On October 9, 2020; Sahifa, a new platform for research, journalism, art and literature, was launched. Sahifa is a Swahili word for blank page. The founders believe in the spirit and the possibilities of the blank page for new thought. Named after a 1930s-newsletter published and distributed in Mombasa, the term Sahifa signifies the claims to originality, and hence, universality, of its agenda. Sahifa presents itself as a see-saw, a sharp tool that aims to see the present through eyes that saw the past. It aims to go back and forth in time, commenting on the zeitgeists of the now, but uniting them with the ideas and beliefs that defined specific periods of the past. It is through such labouring that the platform hopes to speculate on the future.
Sahifa seeks to mobilize multiple genres of intellectual practice and storytelling – fiction, illustration, poetry, music, dialogue, essays, film – so as to capture the epistemic complexity and diversity of Africa’s lived experiences. The mission is Afro-centric and eclectic. Not rejecting the European canon, but decommissioning it as the dominant model for knowledge production and storytelling about Africa. At Sahifa, Eurocentric epistemic traditions will converse with African ones, but Africa will always be at the centre of the conversation and of the imagination.
Stay tuned for more updates, and for Sahifa’s upcoming CALL FOR STORIES that will be published as part of its inaugural issue, ‘Futures and Dreams.’ Follow Sahifa now on Twitter: @sahifa_journal