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Aboriginal Religions in Australia  

David Moore

Aboriginal Religions are the Indigenous religions of Australia. There are a diverse range of religions throughout Australia, with religion defined as the “transmission of authoritative traditions.” Despite change and disruption in the past two and a half centuries of European occupation and colonization, Aboriginal Religions retain their distinctiveness and vitality. This article explores some of the common aspects of the Aboriginal Religions of Australia. These are the importance of the land and the sacred places of that land. Aboriginal Religions can best be researched by phenomenological approaches which are based upon language.

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African Antislavery Activism  

Eric Komlavi Hahonou

Despite the dominant visibility of international organizations fighting against slavery in Africa (and elsewhere), antislavery activism is not the preserve of social actors external to the African continent. In the early years of independence in a few African countries (e.g., Tunisia, Madagascar), antislavery mobilization animated public scenes without much success. This was followed by a long period when the theme was relatively absent from African public debates. The issue of slavery was then revitalized in the context of political reforms such as democratic decentralization (in the 1990s and 2000s in West Africa) and the Arab Spring (post-2011 contexts in North Africa). Since then, various mobilizations to contest slavery and its long-lasting legacies are gaining public visibility in some African nation-states. African antislavery movements are defined as various forms of resistance against African slavery and its legacies manifested in the form of collective actions initiated by Africans on the continent. In North Africa, the West African Sahel, and Central and Eastern Africa, as well as in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, antislavery activism is embodied by antiracist movements, antislavery associations, civil society organizations, cultural and linguistic associations, political parties, and so forth. Social exclusion related to slavery is being discussed and contested on digital platforms and in fierce social media debates.

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The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa  

Christina Dickerson-Cousin

In 1816, Richard Allen and other Black Methodists established the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Although this independent, historically Black denomination began in the United States, its early members and ministers had global ambitions. They intended for the AME Church to serve marginalized people of color around the world. Planting the institution in Africa played an important role in this vision. African Methodists began migrating to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the first half of the 19th century. In these locales, they hoped to find a respite from the oppression they faced in the American South. The AME Church grew in these regions and, later, in South Africa. By the AME denomination’s bicentennial year in 2016, there were six African episcopal districts spanning various regions of the continent. Women, both clergy and lay, have played significant roles in AME Church history. African women are a part of that historical pattern. Charlotte Manye Maxeke helped to initiate African Methodism in South Africa. Europa Randall facilitated AME expansion in Ghana. Louise York served as a pioneering educator at two AME schools in Liberia. Her daughter, Katurah York Cooper, established a thriving church in Monrovia. These and other trailblazing women assisted in the growth and development of African Methodism in Africa.

Article

Animation in Latin America  

Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar

Animation has always been global, though the contributions of Latin American animation industries are often ignored. The history of the medium in the region is extensive, beginning with Quirino Cristiani’s El apóstol (1917)—the first full-length animated feature film in the history of the craft. Its history has been shaped by numerous factors, including the animation industry's turn to studio production in the early 20th century and the implementation of national film policies in the second half of the 20th century. The success of animation production companies throughout Latin America since the early 21st century has led to the emergence of core sites of animation production, circulation, and fandom in many countries of the region. The future of animation in the region will likely depend on a combination of factors, including policies, transnational media flows, and what the digital turn can offer the art form.

Article

Beer in Africa  

Anne Kelk Mager

Beer is a powerful substance, in itself or in the way it is used. It can bring communion with the ancestors, lead to wealth or ruin, generate commensal feelings of well-being, and fuel the dark atrocities of war. Environmental and social conditions shape brewing and consumption rituals and regimes of control. In southern African settler societies, prohibition and restriction on beer brewing and consumption were aimed at the supply of sober labor for the capitalist economy and the generation of revenue from government-owned beer halls for the administration of Black townships and mining compounds. As large numbers of women came to depend on incomes from home brewing and multinational brewers pursued profits in the lucrative African market, consumption increased. Brewers used their economic power to influence government policy and keep regulation at bay. In the late 20th century, competitive beer wars led to increasing concentration and domination of the African market by a handful of players. Weak regulatory regimes led to the abuse of corporate power, and in the genocidal civil wars in Central Africa, multinational brewers became complicit in fueling the conflict. In the new millennium, social pressures and technological developments led to the introduction of a new generation of drinks brewed from traditional grains.

Article

Beyond the Earthquake: Disaster and Improvisation in Haiti  

Ana Elisa de Figueiredo Bersani

The ethnographic examination of community response to disasters helps to understand what disasters and long-term vulnerability are and how they are experienced by individuals and communities. More than that, it offers a unique insight into how the problems and challenges posed by critical events might be addressed more effectively, despite the lack of resources and despair caused by destruction. Through a processual approach and drawing on catastrophes and humanitarian aid literature, the anthropological perspective situates both themes of disaster and aid in a broader dimension. The response of communities in the province of Grand’Anse to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti is an exemplary case that highlights the crucial role of familial and community mechanisms that goes beyond the reach of state and international institutions in ensuring the survival of those affected. These often overlooked mechanisms constituted an effective emergency response not to be underestimated. The ways in which Haitian society dealt with the aftermath question existing commonsense notions of both disaster and aid, making use of an available repertoire and articulating creative devices that, however, do not operate in a vacuum. Faced with a context of insecurity, marked by structural uncertainties, precariousness, and major transformations, Haitians have long had to look for shortcuts and improvise to get rid of countless difficulties and obstacles. The expression degaje in Haitian Creole reveals an important relationship between crisis and improvisation in which change, conflict, and instability are always mixed with permanence, integration, and balance. It can also be understood as a value and an important analytical category to explain the unpredictability of social life and the mechanisms used to cope with challenges posed by it.

