Snowden, Frank M. (2019) Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. At the beginning of the present global pandemic, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, was among many who warned about the impact of the Covid-19 virus on Africa.[1] This was all consistent with […]

This is the third time I’ve fled Sierra Leone because of a crisis. The first was in May of 2000 during the tail end of the war, when RUF rebels took UNAMSIL peacekeepers hostage. The second was July 2014, during Ebola time, just as people in Freetown were starting to take the virus seriously. And […]

For some years now, at the height of Sierra Leone’s rainy season, heavy floods have struck the country’s capital city, Freetown, leaving behind them damaged infrastructure and devastated housing.[1] This year, again, floods claimed several lives in Freetown and paralyzed the city for days. Nearby towns on the Peninsula, like Wellington and Tombo, were also […]

The second day of Christmas saw the birth of a new President in Liberia. Former football player and current Senator for Montserrado County, George Weah won the presidential run-off against former Vice-President Joseph Boakai. The election was a memorable one for several reasons. It marked the end of the second term of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and […]

IC_UGC Conference 2018 Those Who Stay: How Out-Migration Affects West African Societies  

‘It’s the global’: these were the words which miners in Sierra Leone used to explain the global economic slowdown of 2007, the event which would lead to the global economic crisis of 2008, and to the continuing crises which flowed out from it. These words stand, very effectively, for the ways in which crisis at […]

Field notes from Kailahun and Kpemalu. The road network in Sierra Leone has much improved in recent years, especially since the first time I travelled to the Eastern Province in 2004. Today, the tarmac ends in Pendembu, a town 17 miles from the district headquarter town of Kailahun. The district is the most eastern part […]

Worldwide, the majority of refugees now lives in urban areas. Refugee camps have long since become the hallmark of prolonged refugee crises, so that researchers and aid organisations now increasingly focus on urban spaces. Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is a good example of such an urban haven. Central to the issue are the questions […]

The morning after a long night a well-deserved hangover can be treated with a variety of potent remedies. There is black coffee with lemon, raw egg with Tabasco, or just staying in bed and waiting for the hangover to pass. These antitoxins work for the alcohol-induced hangover. However, some anthropologists specialised in West Africa or […]

Hoffman, Danny (2012): The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Durham and London: Duke University Press. Critique of Anthropology 34: 124 (2014). Hoffman’s book looks at the lives of young men who participated in the Sierra Leonean (1991-2002) and Liberian (1989-1996, 1999-2003) wars, which, in his view, were so closely […]