20 female artists to die for

I love music, and lately, i’ve been having this melancholic mood so i’ve been listenning to really specific songs and playlists. Some female artists just have that tone, that voice and that vibe that gets to me whenever i’m in this type of mood. So today, i’m sharing with you 20 female artists i appreciate a lot. 1) Oum – Morocco 2) Asa – Nigeria 3) Iyeoka – Nigeria

4) Noora Noor – Somal 5) Tongo with lions – Greece   Continue reading

4 easy steps to induce people into thinking you’re a normal human being

Hey folks,

It’s been a while since I posted something this ‘serious’ (remember the 10 obvious signs you have the Cyrus syndrome ?) but a friend of mine told me recently that he was surprised when he got to know me because I looked normal until we talked more than 20 minutes, all my randomness cut him off guards. So let’s say this clearly: we are weird people living in a weird planet. No exceptions, it’s just on different levels and layers. We all have our problems, our struggles, our mental disorders, our flaws, our awkwardness, our fears… and yet, we live in a society where being weird (which is basically everyone’s case) is labelled as ‘weird’. I have a problem with the term ‘normal’ and ‘weird’, what’s normal ? and who gets to set the standard ? What’s weird when we look at our crazy universe ? People die, people kill, people yell, people break things, people drink too much, people smoke too much, people cry, people have babies, people do drugs, people have complexes, people hit other people, people bully each other, people go to war, people live in misery, people hate on people, people snap, people hold grudges, people lose their memory, people get sick, people make others feel sick, people are rude… and yet, we call the average human being, a ‘normal’ person. The normal person has problems, social and mental disorders to deal with, she just doesn’t show it. So when people say normal, i hear “someone who’s actually quite messed up and crazy as fuck who might actually kill your entire family and make a carpet out of your chest hair without feeling guilty but who has a skill that consists in being a hypocrite in all circumstances, not shocking anyone and being exactly what the society, people, religion and government wants him to be”. These people are usually the reason why other people suffer. And then you talk about potatoes three times in a serious conversation and people label you as crazy until the rest of your life.

Hassan Hajjaj photography

When it comes to me, I have no problem stating that I’m a weird ass person. I’m basically a freak. I once wished a teacher ‘happy new year’ instead of ‘have a good day’. Whenever I make eye contact, I smile awkwardly. I laugh in situations where laughing is just plain odd. I like jumping from topic to topic and reaching high levels of whatthefuckness. But, even with all this history of weirdness, I still manage to look quite normal most of the time. I don’t care if people think or know that I’m weird, but I wanted to write this article to answer the question. Here’s how you can look normal, while being a complete freak.

1) I state that I’m weird and awkward beforehand so that people prepare accordingly. There’s a study in psychology that says that crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, they live in denial ; so if they say ‘I’m crazy’, they’re immediately taken for normal people with no disorder whatsoever. So that’s my first tip, if you’re a freak, just saying it to people will make you look less freaky and more of a normal human being with some freaky behaviours. It’s not like lying or anything, but preparing people to your weirdness.

Continue reading

Book review : The suns of Independance by Ahmadou Kourouma

I was recently looking for a book called “Allah is not obliged” by Ahmadou Kourouma, it’s on my ‘2015 to-read’ list and I wanted to get a hand over it. But the first book that I found from the same author was The suns of Independance, the title catched my curiosity, so I took it. The Suns of Independence, considered a masterpiece of modern African literature, enabled me to gain unique insight into African culture and conflicts. As an African myself, I feel like coming back to an old family house and getting to know its rooms. The Suns of Independence is a novel of early postcolonial Africa. The central character is Fama, the last chief of the once-powerful Dumbuya tribe that ruled over Horodougou (land of honor), an area that has now been divided between two newly independent fictional African states, the Ebony Coast (Ivory coast) and the Socialist Republic of Nikinai (Guinea). The real name of the countries are never written in the book, and I think it has been strategically shadowed so as to bring out the flaws of these nations that the author criticizes.

In keeping with its title, The Suns of Independence pays close attention to suns, skies, and weather. The struggle between the sun and the clouds almost turns them into characters in their own. I loved the description parts, but the use of colors “black” and “white” as metaphors to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ kind of upset me. Saying that “The Malinke people have souls blacker than their skins and words whiter than their teeth” seemed a little odd to me coming from an African author, I think that this connotation given to colors is what results from colonisation, Africans start seeing colors as a sign of good and bad which has nothing to do with the equation.

