Posts tagged "Congo"

Story Hill Farms: A Place For Refugees to Harness Their Skills

“There’s still seedlings to be planted, winter storm waste to rid and tractors to be repaired, but those caring for the land at Story Hill Farm in Dunbarton are prepared to see both crops and business prosper come springtime.
At the 56.8 acre farm, 14 refugee farmers tend to their own plot of land, which are equally divided into sections. Through the Manchester-based nonprofit Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, refugees are able to farm their own crops and keep 100 percent of proceeds.”

…. “Refugee farmers of Somali Bantu, Rwandan, Burundi, Congolese and Bhutanese backgrounds have plots of farmland on Story Hill Road in Dunbarton.
The growers provide about 40 different crops that are consumed mostly by American customers and 20 different crops consumed mostly by members of the refugee community. Shopping the produce, customers will find zucchini, cucumber and arugula, as well as other vegetables native to the refugee’s home country.

A Cooperative Farm for Refugees Joins the New Nonprofit Economy


Alternate History: The Congo Goes Steampunk

Seattle novelist Nisi Shawl’s engrossing “Everfair” uses the genre of steampunk to re-imagine the horrific history of King Leopold II and the Congo Free State, with a more hopeful outcome.

Shawl’s novel diverges from the historical record when members of the socialist Fabian Society in Great Britain ally themselves with African-American missionaries to purchase from Leopold a territory to be christened “Everfair.” The land is to serve as a utopian safe haven for refugees and former slaves returning from the U.S. Unfortunately, Leopold’s thugs have other ideas, as does Mwenda, the native king of the land.

“Everfair” is a big, complex and engrossing saga, broad in ambition and deep in accomplishment. The time period stretches 30 years, from 1889 to 1919, with each chapter representing a jump of a few days or a few years, lending the story a grand sense of the sweep of history.

The narrative is presented from a variety of viewpoints, including that of an African-American missionary horrified by atrocities he witnesses, a young African refugee able to project her consciousness into animals, and an East Asian engineer capable of inventing machines that will change the world.

Interviews with Nisi Shawl: