Rethinking cultural appropriation

In my article ‘The trouble with cultural appropriation’ I took a critical stance against this concept and it’s popularisation through social media. I argued that the use of the concept, and much of the online bluster around it, often employs moralistic and essentialist presuppositions. Since I probably came across as a mansplaining arsehole I’ve written this follow up piece to take a more sympathetic angle. It’s always worth guarding against the cheaper arguments against so-called ‘identity politics’. For starters, it’s good that there is a debate around this issue. Social media has many faults, but it has allowed new spaces … Continue reading

Zimbabwe’s power struggle to succeed Mugabe comes to a head

Zimbabwe has seen rising factional tensions and accusations of plots in recent months, all of it over who ought to succeed Robert Mugabe. President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 34 years, and has led its ruling party for 39 years. He now stands as the fifth-longest serving African head of state. He maintains that he will be available to serve his country as long as he is still mentally competent and healthy. Officially, he intends to run for re-election in 2018, having already secured another term in July 2013. But as he turned 90 this year, the question of succession … Continue reading