Save Africa poster (detail) by Alex Griendling
how INCREDIBLY insulting
how dehumanizing and racist . ugh.
western charities exploiting an entire continent to further their own environment agendas. fuck you alex.
Does no one see how horrific this image is? Not in the way that the ‘artist’ intended for those who live in an isolated bubble of historical ignorance, but horrific for those who have and still do sufferer from colonialism, horrific for those who are on the continent.
Interesting how they never talk about why there is water scarcity and how it was caused. There’s water scarcity in the US. There are entire food deserts in the US. Our so-called representatives in government pass legislation that keeps whole families from having access to [healthy] food (food stamps). Our political leaders who are so in love with the idea of capitalism have used the system to starve 99% of us for their own economic gain. The poverty level is the highest it’s been since 1965, even though the unemployment rate has dropped. And even though unemployment has dropped, the majority of the jobs are going to cis-men. And even though the jobs are going to cis-men, they still receive different pay due to their ethnic and socioeconomic status. We’re in the middle of one of the worst droughts in this country, our poverty level has risen, our people have limited access to food, the people who harvest our food are treated like shit, and some are actually enslaved, our jobs are continually outsourced to meet a corporation’s bottom line, our legislators are passing horrific bills that limit the rights of women* and you want to “save” Africa? Are you insane? Where’s the Save the USA campaign?
Why doesn’t the WWF talk about the new grab for Africa 2.0 and neocolonialism 2.0 is having an effect on the peoples and economies of Africa? Why don’t we talk about all of the wars that our nation and other nations are perpetuating? Why don’t we talk about how our nation and other nations are re-enslaving Africans, and we still buy from the companies that obtain products from enforced/slave labor? Why don’t we talk about how Capitalism benefits from globalization, forced labor, enslavement and war? Why don’t we talk about how several of the “leaders” of African countries were put in power thanks to Western intervention, because they would pass laws and create structures that would benefit those in the West? And how that is still having an effect on Africa? Why don’t we talk about how Western governments have made it that much harder for African peoples to have access to AIDS medicines? Why don’t we talk about how African nations export crops to the West while millions on the continent starve, thanks to political and legal maneuverings from Japan, China, the EU and the US?
No. The WWF uses an image of the death of all of 1 billion+ Africans, (minus the European ones, of course!). Let’s continually roll out the poverty porn of emaciated children, cause let’s face it, they’re killing themselves anyway, right? They’re childlike and ignorant and warmongering and they treat their women like shit, right? So we have to help save them from themselves, right?
Just like we have to save them from their gold (largest export), silver, copper, oil, diamonds, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, precious metals like chromite, cobalt, manganese natural & industrial diamond, phosphate rock, especially coltan, coal, mineral fuels (including coal) & petroleum, uranium, and just about anything else that we can get our hands on, right?
I despise people who engage in willful ignorance, and those who are only too eager to receive fame and fortune from it.
On a side note, his image of Africa is way too small. It’s the second largest continent in the world. I bet he was using that map from the 1560’s as his basis.
So basically what I’m reading is “Let’s only care about the US right now, not the rest of the world, it’s not important.”
You disgust me.
If that’s all you got out of my post, then I’m disgusted by your lack historical context and reading comprehension.
You had to have ignored the first 3 sentences that I wrote as well as everything that came after the 2nd paragraph (which was the only part that referenced the U.S.) in order to only focus on what I said about the US. And had you read any of the other commentary in the notes section, then you would have seen how other tumblr users did not come to the same conclusion as you did.
I’m going to break down my original post for you, because I see on your blog that you are 18, which explains how you came to the conclusion that you did. I know for sure that your school system has failed you, as expected, because you did not question why the creator of this image used the imagery that he did. You did not question why he would reduce an entire continent to homogeneity. You did not question why we need to “save” and entire continent of people from themselves. You did not question historical context. And honestly, that’s exactly what you weren’t supposed to do. You were meant to have a bleeding-heart moment and donate money to a “charity” that only helps to further neocolonialism.
