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Politics, poetry and struggle in Kenya – an interview with Lena Anyuolo

In an interview with ROAPE, Kenyan activist Lena Anyuolo talks about her background, politics and writing. She explains that when our environment is trauma, and we are forced to survive under impossible conditions it is hard to love. Activists are exposed twice - first to our personal demons and then to the task of fighting for socialism while living the crisis of capitalism. Only the transformative power of revolutionary work can save us.

Rage and Bloom – a review

Lena Anyuolo is a Kenyan writer, poet and feminist who lives in Nairobi. She specialises in human rights work, political activism and environmentalism. Rage and Bloom is Anyuolo’s debut collection of poems and tackles patriarchy, revolutionary contradictions as well as hope for a better tomorrow. Stuart T A Bolus celebrates a collection of poetry that speaks to the 21st century of pure unapologetic African love.

Why I did not vote

Reflecting on the recent Kenyan elections, radical activist and poet Lena Anyuolo explains why she did not vote. How could anyone vote in elections that offered no alternative? Anyuolo explains, ‘Politicians crawl out like cockroaches from dark holes every five years; fat and destructive, ready to unleash more destruction.’

Ecological justice in Kenya: life and struggle in Nairobi’s informal settlements

ROAPE interviews the Kenya environmental activist and socialist, Irene Asuwa. She talks about the struggle for climate justice, and social and economic change. Introducing a short film on a major dumpsite in Nairobi, Lena Anyuolo explains the environmental waste and devastation caused by multinationals, facilitated by the Kenyan government.  

Out of Control: Crisis, Covid-19 and Capitalism in Africa

Activists and researchers from across Africa speak about the impact of Covid-19 on their countries. Writing from Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Femi Aborisade, Heike Becker, Didier Kiendrebeogo, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo and Tafadzwa Choto look at how the crisis is taking shape – how governments are using the virus as a cover for wider repression, and the broader context of capitalism, climate change and popular struggles for radical change.

Africa and the Pandemic: Clampdown, Survival and Resistance

Last week ROAPE and BIEA organised a webinar on the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa. Activists and researchers from around the continent discussed the impact of the measures taken against the coronavirus by the ruling classes. In this blogpost we introduce the full video recording of the meeting with all of the speakers, Tafadzwa Choto, Femi Aborisade, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo, Gyekye Tanoh and Heike Becker.  

You are not alone – the quest for solidarity

ROAPE contributor, Yusuf Serunkuma, reviews a new book on the loneliness of the left. Left Alone is a highly original collection of urgent stories, reflections and short essays from around the world on the lived experiences of left loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents. Serunkuma praises a volume that capture struggles in the trenches of authoritarianism, and on the streets of the capitalist world.

ROAPE’s 2022 Best Reads for African Radicals

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Black Panthers told their members and supporters that to be a good revolutionary you must make time to read for at least two hours a day. We realise with the almighty, soul-destroying pressures of work and neoliberalism, this will seem like an impossible luxury to many of our readers and supporters; but it’s a good objective for 2023, and the political and personal challenges to recalibrate the world, and our lives, for a just and socialist alternative. It’s in this spirit that we – members of ROAPE’s Editorial Group – offer the following list of our favourite radical reads over the last 12 months.

Webinar: Slavery, Colonialism & Black Lives Matter Movement Today

Join a conversation with activists and researchers from the US, Kenya and Britain on slavery, colonialism and Black Lives Matter, and the challenges and hopes for revolutionary change - Monday, 27 July, 8 pm Kenya / 6 pm UK / 1 pm EDT. The webinar is hosted by ROAPE, the Walter Rodney Foundation, Global South Research Consortium and the Afrosocialist & Socialists of Color Caucus of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The Atbara Moment – A radical website in 2019

ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig looks at a year that has seen two astonishing uprisings in Africa, and protest movements that have rippled across the globe. The first, in Sudan, started in the small city of Atbara in December last year. The second major event of the year was the climate strikes around the world. Though these protests were smaller in Africa, the continent remains deeply affected by the consequences of human-made climate change. Zeilig asks what a radical journal and website like ROAPE can do?