The Seven Somali Pirates

The increasing sophistication of Somalia’s pirates and their relationship with the local population – forming co-operatives that invest in and protect their communities – puts me in mind of JM Coetzee’s recent Diary of a Bad Year, in which he discusses the film The Seven Samurai and what it says about formation of statehood…

The Kurosawan story of the origin of the state is still played out in our times in Africa, where gangs of armed men grab power—that is to say, annex the national treasury and the mechanisms of taxing the population—do away with their rivals, and proclaim Year One. Though these African military gangs are often no larger or more powerful than the organized criminal gangs of Asia or Eastern Europe, their activities are respectfully covered in the media—even the Western media—under the heading of politics (world affairs) rather than crime.

A Somali pirate remake of The Seven Samurai? Now that’s a movie I’d like to see.


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