In a world turned upside-down, Fama had inherited an honour without the means to uphold it, like a headless snake.

Through Fama and Salimata, the husband and wife at the heart of this story, Kourouma conveys the confusion that torments many Africans when a traditional and a more materialistic culture collide. Alongside with tales and proverbs from the ancient Malinke traditions, the novel captures the struggles, desires, and dreams of a people in a West African country living through the tumultuous days of Independence.

Truly the suns of Independence are unsuited to great things; they have not only unmanned, but also unmagicked Africa.

It’s a strange tale. Fama, the protagonist, is a man clinging to the past honor of his family line, but also seeing the present degeneration and insignificance of his tribe in a brave new world. Alongside him is his wife Salimata: a beautiful woman longing for a child, yet haunted by her past of  female circumcision and rape. The book also deals with the complicated nature of spirituality in the West African experience. On the surface, the characters live the lives of good Muslims, praying and looking for Allah’s mercy. Yet when faced with desperate circumstances, the older pagan practices seep through, and we find the characters wondering whether the older paths of sorcery and fetishes might not hold more power over their daily lives.

“Traditional life was hard. Colonialism was harder. Independence is hardest of all.” This is the message that emerges from The Suns of Independence. Ultimately, this book is about the end of an age. About how things just can’t survive the upheavals of colonialism and independence. About how people and traditions can come through such changes as mere ghosts of themselves, in the sunlight of an unrecognizable world. Fatalistic ? Yes. But i read between the lines a lot of hope and love.

Please feel free to discuss the book (or the african struggle through independence) in the comment section down bellow, like and share.

With love,

FZ

On Earth Day 2015

Yesterday was Earth Day, and i feel like this celebration can never come close to how many days should be dedicated to Earth. Our planet, and universe, deserve more demonstrations of love. There’s so many breath taking places around the planet, and i wish i’ll get the chance to one day visit all of them. It’s why we’re working so hard, isn’t it?

tumblr_mws74nppV81r9w38bo1_500

687 (9)

tumblr_mznh8ktdqU1rub0hvo1_500

0nwOB1b1r1o14ho1_500 12drone Continue reading

La vie… (french post)

La vie est une étincelle. De l’énergie. Beaucoup d’énergie gâchée surtout. Une vie, des vies, la vie : quoi d’autre que des éclats, des fissures, des brèches dans le temps. Quand on y pense, bien trop insignifiantes. Et on naît, et on parle, et on marche et on se pose des questions, et on apprend et on analyse, on sourit, on court dans tous les sens, et puis on écrit et puis, et puis… Tout ça, pour exister, pour vivre. Pour appartenir à quelque chose. Pour se sentir utile, pour ne pas se sentir de trop ni se sentir trop petit dans un monde trop grand, et bien trop large pour nos bras. Mais nous sommes le relais, la brèche, la fissure. L’éclat de toute chose. Et puis on meurt. Souvent, on quitte ce monde sans avoir compris. Sans avoir réalisé que tout ce qu’on pense donner à l’univers, au monde, aux autres, n’est qu’une vaine envie de laisser une trace. C’est peut être cela la raison du pourquoi. La question existentielle qui tracasse toute l’humanité depuis la nuit des temps. C’est un peu la finalité des escapades philosophiques et différentes errances de nos cerveaux. Arrivés à cette question, nous ne savons plus rien. Nous avons des théories, des fantasmes. Arrivés à ce stade de réflexion, nous ne sommes plus qu’une question, le plus souvent sans réponse. Pourquoi sommes nous ici ? Que faisons nous sur terre ? Pourquoi nous, pourquoi moi ? Qui sommes nous déjà ? Trop de questions, trop de pistes.

On est là pour aider les autres. Mais si nous on est là pour les aider, pourquoi sont-ils ici ? Nous sommes donc ici pour aimer, pour partager le bonheur autour de nous. J’aime y croire mais ça fait surtout partie de mes buts dans la vie : être ici pour partager. Mais bon, c’est peut être pas ça. On est, c’est tout. Je me pose les mêmes questions, mais quand c’est du domaine des crises existentielles, je préfère me dire que l’on existe, et puis c’est tout. On saura à la fin. C’est comme regarder un film sans connaître le nom du réalisateur, ou du film lui-même. On zappe les premières minutes de film, et puis on regarde, le personnage principal grandit, évolue, traverse une foule de péripéties. Et c’est la fin.

