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Old 07-14-2007, 08:29 PM   #41
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Originally posted by Earl-Of-IMDb


not to you but to the journalist who wrote that crap article

I feel the same way about negativists like Easterly, my friend.


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Old 07-16-2007, 02:08 AM   #42
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
Nothing could have pleased me more but to see a huge picture of my friend Habib Koite splashed across the article. When I lived in Mali, I knew these people. I used to go dancing at the Hogon while Toumani Diabate played (just like in the article), and I met the organizer of the desert festival on many occasions. My friends and I would go out with Habib and other musicians after a show and stay up till three in the morning talking about life, culture, religion and politics.
Wow, awesome! I've got all four of his CDs, listen to them all the time. That must really be exciting to watch a friend's career explode in real time like that.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:37 AM   #43
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Here is a statement by Bono that went largely unnoticed last week by the media, and by most of us. (but not me - smile)


It is here in this article:


http://www.whiteband.org/media/press...07.5527831609/


Have a beautiful day, everyONE - don't let it get away!





SINGER STANDS WITH GCAP AS MILLIONS MARK MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS MID-POINT



July 7th 2007 - Anti-poverty campaigners are today holding hundreds of events in more than 40 countries today to mark the midway point for the UN Millennium Development Goals and to hold their governments accountable. Under the umbrella of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), the July 7th events draw attention to the inexcusable pace of progress by governments to meet these goals and also highlight the growing threat of climate change on the poor and marginalised (details below)



Expressing his support for the GCAP events taking place in poor and rich countries today, U2 singer and co-founder of DATA, BONO said:

"The G8 countries in particular have been strolling towards the MDGs as though there is all the time in the world - but the poorest people don't have all the time in the world. Every day that passes means more mothers are losing their children to malaria, a mosquito bite, or diarrhoea, an upset stomach. This is madness. In Europe and America we give aid, but not enough, and we trade, but only on our own terms. At the start of the 21st century, governments in the north and south promised to end the injustice of extreme, stupid poverty. We will be watching every minute through to 2015 and will hold the politicians to account.”



Meanwhile in developing countries, where millions continue to live in inexcusable conditions, people are holding their leaders accountable and demanding better governance, pro-poor trade, more and better aid and debt cancellation. Campaigners in countries like Benin, El Salvador, India, Ghana, DR. Congo, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have joined forces through rallies, petitions, debates and cultural events with Australia, Georgia, Austria, Spain, Portugal and South Africa to make this joint appeal. All actions around the world with pictures are posted on www.whiteband.org



To reflect on the growing threat of climate change on the poor in particular and demand action, GCAP Chair, Kumi Naidoo, will today take the stage during the LIVE EARTH concert in Johannesburg to address the local and international audience.
"Climate change risks undermining efforts to alleviate poverty and meet the MDGs. If unhalted, it will cause more people go hungry, more to suffer and die from illness due to lack of access to clean water. Governments must address the problem now, it is a simple matter of political will."



GCAP campaigners will continue to exert their pressure on governments throughout 2007. On October 17th they will act jointly with the UN Millennium Campaign to take part in Stand Up & Speak out activities registering millions via www.standagainstpoverty.org



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Old 07-16-2007, 10:30 AM   #44
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And here's another one with a more negative tone towards Bono - I have to say, I don't know if the article is criticizing Bono or just the way the media portrays him, because he's never put on war paint or starved himself. I do think, as with the original article in this thread, that we need to be aware of what effects Western images of Africa have in the broader political and cultural fields both in the West and in Africa, and we need to be critical of what the media (and possibly celebrities) shows us.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...r=emailarticle

Quote:
Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa

By Uzodinma Iweala
Sunday, July 15, 2007; B07

Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the "African" beads around her wrists.

"Save Darfur!" she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!

My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me.

"Don't you want to help us save Africa?" she yelled.

It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs.

This is the West's new image of itself: a sexy, politically active generation whose preferred means of spreading the word are magazine spreads with celebrities pictured in the foreground, forlorn Africans in the back. Never mind that the stars sent to bring succor to the natives often are, willingly, as emaciated as those they want to help.

Perhaps most interesting is the language used to describe the Africa being saved. For example, the Keep a Child Alive/" I am African" ad campaign features portraits of primarily white, Western celebrities with painted "tribal markings" on their faces above "I AM AFRICAN" in bold letters. Below, smaller print says, "help us stop the dying."

Such campaigns, however well intentioned, promote the stereotype of Africa as a black hole of disease and death. News reports constantly focus on the continent's corrupt leaders, warlords, "tribal" conflicts, child laborers, and women disfigured by abuse and genital mutilation. These descriptions run under headlines like "Can Bono Save Africa?" or "Will Brangelina Save Africa?" The relationship between the West and Africa is no longer based on openly racist beliefs, but such articles are reminiscent of reports from the heyday of European colonialism, when missionaries were sent to Africa to introduce us to education, Jesus Christ and "civilization."

There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one's cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head -- because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West's fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West's prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.

Why do the media frequently refer to African countries as having been "granted independence from their colonial masters," as opposed to having fought and shed blood for their freedom? Why do Angelina Jolie and Bono receive overwhelming attention for their work in Africa while Nwankwo Kanu or Dikembe Mutombo, Africans both, are hardly ever mentioned? How is it that a former mid-level U.S. diplomat receives more attention for his cowboy antics in Sudan than do the numerous African Union countries that have sent food and troops and spent countless hours trying to negotiate a settlement among all parties in that crisis?

Two years ago I worked in a camp for internally displaced people in Nigeria, survivors of an uprising that killed about 1,000 people and displaced 200,000. True to form, the Western media reported on the violence but not on the humanitarian work the state and local governments -- without much international help -- did for the survivors. Social workers spent their time and in many cases their own salaries to care for their compatriots. These are the people saving Africa, and others like them across the continent get no credit for their work.

Last month the Group of Eight industrialized nations and a host of celebrities met in Germany to discuss, among other things, how to save Africa. Before the next such summit, I hope people will realize Africa doesn't want to be saved. Africa wants the world to acknowledge that through fair partnerships with other members of the global community, we ourselves are capable of unprecedented growth.

Uzodinma Iweala is the author of "Beasts of No Nation," a novel about child soldiers.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:03 AM   #45
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I do not read any particular 'negative' tone against Bono or even Angelina Jolie, the article seems to be more based around the media again concentrating on the bad rather than the good.

I can understand where she is coming from, for sure.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:17 AM   #46
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Wow, personally I think she's spot on. That's a great article. I didn't get the feel that she's trying to bash Bono personally. She points out what has always made me very uncomfortable about the whole "Save African" thing - that people seem to be going it more as a fad (unintentionally) and are doing it mainly to appease their own feelings of guilt (again, unintentionally). If everyone REALLY cared, then why is Africa worse off today than it was a few decades ago? Where were all these celebs then?
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #47
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Living here myself, I cannot how stand how people think we a poor, ignorant, backward starving people. We, here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania have pretty much everything, if not more than the West does.

It's only the discrepancies, the vast divisions between the rich and the poor here, (that go on everywhere else in the world) that are magnified tenfold.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:21 AM   #48
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Also, it's true about the cellphone usage, haha. Every single person on the street has one, and it's all really cheap, as it's pay-as-you-go. People are surprised to hear of my monthly $50 bills in the US.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:47 AM   #49
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Originally posted by Babydoll
Also, it's true about the cellphone usage, haha. Every single person on the street has one, and it's all really cheap, as it's pay-as-you-go. People are surprised to hear of my monthly $50 bills in the US.
lol. I miss my pay-as-you-go cellphone from Mali. At least you always knew where you were at as far as airtime goes. We used to send SMS text msgs all the time because they were cheap. I'll never forget being in Timbuktu (of all places) and being able to use my cell phone in the Sahara Desert.

Liesje, I wanted to go back a bit and comment on what you said about your expectations being changed when you actually spend time in Africa. I think one of the biggest things I learned in Peace Corps was that I was there to meet the needs that the people themselves felt they wanted, not what I in my masterplan Western egocentric way felt was "best" for them. So a lot of my job ended up being training people how to use technology, teaching them how to use programs like Microsoft Excel, and giving feedback on product development for the tourist market. Because that's what they (Malians) asked me to do. Not exactly the sexy glamourous "saving" work that I had imagined for myself. But in the end, if I helped pass along some marketable skills to local people that will help them build capacity in their local economy, then I will spent those two years well.

My boyfriend and I have talked about the whole western guilt/superiority complex on many occasions. He's a patient man, but even he gets tired of having to put up with well-meaning strangers complimenting him on how "lucky" he is to have gotten out of Africa.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:17 PM   #50
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As if there weren't enough fuel for bashing u2.com, it really gets on my nerves that they have that little teaser "Out of Africa: the band have been in africa....."

Like hey people, they are on the mysterious continent. Can't they just say Morocco? If they had been in Eze, or anywhere else in Europe (Abbey Road comes to mind) they would have at least specified the country, even in the teaser.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:31 PM   #51
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4

Liesje, I wanted to go back a bit and comment on what you said about your expectations being changed when you actually spend time in Africa. I think one of the biggest things I learned in Peace Corps was that I was there to meet the needs that the people themselves felt they wanted, not what I in my masterplan Western egocentric way felt was "best" for them. So a lot of my job ended up being training people how to use technology, teaching them how to use programs like Microsoft Excel, and giving feedback on product development for the tourist market. Because that's what they (Malians) asked me to do. Not exactly the sexy glamourous "saving" work that I had imagined for myself. But in the end, if I helped pass along some marketable skills to local people that will help them build capacity in their local economy, then I will spent those two years well.

