Category Archives: Journalism

Diary

Janet Malcolm, The Art of Nonfiction No. 4

“Perhaps even stronger than the room’s aura of commanding originality is its sense of absences, its evocation of all the things that have been excluded, have been found wanting, have failed to capture the interest of Rosalind Krauss—which are most of the things in the world, the things of ‘good taste’ and fashion and consumerism, the things we see in stores and in one another’s houses. No one can leave this loft without feeling a little rebuked: one’s own house suddenly seems cluttered, inchoate, banal.” – Janet Malcolm

Interviewed by Katie Roiphe

Though I will make the trip up the elevator to Janet Malcolm’s stately town- house apartment, overlooking Gramercy Park, three times in the course of this unusual interview, the substance of our exchange will take place by e-mail, over three and a half months.

The reason for this is that Janet Malcolm is more naturally the describer than the described. It is nearly impossible to imagine the masterful interviewer chatting unguardedly into a tape recorder, and indeed she prefers not to imagine it. She has agreed to do the interview but only by e-mail: in this way she has politely refused the role of subject and reverted to the more comfortable role of writer. She will be writing her answers—and, to be honest, tinkering gently with the phrasing of some of my questions.

more here

police blotter, muti cases – the daily monitor

This report from The Daily Monitor reads like a passage in Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666 (about the unending killings in Cuidad Jaurès, Mexico). To secular non-Africans, muti killings muddle the admiration for indigenous, traditional healers who are so routinely condemned by Evangelicals as practitioners of “witchcraft.” Traditional healers and shamans are always somehow in league with evil. (The word “muti,” derives from the Zulu word for tree, and became a synonym for medicine in South Africa.) Laying on hands and casting out spirits is work for preachers; the devil is ever at hand, you will hear. So what do you make of this?

Human sacrifice cases 2007 – 2009

Busala village, Iganga District, August 12, 2007: Mackline Namukose, aged two and a half years, was murdered and her body found in a nearby maize garden with her private parts, tongue, liver and kidney missing.

Kakira, Jinja District, October 13, 2008:
The body of Vincent Samanya, aged 10 years, was recovered from Kakira sugar cane plantation with some parts missing.

Kayugi village, Masaka district, October 28, 2008:
Joseph Kasirye (12) disappeared from the home of his grandfather. Umaru Katerega and his wife were arrested after behaving suspiciously. On interrogation they confessed that they had been given sh360,000 as part payment by Kampala businessman Godfrey Kato-Kajubi to get him a head of a human being for rituals.

Koma village, Oyam District, December 15, 2008:
The decomposing body of Christopher Okello, aged three, the son of Peter Odongo, was recovered at a bush near his parent’s home with the liver, heart and pancreases missing.

Mbale Municipal Council, April 25, 2008:
Joseph Nasima, a 19-year-old student of Mbale SS, went missing and has never been seen again. He is suspected to have been sacrificed by one of his relatives.

Kisalosalo, Kawempe division, Kampala, December 28, 2008:
Shafiq Mugombe, aged nine, was abducted by Mugambwa Paul on a motorcycle and taken to the shrine of Semisambwa in Bweyogerere, Mukono district. The boy was rejected by Semisambwa’s wife, Harriet Nanteza, because he was circumcised.

Bulenga, Wakiso district, January 8, 2009:
Muhammed Kayanja, the 3-weeks-old son of Naume Kagwesigye, was kidnapped by some people, including Fandha, in a suspected ritual sacrifice case.

Kitenga sub-county, Mubende district, January 26, 2009:
Florence Nyamwiza, a 23-years-old Rwandan woman, was arrested on information that she was looking for a buyer for her six-months-old baby, Kyasimire.

Nsambya, Kampala, January 27, 2009:
Prudence Kisakye, aged six, was abducted by her house maid, Babra Nakigude.

Kawempe, Kampala, January 29, 2009:
The head of an unidentified man was recovered from a rubbish pit near Avis Industries in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb.

Kayonza sub-county, Ntungamo district, February 5, 2009:
The body of Bernard Byaruhanga, a 30-year-old casual worker, was recovered with no head and private parts. The head was found two weeks later from a garden near the scene.

Kawempe, Kampala, February 9, 2009:
Human body parts, including two legs and a trunk, were recovered from a pit latrine and a bush. According to the Government chemist, the body parts belonged to the same person.

Makenke, Mubende town, February 12, 2009: At Kanalongo stream, a decomposing body of a boy estimated to be about 10 years old was recovered with the tip of the tongue and part of the lips cut off.

Namawombe village, Bugiri district, February 15, 2009:
George Mukisa, the 3-year-old son of Wanyama, was found in a bush near a residence of a traditional doctor with his penis and testicles cut off.

Bubugo village, Bugiri district, February 21, 2009: Tefula Ali Bagaya, alias Nambiro, a native doctor, and Moses Bateganya, both from Busowa in Bugiri district, were arrested for trespassing at the grave of the late Egesa with intent to remove the head of the dead for ritual purposes.

Kaliro district, February 22, 2009: Seven native doctors were arrested in Kaliro district on information that they were in possession of human body parts. They included Franco Baliza (32), Charles Tigawalan (46), David Kisembe (32), Eriasafu Kiige (36), William Zironda (35), Ahmed Mubinge and Hanning Tusherio (35). Among the items recovered from their shrines were suspected human bones and blood.

Nsambya West, Kampala, February 23, 2009:
A beheaded body of a few weeks old baby was recovered with the head separated from the trunk and the tongue cut out.

Kyeibara, Bushenyi district, February 27, 2009: The naked body of an unidentified man was found in the middle of the road, without the head.

Angagura, Pader district, March 10, 2009:
A decomposing body of an unidentified girl said to be around 18 years was recovered in a rubbish pit. Postmortem results indicate that the breasts and the private parts were cut off. The local authorities temporarily buried the body.

Muhanga village, Kabale, January 24, 2009:
The body of Muhammed Sipusuni Byabagambe was found with the head cut off.

Ntunda B Village, Kiboga, March 21, 2009:
The body of Sylvia Kangime (12) was found in the bush about 150 meters away from her parents’ home with parts of the private parts cut off.

Kinoni, Masaka, August 26, 2009:
The body of Benadette “jjaja Bena”, who was a common lunatic in Kinoni trading centre, was found in Njagalakasaaye swamp. Her head was cut off and all viscera removed from the abdomen. Pieces of tissue were cut from the liver, kidneys and intestines, and blood was tapped for suspected ritual purposes.

Kimaka camp, Jinja, May 13, 2009:
The body of five-year-old Jerome Mukwaya, son of Andrew Mukwana, a resident of Kimaka camp in a sugar plantation, was discovered with the private parts cut off and the stomach split open.

Paromo village, Gulu, April 14, 2009:
The body of one-year-old Moses Ogen was traced from Abera stream, Paromo village in Gulu district without the tongue, lips, part of the nose and eyes. The deceased had disappeared on 14/04/09 from home.

Kakira town council, Jinja, June 25, 2009:
Mustafa Said, the LC1 chairman L.C.I, reported the disappearance of Edein Kiiza (25). His body was found in his house with the private parts missing and the tongue removed. 

Njeru town council, Mukono district, July 16, 2009: Tapenensi Nambogwe, aged 57, a resident of Njeru town council in Mukono district, reported the disappearance of her grandson, Emmanuel Kironde (6), a pupil at Beneas Primary School. The body of the child was later found in a nearby cassava plantation with the head cut off.

Alidi “A” Village, Oyam district, July 4, 2009:
A body of one-and-half-years-old Robina Atino, daughter of Geoffrey Ogwal, was recovered from the bush 200 metres a way from the parents’ home with her neck slit.

Apac, August 23, 2009: Solomon Otiti, aged three, the son of Denis Otiti and Christine Awor, went missing. The body was later recovered with the penis and testicles cut.

Bugembe town council, Jinja, August 26, 2009:
The body of Swaliki Sajjabi (25), a cobbler and resident of Bugembe town council, was found in his house with the head cut off

Madi Opei trading centre, Kitgum, August 17, 2009:
Rose Atim reported disappearance of her son Ayaa Kevin aged two years on 27/08/09 and later on the body was recovered with the private parts, eyebrows and eyelids cut.

Kyamusi village, Mityana district, September 21, 2009:
A body of one Byaruhanga Godfrey from Rakai, a herdsman to one Lutaya Serwanga, was found beheaded in a farm at Kyamusi village, Bulela Sub-county, Mityana District with a head and hands cut off. The deceased went missing on 18/09/09 when he had gone to graze cows.

Kahoko Cell, Ibanda district, September 25, 2009:
At around 1200 hours the body of a male juvenile aged about one and half years was discovered buried in a banana plantation belonging to his father, one Alinitwe Andrew, aged 21 years. The head was cut off. The deceased went missing a day earlier when the mother left him at home together with his father as she went to fetch water.

Gwatiiro village, Mpigi district, September 15, 2009:
The body of one Nakanwagi Rita was recovered without the upper part of the body. It is suspected she was sacrificed to the spirits of a nearby stone quarry. Nakanwagi, aged six years, staying with relatives, had gone missing a week earlier.

Kitete Village, Mukono district, November 17, 2009:
At around 3pm a decomposing body of an unidentified female juvenile of about three years was found along the roadside with the private parts cut off. Alongside the body was a dead calf whose eyes had been removed.

Kamusu trading centre, Kabarole district, November 29, 2009: A body of one Rwijja Patrick, aged 33, unemployed street man, was found with private parts and the tongue cut off.

Bwaise, Kampala, December 21, 2009: The body of a four months old baby girl, daughter of one Asiimwe and Ssenabulya Joseph Kityo, was recovered with the head cut off and buried under the bed and the remaining body part was buried in a garden.

Kibuye village, Nakasongola district, December 9, 2009: At 10am a decomposing body of Loruku Furub, son of Lometo Peter, a peasant, was found with the head cut off and lying besides the body, the tongue and the heart missing, suspected to have been used in ritual sacrifice.

meanwhile in helmand province

guys

u.s. afghan policy is losing its cowboys. gone the death-metal-blasting, sun-glasses-wearing, horizon-leveling fury. now, tea with clansmen, bivouacing among villagers, and fostering long-haul “trust;” the soldier as armed anthropologist? at the same time, guys in nevada are console game assassins, triggering airborne drones thousands of miles away, then driving home.
IRAQ/

here’s the embed’s view (click on previous link!) and here’s what the war looks like from the sky:

another beautiful trainwreck

trainwreck.jpg
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