home countries, thus creating their drive to migrate. The article emphasizes how the majority of migration in Africa today happens within the continent, commenting how boarders are similar to that of the European Union as people can travel freely within these borders. They also note that moving freely among the land has historical precedent. As we’ve learned, borders in Africa were mainly influenced by the colonial period and do not reflect how the land has historically been used. While not mentioned specifically, this is presumably the effects of the African Union.

This article also reflects the idea that those who’ve contributed the least to the climate crisis are those who will– and are effected first.

Soldi – Blog Post

In 2019 Mahmood released Soldi a song about his complicated relationship with his father and the effects money can have on a family. The half-Egyptian half-Sardinian singer received quite a bit of backlash when he won the Sanremo Music Festival contest which meant he would go on to represent Italy at Eurovision that year. Many Italians were not happy with that decision and started to question whether Mahmood’s music should even be considered “Italian Music” because of its elements of Middle Eastern sounds and its references to aspects of Arab and Muslim culture. This then extended into whether Mahmood should be considered an Italian himself even though his mother is Italian, and he grew up in a suburb of Milan. 

Eurovision is a song contest within Europe that was created after World War II to encourage cooperation between European nations and uses music to do so with the belief that music has the ability to transcend national borders and cultural boundaries. Nationalism and Benedict Anderson’s idea of “imagined communities” directly conflict with the globalization aspect of Eurovision that Mahmood’s music represents. 

In the end, Soldi placed second and became one of the most streamed Eurovision songs ever on Spotify. 

The Demagogue

“The Demagogue” by Lila Downs is a popular Latin American song. She discusses how Donald Trump wanted to build a wall to keep out immigrants at the time of his presidency in 2016. Lila calls Trump a “monster” and “blue eyed devil who is trying to enforce hate towards Latin Americans.” This connects with the theme of structural inequalities amongst the Latin American people when we talked about colonization earlier in the semester. Latin American minorities of this generation are still facing problems they had to overcome in the past. During the time of colonization Latin Americans looked for political solutions to resolve the inequalities they faced, but it was hard to come by because indigenous people were mistreated. This song is powerful and demonstrates how Lila Downs and most Latin American people felt about Donald Trump and the political climate he enforced.

Blog 11/10/22- DJ Marky & XRS Feat. Stamina MC- LK

This is a song by one of my top 10 favorite artist and honestly, who I believe is one of the best electronic artists in the Americas. Marco Antonio da Silva, or DJ Marky, was born in Sao Paulo, and began his DJing career there. He got the attention of a a British record executive and DJ, and after impressing British radio listeners, would experience a decent amount of popularity in his native Brazil and the UK, where he frequently performs. DJ marky, who specializes in the genre of Drum and Bass, has released several mixes and albums, and has collaborated with several other artists, with some being fellow Brazilians or Japanese DJ, Makoto, who he regularly hangs out with on his Instagram Stories.

I initially heard of him from a radio mix by one of my favorite bands ever, a British duo named Lemon Jelly, and really got into some of his songs later that same year. Believe it or not, DJ Marky was how I learned that there was a black population in Brazil (a very significant one!). My favorite works of his are his collaborations with the Brazilian DJ S.P.Y, but his most popular song is LK by him and XRS with Stamina MC (all Brazilians). The song samples a Brazilian song from the 70s called “Carolina Carol Bela” by Toquinho and Jorge Ben.

(This video contains some flashing lights so please give a warning beforehand if it’s played in class)

DJ Marky is still very much active. He released a new single a month or two ago and just a few days ago had concerts in Argentina and Scotland. I follow his instagram, in which he documents his trips to cities where he performs concerts, hangs out with other DJs, shares other’s recordings of his concerts, and also promotes his weekly or twice-a-week live DJ sessions on Twitch, Twitter, and Youtube. If I could personally chime in, I would LOVE to go to a concert of his sometime.


Ethiopian Peace Deals: Tigray region

After the Ethiopian government and military forces in the northern Tigray region agreed to a permanent cease-fire, Ethiopia started taking steps toward peace. The agreement, made by Ethiopia, paves the way for Ethiopian federal security forces to take control of all airports, highways, and federal facilities within the Tigray region. It also allows federal troops to enter Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray. Ethiopia claims this transition will be “expeditious, smooth, peaceful, and coordinated.”

Nevertheless, the Tigrayan people are under high skepticism of Ethiopia. These are the same soldiers who have been fighting the Tigrayans for the past two years. The United Nations and human rights organizations have accused many of them of committing horrors that constitute as war crimes.

So, will Ethiopia help the Tigray people? Are justice and equity being sought out? Will the Tigrayan people continue to suffer at the hands of the Ethiopian government?