All that being said, I was mocking the WWF and I was/am horrified by the WWF for using stereotypical, apocalyptic imagery of Africa.
Africa is a continent.
To expand on that: Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent.
Africa has 54 countries within it.
Africa is NOT a country.
Understand that this poster reduced a continent with the most ethnic and cultural diversity on the planet to the status of a homogeneous nation. Understand that not everyone in Africa is suffering; all 54 countries are not suffering from drought or poverty or water scarcity or human trafficking or AIDS or war or slavery or anything else that our media tells us. (Also, understand that our Mass Media is owned by 6 conglomerates who control almost everything we hear in this country, unless we read and watch independent sources.) Don’t get me wrong, every nation in every country on every continent has millions of people that are suffering. However, to condense all that historical context into this…thing? No.
I’m not saying that we as human beings should not help each other, it’s common sense and just plain basic decency that we should help one another. However, I am making a comment about how we in the U.S. (or the UK), a country that is supposed to be a “first-world nation,” are suffering from the same afflictions as millions of people in different African countries, all as a result of capitalism. Yet, our media glosses over this. Yet, the WWF doesn’t have “Save the USA” posters decrying the suffering of millions in this nation and confronting the 1% of people, most of whom are in the government, who hold all our wealth and resources. I’m commenting on how the WWF would rather focus on the results of colonialism in Africa, instead of actively combating the U.S. government and several other imperialist powers who are furthering their empires at the expense of sovereign African nations and starving, displacing, enslaving, and outright murdering millions for profit!
If you at 18 have taken the time to educate yourself outside of high school the way that I sincerely hope you have—and if you haven’t then get on that as soon as possible, otherwise you’ll constantly be surprised in college should you choose to go/have the opportunity to go—then you’ll have noticed how our Media’s rhetoric about Africa is always full of negatives. It is always full of stories about how outsiders “had to come help” because look at the suffering people!
I can’t think of a time in my 27.5 years on this planet where the U.S. media has told stories—a story—about how Africans have either been or have tried to stay self-sufficient in the face of 100+ years of imperialism. (There have been total of over 600 years of colonialism and imperialism, but that’s another story that you have to learn about yourself.) I haven’t seen more stories about how poaching in Africa has been cut down by Africans themselves. I haven’t seen stories about how more African nations are taking control of their natural resources, building schools, educating their children, improving medicine and science, etc., much to the frustration of the US and other imperialist powers. In fact, I haven’t seen a story on tv about how 10,000 year old natural aquifers have been found all over Africa and how they can provide for people for hundreds of years because of how clean the water is! I read about this earlier today! And yet, this poster exists. (Which also begs the question, who will be in control of the aquifers and how will the water be distributed?)
So please, tell me: why do we have to save an entire continent of people? There are over 1 billion people on the continent of Africa. If this image is to be believed, then the entire continent of Africa is suffering from water scarcity. Why? How did this come to be? Who has caused it? Who has contributed to the suffering of 1 billion people? Who is combating the water scarcity? Are all 54 African nations themselves, with over 1 billion people total, so inept that they can’t help themselves, so they have to rely on foreign nations for assistance? Do you see where I’m going with this?
I’m not trying to patronize you or be condescending, I’m not even being snarky which is rare for me, but have you even bothered to ask these questions? If not, then why? Because this is important. We as conscientious adults need to know why sovereign nations [supposedly] can’t take care of their own people, how it came to be so and how it will affect us. We need to know what role our government and our country has played in the complete and utter destruction of other governments and other citizens. We need to know why our nation is in over 10 wars right now. America is made up of two continents, and yet our media only shows us that the country of the United States is America. Have you seen an image of two continents and a skull on it? If so, then why not? Believe it or not, these questions that I am asking you are relevant to your life. What you allow your nation to do in your name can affect millions within your country, and billions outside of it.
I’ll leave you to your thoughts and some recommended reading.
Reblogging this response as well because yes.