Ebola has been weighing heavily on my mind. From it hitting Ashoka, a friend who I met in Liberia in 2011, to worrying about friends and family on the ground in both Sierra Leone and Liberia, I feel sort of stuck and unable to help while being in Brazil. However in the face of a seeming panic in the U.S. about the disease invading the country, and rehashed African stereotypes in the mainstream media, I find I can contribute something by writing…
For staters, I put together a post for Cultural Anthropology’s “Hot Spots” series called “Beats, Rhymes, and Ebola.” Check it out on the Cultural Anthropology website, and listen to some of the songs I mention, plus a few bonus tracks on Africa is a Country. When you’re finished with all of that, check out my post on Africa is a Country reviewing the somewhat disappointing “Stop Ebola” coupé-décalé by DJ Lewis.
I dedicated a portion of my show latest radio show to Shadow, a Liberian artist who got a lot of global attention for his song “Ebola Coming,” but despite the song being used as the soundtrack for a Vice Documentary that to date has reached over 2 million views he’s received no financial compensation from the CNN sponsored news organization. To help Shadow get some deserved spotlight beyond Ebola, U.K. producer Subculture sounds and I are going to be releasing a remix EP of one of Shadow’s tunes soon!
In much better news, Ashoka is feeling better, and starting to tweet away… In the face of a world of increased attention check out this brave and inspiring tweet, he put out after starting to recover:
Now that I’ve had first hand exp with this scourge of a disease, I’m even more pained at how little care sick west Africans are receiving
— ashoka (@unkyoka) October 13, 2014
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite videos that I’ve seen come out of Liberia… live music events on the beach in places with names like “Pan-African Beach” and “Rasta-beach.” The first was edited and uploaded by Ashoka and the second features another Liberian homie Takun J: