My purpose in this contribution is to present and contextualize the only film footage ever recorded of the novelist Graham Greene (1904-1991) in the Belgian Congo in 1959. The footage was filmed with an 8mm camera, which did not record sound. It belongs to Mrs. Édith Lechat (née Dasnoy;1932-) and her husband, the leprosy specialist Doctor (later Professor) Michel Lechat (1927-).
From 1953 through 1960, Dr. Lechat was head of the leper hospital and colony of Iyonda, a village and mission station some 15 kms south of the city of Coquilhatville (now, Mbandaka) in central-western Congo. Greene stayed a number of weeks in Iyonda and other mission stations in the region in search of inspiration, a setting, and material for a new novel. The novel, A Burnt-Out Case, appeared in 1960, and was dedicated to Dr. Lechat. Greene occupied a room in the house of the missionary fathers in Iyonda, but spent long parts of his days with the doctor and his family. The film reached me through the hands of Édith Lechat, who had it transposed to a DVD-playable format, and via my friend Hendrik (a.k.a., “Henri” or “Rik”) Vanderslaghmolen (1921-), who was a missionary in the region at the time. As he was one of the only Belgian missionaries there with some knowledge of English, he often accompanied Graham Greene during his trips from one mission station to another. Rik Vanderslaghmolen and the Lechats are still close friends today.
Much of the information I offer below stems from conversations I had with both Rik Vanderslaghmolen and Édith Lechat in July and August 2013. Regrettably, Dr. Michel Lechat’s poor health condition did not allow me to probe his memory, but an interview he gave for the Brussels-based weekly The Bulletin on the occasion of Greene’s death in 1991 is available (Lechat 1991), as well as a closely similar talk he gave at the 2006 Graham Greene Festival in Berkhamsted, published in the London Review of Books in August 2007 (Lechat 2007). Édith Lechat has given me the kind permission to share the film with the readership of Rozenberg Quarterly and to add the necessary contextual information on both the historical situation and the contents of the film.
Multicultural education, intercultural education, nonracial education, antiracist education, culturally responsive pedagogy, ethnic studies, peace studies, global education, social justice education, bilingual education, mother tongue education, integration – these and more are the terms used to describe different aspects of diversity education around the world. Although it may go by different names and speak to stunningly different conditions in a variety of sociopolitical contexts, diversity education attempts to address such issues as racial and social class segregation, the disproportionate achievement of students of various backgrounds, and the structural inequality in both schools and society. In this paper, I consider the state of diversity education, in broad strokes, in order to draw some lessons from its conception and implementation in various countries, including South Africa. To do so, I consider such issues as the role of asymmetrical power relations and the influence of neoliberal and neoconservative educational agendas, among others, on diversity education. I also suggest a number of lessons learned from our experiences in this field in order to think about how we might proceed in the future, and I conclude with observations on the role of teachers in the current socio-political context.
I am Mr. Darko, 37 years old and I am married with two children. I’m from here in Nkoranza and I work as a car electrical mechanic in town. I will tell you about the experiences I had on my way to Libya. About three years ago I went to Libya. I started from Ghana, passed Burkina Faso and went on to Niger and then straight into Libya. That’s what I thought, but it happened otherwise.
From here to Burkina the road is acceptable but once in Niger the going is rough. From Burkina you get to Niamey which is the capital of Niger. There are many Ghanaians there waiting for their chance to get transport into Libya. In Niamey you wait until about thirty people have assembled, then you all get into an Urvan minibus. These buses take you to Agadez. Ghanaians wait for each other till they have the money to hire the car together. We Ghanaians, we like to travel together.
“Everyone pays about 300,000 cedis which is 30 dollars to the driver. The driver is not from Ghana, he is from Niger. You take off and although the distance is not too long the road is so bad that it takes you three to four days to get to Agadez. This town is the second capital of Niger and lays at the edge of the desert. The military police stops you many times and each time you have to pay up. When they see Ghanaians in the bus they say: ‘stop, out, pay.’ If you don’t pay they will throw you out of the car. You waste a lot of money on that stretch alone. Every time they stop you, you pay 5 dollars, this is on top of the 30 dollars which you already had to pay to hire the car. Every time the police halts the car they take our passports and documents and we don’t get them back till after paying the bribe.
So after three days and much money you get to Agadez. After Agadez it is all desert, there is no more road. There is a trail which the drivers know but they miss it sometimes when there is a desert storm.
Summer vacation is over. Perhaps your son or daughter is starting university. You obviously hope he or she will be taking classes from the best professors in the country.
Alas. University employees are only successful if they don’t teach. The way to achieve that is simple: Publish, publish, publish.
The more publications, the better the chance of receiving one of those highly in demand excellence scholarships granted by the government. Academics buy off their educational obligations with this money. The university then hires a junior to make sure the students get enough contact hours. The core task has become producing as many articles as possible.
This situation came about when the government began demanding accountability for the spending of public funds. Just what were those professors doing all day? Were they being productive? Universities went in search of a way to validate the use of researchers. By showing how much you produce, you can prove your worth. Universities set targets and academics were now being evaluated on their output. Read more
It’s tempting to begin with a classic from my generation. The times they are a-changin’. And indeed, the times are changing.
In this article I will limit myself to the opportunities those changes can bring to our line of work – academic publishing.
Some of the main subjects of discussion within the trade form the basis of the idea behind Rozenberg Quarterly.
Rozenberg Quarterly (from now on: RQ) is based on the free distribution of academic texts, the open access culture.
Besides academic texts, which strive to tell the readers something about our world, the RQ offers (investigative) journalism and cultural subjects in order to further illustrate the fact that science and academics are not separate from the world in which we live.
The RQ went online in 2010. Initially the website was set up as a marketing tool for Rozenberg Publishers and others. However, we soon realized we could turn it into a “real” magazine, something I always wanted – publish a newspaper. Read more
In a man’s world she was one of the few women. Whereas her fellow journalists reported the war as if keeping score, she concentrated on the reality behind the statistics. She reported the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, Vietnam and Panama. What is it that drives her to these hotbeds ? An interview (conducted in 1991) with an angry old lady.
In 1983, and far into her seventies, Martha Gellhorn can contain her anger no longer. This time the destinations are Nicaragua and El Salvador. She still shudder at the memory.
‘In Central-America was the first time I’ve ever felt real fear. You couldn’t see or hear the danger approaching. Suddenly it was there.’ Back at home England’s Granta publishes a report of hers on an instance of torture. Described in minute detail from the victim’s own account, smuggled out to her under the greatest secrecy – via the Red Cross – by a representative of a human rights organization in San Salvador.
‘There are murders committed every day in El Salvador and it’s costing the American taxpayer enormous sums of money, for no reason. We support these murderers. This has to be stopped.’ Read more