The magazine Granta, which recently changed editors, has a new issue out, and a newly refurbished site to go with it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Online Only section has an opinion piece by Ngugi wa Thiong’o on the crisis in Kenya:
The title of Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, best captures the complex mixture of emotions I felt as I watched televised images of fire and death stalking Kenyan streets. An otherwise smooth election marked by a spirited competition of views among citizens went awry at the moment of tallying. The result of the tallying became a dance of absurdity, with claims and counterclaims of rigging by the main contesting parties: Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU). The chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), whose word would have helped those not at the scene make sense of it all, declared a winner, handed him the winner’s certificate and then said he knew the true presidential winner. The aggrieved party went to the streets but refused to go to the courts.
The dance of absurdity became a dance of death.
The article is available in full here. There is also a photo essay by Nick Danziger of the infamous French banlieues: The Paris Intifada. To read Andrew Hussey’s article, though, you will need to be a subscriber.