“A stranger is recognized at a glance, anyone can see him and memorize his appearance. There is no need to read books, reflect, discuss: is enough to look.”
To start talking about “The Shadow of the Sun”, in an accurate and comprehensive way, we must refer to what is contained in the premise written by the author. This is not a book about Africa, but on the people who live there. Never has a recommendation been more useful to drive us in reading, and face the book from the appropriate perspective.
The chapters literally allow us to travel across the black continent, from Ghana to Zanzibar, from Eritrea to Nigeria, from Rwanda to Ethiopia. At each stop we find a first hand adventure experienced by Kapucisnzki to welcome us, gathered in his decades of experience as a journalist in the area. The difficulty of moving in times of peace and war, illness, hunger, thirst, the indistinguishable boundary between living and dying. Search for the truth, being the first to hear piece of news, recounting the repercussions in the daily life of those who for some reason undergo History.
The phase of decolonization full of expectations almost immediately gone up in smoke, burned by the fire of fratricidal wars for power and opaque political ideologies imported at low cost, which had nothing to do with Africa. We travel through the pages, with the eyes of those who for various reasons already knew the African continent in depth, and we are surprised to see how critical issues and problems are always the same after many years. As well as the “non-way” at dealing with them (that is different from the concept of post-pone)
In our opinion, The Shadow of the Sun is an educational book for those who want to know the dynamics that move Africa concretely, the relationships between those who live in it, and the way of relating to those who do not live in it.
Ryszard Kapuściński, The Shadow of the Sun, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2014
Original edition: Heban, Czytelnik, 1998