Sometimes, in an art museum, you’ll come to a beautiful but conventional painting, perhaps a portrait or a still life. You’ll stand in front of it for a minute, marveling at the brushstrokes that bring it to life, but by the time you leave the museum, you won’t remember much about the piece. A work like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, for example, which depicts the destruction caused by war in a unique and thought-provoking way, will stick with you much more than paintings that simply portray their subjects accurately. Netflix original, Beasts of No Nation, based on a novel of the same name, is a devastating portrayal of child warfare. The film follows a young boy, Agu (Abraham Attah), who escapes into the jungle when a violent civil war reaches his home village in an unnamed African country.
The stream of world leaders coming to campus continued yesterday, as Mo Ibrahim, founder of Celtel and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, spoke to a captivated audience in Kennedy Hall. Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Ibrahim’s lecture, titled, “Africa Works with Good Governance, Investment, and a Little Help from Our Friends,” was this year’s Henry E. and Nancy Horton Bartels World Affairs Fellowship Lecture.
“I was lucky, I had the chance to get educated, which many of my African friends did not have,” Ibrahim said.
Festus Mogae, the former president of Botswana, said that Africans love President Barack Obama. They expect a lot from him, especially in encouraging African development of democratic governments, as well as helping to improve Africa’s economies and to respond to climate change.
In the talk in the Biotech Auditorium yesterday, Mogae said that he expects the Obama administration to create a “pro-democracy initiative — one that provides incentives to democratization in Africa.”
“If America believes democracy is good for Africa, it should put its money where its mouth is,” he said. “We want to be helped, not attacked militarily.”
Prof. Chinua Akukwe, global health and prevention and community health, at George Washington University, lectured yesterday at Uris Hall on the African Diaspora Health Initiative launched by the African Union in September 2008.
Yesterday’s talk, “The Potential Role of Africans in the Diaspora in Improved Healthcare Delivery in Africa” was the first lecture of the “Issues in African Development Special Topic Seminar Series.” The series is designed “to foster awareness of African issues in the University,” according to Evangeline Ray, assistant program coordinator in C.U.’s Institute for African Development. which is sponsoring the lecture series.
With classes, social interactions, future goals and constant deadlines, the Cornell world may seem overwhelming enough — but consider this chilling fact: One child dies of malaria every 30 seconds in Africa.
When Babette Stern ’09 and Shoshana Aleinikoff ’08 attended Americans for Informed Democracy’s two-day “Malaria Bootcamp” last January, they felt empowered upon learning that the devastating disease is preventable. They joined with Sarah Mongiello ’09 and Zeke Rediker ’09 to create Cover Africa — a non-profit organization to literally cover Africa with mosquito bed-nets.