Showing posts from April, 2013

Barbershops and hairdressers

In Cameroon, as in other Sub-Saharan African countries, barbershops used to have painted signs showing several haircut styles. At some point the museum world started paying attention and suddenly these signs were popping up in museum stores. The last two times I was in Cameroon I realized the signs weren't being used anymore, and in fact had pretty much disappeared. Nowadays there is either just one style shown, or photos are used rather than a painting. It was quite a disappointment! Barbershop in Kekem, West Cameroon In the United States, barbershop signs sightings include a restaurant in Cambrisge, Massachusetts, Green Street, where they are used as decor. Barbershop signs at Green Street Restaurant (photos: Sami Ellong) Other links to posts on this subject:

Dr. Erik Nordman - Sustainability specialist in Kenya

Sometimes it really seems like there are just a few degrees of separation between all of us humans. Recently I attended a celebration with colleagues I hadn't had a chance to chat with yet, and found out that one colleague's son, Erik Nordman, was currently residing in Kenya (his dad had just gone to visit him and his family). Of course, my curiosity was piqued, I went to read his blog at Nordman Sustainability , and emailed him to find out more. Below is the interview, conducted by email. Son and father at Mount Longonot (a dormant volcano in the Rift Valley) What is your background? I grew up on Long Island, where my parents, brother and sister still live. I moved upstate for college and earned a BS in Biology from SUNY Geneseo, and an MS (forest ecology) and PhD (natural resource economics and policy) from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. Since 2006 I have been a professor of Natural Resources Management at Grand Valley State Univer

Interview with William Siegmann in January 2010

(This post was originally written for the site, not in existence anymore. William Siegmann, sadly, passed away in November 2011.) William Siegmann (photo by Adam Husted, Brooklyn Museum) I first heard about William Siegmann through Sally Williams, Public Information Officer at Brooklyn Museum, NY, where he worked as a curator. He spent many years in Liberia, starting in 1965, and it sounded like he’d have a fascinating story to tell. I was not disappointed when I was finally able to meet him in person. He first came to Liberia in 1965, as a member of the Peace Corps. It was a heady time, as many African nations were celebrating their independence from European colonization. He taught at a private college, Cuttington University. Most of the students were Liberian but there were also a few students from Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and later also Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania. During this time, Siegmann, a history major, developed an interest in African ar