Condescending confidence with which media and the internet portray Africa is frustrating. If it is frustrating to me, can you imagine how frustrating it is to people who are from there?
Because “pre-civilized” Africa was doing just fine! It had a culture and a metaphysical tradition that quantum physicists could only dream of. It wasn’t a commercial-ready utopian land out of fairy tales. Yet, being a real place populated by real people, it was doing well enough to not need any advice or help from you, Sir.
When people with the multigenerational mindfuck showed up, they made a considerable effort to corrupt the people, destroy their culture, and break their spirit with violence and straight lies. Doing so made it much easier to steal their shit. We all know it was strictly about stealing their shit.
And no, it is not okay. It is very much not okay. It was not okay then, and it is not okay now.
Imagine this. If somebody showed up at your house, confiscated your possessions, shot half of your family, spat on your altar, gave you a black eye, and then called you an ambulance (yes, you would still need to pay the medical bill), would you be grateful for the humanitarian aid?
Today, portraying Africa as a fallen behind, bleeding but photogenic land of hungry children, while CONTINUING to steal its riches, imposing on its culture, and mutilating its ecosystems, is like gossiping about a rape victim behind her back, while refusing to eat at the same table. Beauty and honor are not just words, they matter, they matter. It’s time to bring the honor back.
Big thanks to Igor Kogan for the beautiful photo