News: “Air Quality in India’s Capital Is Dreadfully Bad. Again.”

The New York Times reports the start of air pollution season in northern India and its drastic impacts this week in New Delhi and across the state. The primary cause is due to straw burning from leftover rice harvests by farmers, a process that releases particulate matter into the air. The air quality has become so bad that schools have gone online, and residents have been asked to work from home to prevent exposure. Air pollution killed more Indians than any other risk factor in 2019 and is only increasing. Though the political debate is heating up as India’s 2024 elections approach, it is important to reflect on the colonialist history behind these events in the first place.

This article reminded me of the agricultural reforms set when India was under British rule. The zamindar system established was meant to collect taxes from local landlords, but landlords took advantage by increasing taxes and forcing poor farmers to become tenants under them. The establishment of a cash crop-based economy was to the benefit of the British, making it more challenging to create an internal market. Each of these reforms disproportionally affected, and still impact, the large, rural, and poor population who primarily work in agriculture. As such, crop burning is tied to systems established centuries prior to today.

Brazil’s Presential Election and the World  

The Guardian reported that leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian presidential election. As we discussed with Professor Holt, Lula was originally elected president in 2002 leading to a leftist government that pushed social programs to address long standing structural inequalities in Brazil, like Zero Hunger, but became involved in political corruption that led to his arrest. Bolsonaro is dismissive of women, the LGBTQ, Brazilians of color, and social programs. He was elected in 2018 on a promise to crack down on corruption (see Duiker page 214). This latest election was followed by support from world leaders in the U.S., Venezuela, Canada, and Mexico as well as from outside of the Americas in China, Russia, Australia and others. This support comes with the hope for democracy in Brazil, stronger trade relations, and environmental action. This is in light of economic exploitation of the Amazon River basin for farming that may threaten the ecology of the planet according to our textbook readings (see Duiker page 214). The article mentions measures being taken by Norway, who will resume subsidies for the protection of the Amazon that stopped under Bolsonaro, who may reject Lula’s victory and threaten Brazilian democracy. This highlights Brazil’s growing power as China hopes to challenge the .US. with their combined economies. Through this election we can see the fragility of Brazilian democracy and its relationships with authoritarian leaders that have plagued the nation since its independence from colonial/imperial rule.

News – Israel-Lebanon gas field deal staves off war threat

 Israel and Lebanon has agreed to set their borders in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel and neighboring countries had been in a dispute over rights to a gas field since the founding of Israel. The powerful militant and political group in Lebanon Hezbollah had menaced to attack Israel when it extracted gas before the deal. Both countries benefit economically from the gas field. The signed agreement covers 330 sq miles of sea off their coasts. Nether countries were able to utilize the area’s natural resources due to a disagreement over where the boundary is up until now. Disputed areas subsume part of Karish, a confirmed gas field, and part of Qana, a prospective gas field. Israel maintained full rights to Karish under the US-brokered deal, and Lebanon’s rights to Qana were also recognized. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who fighting a general election next week, deemed the agreement as a diplomatic achievement. “It is not every day that an enemy state recognizes that State of Israel, in a written agreement, in front of the entire international community,” he stated. Yet, Lebanese President Michel Aoun regarded the deal as “technical work that has no political implication.” Mr. Lapid’s political rival Benjamin Netanyahu, hoping to return to power, has stated the agreement illegal. This agreement between two countries is more than crucial as it raises hopes that there could be real change in the relationship between the two countries. Some deals are signed to stave off war, yet some are signed to start one.

News – Israeli and Palestine conflict beyond the borders

Aljazeera News – Diplomatic spat after Chile leader snubs new Israeli ambassador

The conflict between Israeli and Palestine was intensified after the Israel started a campaign in West Bank cities, aiming to respond to the increasingly organized Palestine resistance. Over the past year, Israeli has been carrying out killings and mass arrests in cities such as Jenin and Nablus. Last week, a seventeen-year-old Palestinian boy lost his live as a victim of the violence from the Israeli force. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and especially this news have effects on diplomatic relationships far beyond the borders of the conflict. The news article above shares the story on the diplomatic spat between Chile and Israeli as an example. The dispute happened over the postpone of the newly appointed Israeli ambassador in Chile due to the death of the Palestinian minor. This news article also provides the not surprisingly opposing responses from Israel and Palestine. In addition, it also mentions the opinion of the Chilean president Gabriel Boric on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

As we have seen briefly during our discussion on the Middle East, the explanation for the Israeli and Palestinian conflict requires taking into account complexity. Moreover, this conflict is an example of how past historical events shape our world today. Lastly, I want to raise a question of the role of politics on how conflicts were viewed. For instance, what would the majority of Chilean, who are distant from the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, view this issue when their president favors one side over the other?