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Sub-Saharan Africa was good. Existence, just like the buildings, could be gathered from the earth. In the eternal renewal of modest structures, Africa remained stable and conservative; it was human, rather than humane, and in balance. The balance could be found in the modesty of technological means and their religious resonance of which the enormity lay preserved in the business of the everyday, and the fight against boredom. This old Africa achieved a balance discovered in forgetfulness, a forgetfulness that is encouraged by the transience of things. Permanence was achieved, not by the fight against transience, but by living the rhythm of the seasons, by perennial renewal and careful and seasonal maintenance of relationships. Africa’s was a conservatism in the perpetual renewal of the paradigm: the hut, the grain, the grass and the memory contained in the story that can move.



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