Afropean: Notes From Black Europe by Johny Pitts

The Blurb On The Back:

“Afropean.  Here was a space where blackness was taking part in shaping European identity … A continent of Cape Verdean favelas, Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German reggae and Moorish castles.  Yes, all this was part of Europe too.”

Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of the places where Europeans of African descent live their lives.  Setting off from his hometown of Sheffield, Johny Pitts makes his way through Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Rome, Marseille and Lisbon, through council estates, political spaces, train stations, tour groups, and underground arts scenes.

Here is an alternative map of the continent, revealing plural identities and liminal landscapes, from a Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon to RInkeby, the eighty per cent Muslim area of Stockholm, from West African students at university in Moscow to the notorious Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.  A Europe populated by Egyptian nomads, Sudanese restaurateurs, Belgo-Congolese painters.  Their voices speak to Afropean experiences that demand to be heard.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Swiss Watching: Inside The Land Of Milk And Honey by Diccon Bewes

The Blurb On The Back:

One country, four languages, 26 cantons and 8 million people (but only 75% of them Swiss): welcome to Europe’s most individual country.  But there’s more to Switzerland than banks and skis, francs and cheese.  This is a place where the breathtaking scenery shaped a nation not just a tour itinerary, and where tradition is as important as innovation.  It’s also been home to travel writer Diccon Bewes for over a decade.

Diccon started his Swiss explorations by seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate, but soon became the ultimate outsider on the inside.  He discovered that not all the cheese has holes, cuckoo clocks aren’t Swiss and the trains aren’t always on time.  In fact, he uncovered the true meaning of Swissness and, in this new edition, started on the road to becoming Swiss himself.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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