Teju Cole is known for his ability to write about cities. His novel, Open City, considered one of the best city novels-- is just a dude wandering the streets of New York. Here’s a quote:
“Each neighborhood of the city appeared to be made of a different substance, each seemed to have a different air pressure, a different psychic weight: the bright lights and shuttered shops, the housing projects and luxury hotels, the fire escapes and city parks.”
The psychic weight. That’s what I want to explore here. And I want to explore it--somewhat ambitiously--in the tradition of some of my favorite city writers like Cole, Zadie Smith, Virginia Woolf and this guy, James Joyce.
After the robbery, which you can read about on my blog, I thought of a line from Joyce’s Ulysses. One of my favorite and it encapsulates, for me, what makes cities so fantastic:
“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
In that spirit--I want to introduce you to Accra, to its sights, smells, people, and of course sounds, and in that swirling city stew--I hope you meet yourself too.
This podcast is produced with the help of my friends, Lawrence and Asantewaa and Daaf. I am Jessica Opatich, a Fulbright researcher living in Accra. This is "Do You Get Me?" a podcast on the Accra city life and the people who make it what it is.
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A special thanks to Lawrence, Asantewaa and Daaf who are more than just friends but are talented, professional storytellers. Law is a Ghanaian filmmaker currently on a prestigious documentary film fellowship in Munich; Asantewaa is a filmmaker, scriptwriter, photographer, director among other roles I'm probably forgetting; Daaf is a Dutch journalist and founder of The Bright Continent, telling positive stories from the African continent about its diverse cultures, ethnicities and paths towards prosperity without sugarcoating the challenges along the way.