"THE African Culture"

These very different resources are both worth a look

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6250225.stm

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=121
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
I also found it interesting the things people mentioned about Africa in response:
war, poverty, female circumcision, AIDS, that sort of thing

My first thoughts about Africa are its rich, diverse cultures and its beautiful wildlife.
Originally Posted by iris427
As Frau said, that's what the media spoon feeds to the American public. Africans are starving, Africans commit acts of genocide against each other, African are corrupt, Africans are disease ridden, Africans cannot manage money or national debt, African are sexually violent, Africans are poor and hopeless. And the list goes on and on. Pretty much no or extremely sparse coverage of anything postive or beneficial or smart occuring in the entire continent.

As for the wildlife, yes, there are some who fancy Africa for an "exotic" safaric vacation. But I don't really see that extending to an appreciation of the continent or any country contained therein (except for many exoticized North Africa and possibly South Africa and the Cape). In fact, the whole Africa = Safari seems to further objectify the continent as being primitive and filled mainly with animal life and lesser developed cultures.

Obviously, I find all of this dispiriting, sick and disheartening. I think the situation may change over time as people begin to demand more equal news reporting and speak up against the propoganda and ignorance. I think we all must bear this burden, no matter our color or background. If you spot, hear or see ignorance of this type, I think it's terrific to speak out against it. Otherwise, it just continues.
Originally Posted by deeply curled
I agree that that is how the media portrays Africa. I understand why that is the first thing that comes to peoples' minds--but I still think it's sad.

I see what you're saying about safari and the idea of Africans being closer to animal life. I completely agree that that is a common idea. However, that is not the connection that I was making. I study biology and I work at a zoo, so that is why I think of Africa's wildlife. I don't think it's a leap to consider the natural environment when you think of a continent. I don't see why appreciation of a region can't extend to its natural treasures as well as its societies and cultures.

Iris-

My comments were not personal to you, so I hope you did not take them that way. I do think it's possible to enjoy the rural, unspoiled beauty of a country or continent. Only problem is when that appreciation is completely unjoined by any accurate sense of the people in that country or continent and what they have to offer and who they are, in a political and media climate where we are led to believe that they are all savage and violent, morally corrupt or victims.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
There are wonderful images and more information gathered here:
http://www-sul.stanford.edu/africa/photographs.html

For example:


(Picture is from this link within the above link: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/AfricaFocus/ )





"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
This guy has a great website with pictures of his time in Burkina Faso (his website is cross-linked in that Stanford link I just posted). I've seen at least one other poster here list an image from his site in a thread on beauty, so at least some people already know about his site or images. Here are more, especially for people who felt that Frau's link (which I absolutely adore and continue to promote) was too modern for their taste:







All images from: http://www.burkinabymatt.com/
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
More images of people of Burkina Faso. So nice to see heatlhy, beautiful african children with intelligent and/or innocent expressions. In other words, african children whose bellies aren't bloated and who aren't covered with flies or wasting away from disease, etc..







[/img]
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
I think that another reason that Africans are portrayed as being victims is that people in the West get off on the guilt they feel as a result. "We destroyed the continent and I am deeply aware of this. I care so much about people and am totally not racist."
Iris-

My comments were not personal to you, so I hope you did not take them that way. I do think it's possible to enjoy the rural, unspoiled beauty of a country or continent. Only problem is when that appreciation is completely unjoined by any accurate sense of the people in that country or continent and what they have to offer and who they are, in a political and media climate where we are led to believe that they are all savage and violent, morally corrupt or victims.
Originally Posted by deeply curled
I agree completely. Also, thanks for posting all those beautiful pictures.

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