Continue reading

100 ‘small’ things everyone should know

Hey internet. Spring is here, and I’m just thrilled and excited when I think of all the wonders coming my way. I had a quite busy week, it was my school’s JPO’s (Open days) and I spent a lot of time walking around, giving visits and answering questions. It was exhausting, even a little bit annoying, but I learned a lot, met nice refreshing people and felt content during these days. Anyhow, I wanted to share this post with you guys for a long time now, it’s 100 things we sometimes take for granted but that everyone should keep in mind. The list isn’t mine for once, but I wanted to share it with you, so the credit goes to whoever made this. And, go.

1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans or dates by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team, your group or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Never underestimate people because of their silence.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A sun tan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

Continue reading

Modern Beatniks ?

I just finished reading “On the road”, the most important book when it comes to the beat generation culture of the USA in the 50’s. I had a little information about the beatniks in the past, but reading this book gave me a lot more understanding. This movement came as a respond to the society’s conventional lifestyle that drains the thrill, the excitement and passion of life. Many people rebelled against this, claiming a free, nomadic lifestyle where boundaries and inhibitions don’t exist. The beat culture embraced a life where drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, spirituality, the rejection of materialism, and the idealizing of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being were central elements. I won’t say if I’m with or against this movement as it has it ups and downs, but I feel that it has a lot to do with where we are now. People crave drugs, sexual freedom, alternative spirituality and sometimes over-stereotyped ‘hipsterism’ so that they can feel alive, so that they live differently, so that they feel ‘cool’. But if we think about it, most of the time, these people rebel just for the sake of rebellion, there’s nothing underneath this layer and that creates chaos. Drugs, sex, road life, “yolo-based” decisions…. nothing happens without consequences. Serious addiction, over-dose, health issues, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, AIDS…. so many problems that stay with the person, even after coming back to reality. I’m not saying that rebelling against the conformity will always end up in such cases, but if this rebellion isn’t well thought, then there’s a lot of chances the results will turn out to be disastrous. The road is indeed a limitless field of life-time experiences, new bonds & relationships, interesting discussions and so much more; but safety comes first, and this upcoming generation needs to think a little bit more before jumping into such a fast pasted lifestyle. That’s, at least, how I see things.

Jack Kerouac, Manhattan, 1953

I think that being ‘beat’, sometimes, is necessary to be alive, to be a part of something bigger than our boring and resembling lives; but always being ‘beat’ is to not be ready to look at reality in the eyes. Being drunk, high, on drugs, fearless, horny, thrilled, stoned, excited, delusional, theatrical and careless all the time doesn’t mean your life is awesome, it just means you’re not ready for life yet. Life is about finding a balance, between what we can do to make us feel good and what we can offer so that others or the planet feel as good. It’s about giving and taking, give too much and you’ll end up depressed and feeling nothing in your life, take too much and you’re just a selfish being who’s never satisfied and who isn’t able to give back. When we take things out of life, such as pleasure, love, happiness… we need to remember that these moments were given to us for a reason, maybe to share them with someone, to think about their value and to give back. That’s why I don’t understand people who chose to become ‘beat’ all the time, sinking in addictions, lust, games, adrenaline kickers and so on. They can only take so much until their card game crumbles down, no happiness lasts forever. It’s like eating pizza everyday for years: the pizza becomes ordinary, at one point, it’ll get boring. Without pain, depression, sorrow, grief, loss… how can we feel happiness? Life exists because of death, and the other way around. If we only focus on life, death will shock us in the most unexpectedly painful way possible. And I don’t want that for anyone. So my word on this? Balance, always balance.

Beatniks protesting, Bob Gomel, June 1960

“But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or a say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

(Jack Kerouac, On the road, Chapter 1, Page 5).

On the road movie poster

Overall, “On the Road” was a mesmerizing book that takes the reader on a journey to an era when American society was at its dawn of “conformism.” With Kerouac’s colorful descriptions and mind-boggling symbolic references, this novel is quite simply the novel that defines the best what we call the “Beat Generation.” I loved the style of Kerouac, all the beautiful sceneries and metaphores, it inspires me when it comes to feeling alive in this vast planet we live in. There’s a movie that came out a while ago inspired by the book, and i think i’ll look it up as soon as i can to watch it, see if the movie pictures can come close to the ones i made in my head.

With love,

FZ