261-263 of 263 Results

Article

The West African Stone Age  

Philip Allsworth-Jones

In terms of artefacts present, West Africa is not short of evidence relating to human occupation during the Quaternary. The problem hitherto has been one of context and dating; there has been some progress in this regard but poor preservation conditions still restrict the presence of organic remains prior to the beginning of the Late Stone Age (LSA). Nonetheless, an excellent climatic record for the last 520 kya has been established on the basis of cores obtained from Lake Bosumtwi. Stratified Acheulean sites have been excavated at Sansandé and Ravin Blanc on the Falémé River in eastern Senegal. The succeeding Sangoan is an entity for which a consistent and reliable classification remains to be achieved. Despite this, excavations at Anyama in the Ivory Coast have produced a sizeable quantity of material, with a terminus post quem thermoluminescence (TL) date of 254 ± 51 kya. Our knowledge of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) has been transformed by the work carried out at Ounjougou in Mali. More than twenty-five distinct archaeological occurrences have been detected, extending from about 75 to 25 kya. The MSA elsewhere is abundant, and at Adrar Bous is in place beneath the Aterian, but much of it lacks a good stratigraphic context. The following dry period, the Ogolian, must have had a dramatic effect on human settlement, and the majority of LSA sites postdate this episode. There is no apparent link between them and the MSA. Nonetheless, the LSA at Shum Lake in Cameroon does have 14C dates in the range 32,700–12,800 BP. The most significant LSA site is Iwo Eleru, notable for the presence of modern human remains with “archaic” characteristics. A parallel situation has been detected at Ishango in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo both indicating a hitherto unsuspected “deep substructure” in Late Pleistocene African populations.

Article

World Heritage, Sustainable Development, and Africa  

Pascall Taruvinga

World Heritage and Sustainable Development are connecting, complex, and inseparable global concepts operating at the local levels of World Heritage sites in developing nations. World Heritage is defined as cultural and natural sites considered to have outstanding universal values (OUV) and are legally protected by international treaties, in this case the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which provide the criteria for inscribing such sites and for keeping them on the World Heritage List. World Heritage promotes conservation of such heritage for the benefit of humanity. Sustainable Development, however, refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and its implementation is largely directed by guidelines and principles endorsed by a broad range of stakeholders. Both concepts, World Heritage and Sustainable Development, have present and futuristic functionalities, but the former appears to be more emphasized than the latter in their application to heritage management. The present and futuristic functionalities of these two concepts constitute a complex but continuously evolving relationship that remains topical in the 21st century and beyond. As such, and in order to deepen our understanding the relationship between World Heritage and Sustainable Development, empirical analysis of their respective implementation at the local levels is a continuous process. Advancing the localization of World Heritage and Sustainable Development, including reducing theory into practice for the benefit of both conservation and the well-being of society, remains a mutually beneficiary process for both concepts. While conservation is premised on maintaining and retaining the significance of a heritage site, the well-being of society is driven by efforts toward meeting society’s diverse and growing needs on a daily basis. The balancing of World Heritage, Sustainable Development, conservation, and the well-being of society remains a contested but unavoidable engagement. All these aspects are still yet to find full acceptance and a localization matrix in the geo-socioeconomic and cultural contexts of Africa. Conservation and socioeconomic development for the well-being of society are viewed as issues that are as old as humanity itself. Both are embedded in the traditional management systems that guided protection of heritage and utilization of both renewable and nonrenewable resources available to communities in Africa. Therefore, these issues are a local phenomenon before becoming issues of global concern. While solutions from outside the context of these local phenomena may assist and bring good practices for World Heritage and Sustainable Development, they cannot be effective without being infused with local input and adaptation of local experiences to improve policy implementation. Understandably, the well-being of society has always been in existence and remains a priority; however, what is changing is the scale, diversity, and urgency of the needs of society due to multiple factors. Continuous research is required to find a balance between global processes and the local needs of society at World Heritage sites in Africa. The future of World Heritage in Africa lies in its adaptive ability to embrace continuously emerging local dynamics of sustainable development, offering alternative and creative solutions, embracing an inclusive stakeholder governance approach, and quantifying the contribution of heritage to development targets. World Heritage has to be part of a broader localized solution to local socioeconomic challenges in Africa.

Article

Youth Social Exclusion in Latin America  

Gonzalo A. Saraví

Globalization and neoliberalism changed the structure and dynamics of contemporary society and imposed a new social question dominated by exclusion, precariousness, and inequality. Social exclusion is not an individual attribute but a social process; it is an inherent result of a neoliberal capitalist society that produces different disposable figures around the world. Exclusion means not “being outside” of society but “being inside” in unfavorable, subordinated, and devalued material, social, and symbolic conditions. Therefore, youth social exclusion implies a process of socialization, subjectivation, and life trajectories in an unfavorable world: a process of inclusion in exclusion. This process crystalizes in at least three main spheres: space, the self, and the life course of young people. In Latin America, extreme social and material deprivation intersects with gender inequality relations, social (mis)recognition, violence and crime, institutional weakness, and growing spaces of (i)legalisms, among other dimensions. All of them shape the place, subjectivity, and biography of most disadvantaged young people throughout the Latin American continent.