The Year of Finding New Paths to our Freedom(s)

We close the year to a doctor’s strike that has no end in sight and a call from the opposition that there will be civil action early in 2017. In many ways, the world seems grim. Our president himself told us this year that there is nothing that can be done about corruption in a kind…

Reading Migritude

“It began as a teardrop in Babylon” How Ambi Became Paisley, Migritude, Shailja Patel. Dagoretti corner was the great corner. Tenwek is so named because it took ten weeks to walk there. We know these stories. We have told them to each other many times. What is apparent from them is the way in which…

2015: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Or Death

“Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; – the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities This is Dickens’ take on the slogan of the French Revolution, “The Republic One and Indivisible of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death,” and I do not think there is a better statement to describe…

Reading Akello

Akello is a book of love poems. That’s the short version. But I’m wondering what it means to say the words “love poems” anymore. To explore the ideas of feeling and being a space that is decidedly against these same ideas. Love slowly moves to being a radical act (still, I hear echoes of ‘the…

The Year In Literature

“and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive” Audre Lorde These are the works that spoke to us the most in 2014. [Click the title, in…

Between Hope and a Hard Place

On many occasions when talking about Brainstorm, the journal, the future and the work that we believe that this journal should do, I’ve been asked about hope. This question comes up again with people who read my blog. And it’s not just me, it’s like the message that is being passed across by many writers,…

On Important Writing And New Years

It is important to keep talking, keep discussing, keep creating and keep imagining. It is also important that we dwell, that we refuse to move when all around the world insists that we move forward. A perfect time for this sort of reflection is when the year comes to an end. This week, instead of…

A Young Bull Mounts From the Head

by Linda Musita An African proverb implies that a young bull does not know the back of a cow from its front.  What the adolescent does when it is horny is try to get itself “in” through the face of its object of desire. I would like to assume it is because the young bull…