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Black Diaspora and Media Use  

Ola Ogunyemi

The article contributes to the understanding of the historically evolving and contemporary nature of how Black diasporas make use of the media.It examines how diaspora was appropriated to describe Black diasporas and their lived experiences in retaining the memory of the homeland and identity formation in their new environment. Drawing on the prism of physical and psychological dimensions of Black diaspora enables us to gain an insight into how diasporic media not only perform connective and orientation roles, that have received dominant attention in scholarly studies, but also perform entertainment/lifestyle and advocacy roles. These roles have been repurposed for online platforms as new media technology requires journalists to reimagine what constitutes the Black press in the new media age. Literature shows that Black diasporas are active audiences judging by their high educational attainment and media literacy. Hence, there is a need to focus on the motivations that drive their media consumption by using the concept of uses and gratifications to elucidate how Black diasporas engage with the media to meet their information, entertainment, and education needs. The article observes that scholars of Black diasporas employ methodological pluralism, that is, finding value in a variety of sources of information, to address the complexity of issues about Black diasporas and their media use. It concludes by highlighting some areas where there is a need for more research and some areas that have been overlooked in the literature. Filling these gaps in future research will enhance the understanding of Black diasporas and their media use in the 21st century.

Article

British Bangladeshis  

Claire Alexander and Sundeep Lidher

One of the smallest ethnic minority groups in Great Britain, the British Bangladeshi community comprises just 1.1 percent of the population (according to the 2021 census). Predominantly Muslim, this community has longstanding roots in Britain, linked to the British imperial project in India that preceded the disruptions of partition and the later struggle for Bangladeshi independence. British Bangladeshis have a distinctive settlement pattern, with dense concentrations in key urban areas. They are among the most socially and economically deprived groups in Britain and are most often framed through a discourse of disadvantage and discrimination. Nevertheless, the community has also played a crucial role in the struggle against racism and in the formation of modern multicultural Britain, particularly through its key role in the restaurant trade. In the 21st century, the community, largely second- or third-generation British-born, is undergoing a dramatic social transformation. Success in education and rising numbers of young British Bangladeshis in higher education and in all spheres of public life, including politics, the arts, and media, has seen the emergence of a new and confident middle class. Religion, particularly Islam, has come to play a more significant role among younger British Bangladeshis and has challenged the secular nationalism of their parents and grandparents. However, entrenched issues of deprivation in the British Bangladeshi community, alongside racism and Islamophobia, remain an important concern. The story of Bangladeshi Britain is one of empire, global migration, and diaspora. It is also a story of pioneer settlers, who forged new spaces of safety, of home, and of belonging in Britain, in the face of virulent racism and structural exclusion, and whose descendants still face significant barriers of exclusion and racism while building new paths for success.

Article

Carceral Tourism  

Megan Cullen Tewell

Carceral tourism refers to visitation—for a range of purposes, including leisure, recreation, entertainment, and education—to places associated with crime and punishment, particularly confinement. It represents an intersection of public history and dark tourism, and it involves the public’s accessing former or current sites of imprisonment, such as jails, prisons, penitentiaries, and detention centers that provide interpretations of carceral themes and histories. Visitors engage this form of tourism at physical locations in-person or remotely via digital interpretation, but they tend to prefer specific sites and structures. Generally consisting of guided or self-guided site tours, as well as exhibits and special programs, carceral tourism can also encompass historic reuse or repurposing, as well as the commodification of carceral themes, including site rentals and merchandizing. The significance of carceral tourism lies in how these sites construct and impart meanings of punishment, particularly incarceration, for everyday audiences.

Article

Children’s Food: Historical, Sociocultural, and Public Health Perspectives  

Tina Moffat

The category of children’s food was invented in the 20th century with the rise of nutrition sciences, the industrialization of food, and changing societal attitudes to children and childhood that resulted in newfound autonomy and food purchasing power for children in middle- and upper-income countries. Studies of children’s food can be found in both the public health and social sciences. There is some transdisciplinary overlap among topics such as children’s first foods, the marketing of unhealthy food to children, school food, food allergies, and children’s food security. Studies in public health sciences have been more concerned with the nutritional aspects of children’s food, whereas the social sciences literature has taken up the examination of children’s food as a reflection of adult preoccupations with children and childhood within neoliberal and capitalist societies. To date, there is a dearth of studies that include children’s perspectives, though the field is changing with more calls to include children as active participants in studies of children’s food.