you know the joke about mbembe who wanted to travel to london?

Sick? Hilarious? Probably both. A report on Africa is a Country on philosopher Achille Mbembe’s efforts to participate in a debate organised by Tate Modern in London. It reads:

‘Lastly, Achille Mbembe was due to speak on the concept of the ‘zero-world’. Except he wasn’t there: Rivera had announced in his introduction that Mbembe hadn’t been able to get a visa (cue world-weary laughter) but that he would joining the conversation from Dakar via Skype. So much for the butterflies image, thanks William Hague. Rivera received a text which said that the political philosopher was trying to find an internet café, then another saying he was trying to find an internet café with Skype, then another saying that he was trying to find an internet café with Skype in a part of the city where there wasn’t a power-cut, until it all started to feel like a practical joke about the exclusion of African intellectuals from ‘global’ conversations, and the connection never materialised.’

It’s not only the UK. This morning Dutch radio news reported on a Turkish singer who was interrogated for such a long time by Immigration officers at Schiphol that he decided to fly back to Turkey. He was supposed to sing in the Concertgebouw in a concert celebrating 400 years of diplomatic relationship between The Netherlands and Turkey.

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