How we see ourselves

From a Wall Street Journal article on a Beijing exhibit called “Africa: See You, See Me!”.

The exhibition, currently showing at Li-Space in Beijing’s Caochangdi district is described by the curator Awem Amkpa as

an illustration of “how Africans want to be seen rather than how they are forced to be seen.”

You can read more here

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People waiting at bus stop in Addis Ababa (Eth...
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  • “without the lips, the teeth feel the cold” sums up exactly the relationship between Africa and China. Africa provides China with the market and the natural resources that China needs to keep its economy going, while China provides Africa with the legitimacy to keep its rulers in power, as well as investment and a development model alternative to that of the West.
  • “Investing in Africa’s women is a smart investment … Yet investing in Africa’s women scientists is the best bet,”
  • “Using their vast credibility, resources and media influence, donors project onto the public imagination an unbroken stream of corrosively negative information, images and emotions about the recipient country and its population, in order to prove that no cause is more heart-rending, more urgent, and more (nearly) hopeless. By the time their programme has moved on to the next deserving cause, the country’s image may have been blighted for generations, leaving a powerful psychological and emotional disincentive to trade, investment, tourism and growth”.
  • “Every day, a workforce of 1,000 locals pick, pack and load hundreds of tons of fresh produce onto waiting trucks, including 30 tons of tomatoes alone. After reaching the capital, Addis Ababa, the produce is flown to a handful of Middle Eastern cities, entirely bypassing Ethiopia, one of the hungriest places on the planet.”
  • “Football fans will perhaps be unsurprised to learn that the vuvuzela, whose apian drone soundtracked yet another summer of hurt, has blared its way into the dictionary’s pages. By being ushered into the dictionary, which is based on how language is really used, the metre-long plastic horn has cemented its immortality as well as its ubiquity”