Yes, that's precisely it. That, and we also got to see how much great work grassroots orgs are doing and have already been doing for many years. Often, it's detrimental for Westerners to suddenly sweep in and start sucking up resources. I've always been uncomfortable with "mission trips" to such different cultures than here b/c so much time and money is wasted training people to do tasks that locals could be doing for work and not wasting that time acclimating. This is why I've avoided going back even though several opportunities have presented themselves. If I do go back, it will be for at least two years (like Peace Corps) b/c research has shown it takes that long to properly adjust to a new culture. One simply cannot become productive in just a few weeks. The reason I originally went with the program I chose was because we went to observe, learn, and listen to what people had to say, not try to "save" them all and tell them how to run their organizations. They taught us about government funded religious organizations, micro-finance, their economic structures, how they differ from the West and what implications this has, etc. I would not have learned any of these important things if I'd just gone on a mission trip to an organization started, funded, and operated by white Westerners.



Quote:
Living here myself, I cannot how stand how people think we a poor, ignorant, backward starving people. We, here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania have pretty much everything, if not more than the West does.

It's only the discrepancies, the vast divisions between the rich and the poor here, (that go on everywhere else in the world) that are magnified tenfold.
Thought that was definitely worth repeating.



As for cell phones, I was also shocked at how cheap and widely available they are. One of my peers got an e-mail from her boyfriend telling her he was going to be deployed to Iraq before we got home. Needless to say, she was very upset. She was going to buy a phone on the street so that she could call him and straighten some things out. Luckily, our professor let her use his phone, and he ended up not having to go away that soon.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:34 AM   #52
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Thanks Lies
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:39 AM   #53
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Also, I find the whole concept of Madonna adopting a kid kinda... odd. If she really wanted to do this, what took her so long? Why only now, when anything "Africa" is in style?

Publicity stunt, anyone?

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Old 07-17-2007, 07:52 AM   #54
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^ I don't think so. I am not a fan of Madonna in any way, but I wouldn't judge her motives. I am glad that the little boy has a good life now.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:57 PM   #55
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Originally posted by Babydoll
Also, I find the whole concept of Madonna adopting a kid kinda... odd. If she really wanted to do this, what took her so long? Why only now, when anything "Africa" is in style?

Publicity stunt, anyone?

I don't know if anyone can say either way, but I do know that only THREE babies were adopted out of country from Malawi in the year that Madonna filed. They have very strict requirements generally do not adopt to any foreigners unless they live in Malawi for a given period of time or have residency. Ultimately, it's their decision whether or not to approve the adoption, so they must have seen something good in Madonna for choosing her.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:04 AM   #56
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I think it can be viewed as a publicity stunt by the Malawian government as well as by Madonna - tourism and interest in the country are up.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:26 PM   #57
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Originally posted by Babydoll
Also, I find the whole concept of Madonna adopting a kid kinda... odd. If she really wanted to do this, what took her so long? Why only now, when anything "Africa" is in style?

Publicity stunt, anyone?

The thought of Madonna adopting anything more than a pet grasshopper scares me.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:53 PM   #58
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A couple of thoughts:

Guilt is always a poor motivator in the long run. Either pretending everything is fine in Africa or getting caught up in trying to "save Africa" is ultimately about assuaging guilt and in the end won't do anyone much good.

When someone (like Lies of Sulawesigirl4) who has been to Africa speaks, we'd do well to listen. When someone who has not only been to Africa, but IS African speaks (like Babydoll) we should listen hard. They know from whence they speak, at the very least, more than we do.

One of the most thought-provoking and worthwhile threads I've come across in FYM in awhile.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:32 PM   #59
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^ Regardless, the bottom 10-15 countries(except one or two) ranked by annual per capita GDP are in Africa, with dollar amounts of $90-$350.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:59 PM   #60
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Originally posted by maycocksean
A couple of thoughts:

Guilt is always a poor motivator in the long run. Either pretending everything is fine in Africa or getting caught up in trying to "save Africa" is ultimately about assuaging guilt and in the end won't do anyone much good.

When someone (like Lies of Sulawesigirl4) who has been to Africa speaks, we'd do well to listen. When someone who has not only been to Africa, but IS African speaks (like Babydoll) we should listen hard. They know from whence they speak, at the very least, more than we do.

One of the most thought-provoking and worthwhile threads I've come across in FYM in awhile.


While I agree with the general premise of your statement, things are not as simple as you phrase them, maycocksean.



The problem is that the author of this horrendous article about Bono's activities for Africa was a former World Bank employee who traveled to Africa many times yet look at how ignorantly he writes.


Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)


People may be an expert on their experiences of Africa but that doesn't qualify them to be an expert on all of Africa. That would impossible.



But I agree that guilt is not the best approach to trying to help Africa out of some of its current challenges. You must spend a lot of time coming to know the people, the history, the cultures, etc of any area of the world before you can really understand the issues facing the people that you wish to "help".



And I also agree that this is one of the better threads in FYM for a long time - mainly because people are discussing with each other and not attacking each other.
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