“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual and hence social confidence while undermining that of women.”—Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women
Richard Dowden: African Economies Rising – But Are They Taking The People With Them?
Africa is the world’s last great untapped resource landmass, but there are two big questions: why hasn’t it fulfilled the potential that these resources promised? And what has changed that makes them accessible now? I still cannot quite find the answers, but in the process I developed a set of rules for reporting the continent. The first one is, don’t make continent-wide generalisations. Africa is the most diverse continent on the planet – it has more than 2000 languages for example. Unqualified generalisations are useless. Every time you reach a conclusion you find several cases where the opposite is true. Ernst and Young at least mention the complexities of Africa, but then go on to make sweeping statements such as: “Africans themselves are leading the growth in investment across the continent, and display an overwhelming optimism…”
“Because we don’t know, do we? … How what happens the way it does? What underlies the anarchy of the train of events, the uncertainties, the mishaps, the disunity, the shocking irregularities that define human affairs? Nobody knows… What we know is that, in an unclichéd way, nobody knows anything. You can’t know anything. The things you know you don’t know. Intention? Motive? Consequence? Meaning? All the we don’t know is astonishing. Even more astonishing is what passes for knowing.”—Philip Roth The Human Stain
When the Rains Come- Children's book illustrated by Malika Favre
The project was initiated by MUMs (Malawi Underprivileged Mothers). The book tells the story of an old folk tale from Malawi designed to raise awareness about young mothers in Malawi.-African Digital Art
Opinion: The World Bank and the Development Delusion (“The success of the Bank’s business model hinges on the unique power that it wields over its debtors. In other words, structural adjustment programmes were not designed to reduce poverty… Rather, they were designed to pull wealth from third world governments into first world banks”- Dr Jason Hickel, LSE Professor)
Viewpoint: Are Africa’s Women on the Rise? (part of a #bbcafricadebate on twitter, the BBC asks: What constitutes women being on the rise in Africa? Who are the women of Africa? More specifically, are the women who are “rising” representative of women in Africa?)
“To be changed by ideas was pure pleasure. But to learn ideas that ran counter to values and beliefs learned at home was to place oneself at risk, to enter the danger zone. Home was the place where I was forced to conform to someone else’s image of who and what I should be. School was the place where I could forget that self and, through ideas, reinvent myself.”—Bell Hooks
Congo is regarded as one of the first places in which photography became a powerful humanitarian force. Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a watershed of concern surrounding the Belgian monarch, King Leopold II’s personal abuse of power in the region. This was simultaneous with the rise of photography within mass media… Also at work at this time was Joseph Conrad, a steamboat captain along the mighty Congo River in the early 1890s. Conrad wrote a short novel about his experience, Heart of Darkness…To this day, Congo seems caught in the wake of Conrad’s steamboat. In the western popular imagination, the place is often regarded as touched by madness, darkness and cannibalism.
There’s plenty to be angry about – the fact that black women in America are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, the race-baiting, anti-abortion billboard campaign in America that claims that black women’s wombs are the most dangerous place for black babies…
My father used to say that if a person isn’t angry then they aren’t paying attention. I say that if you aren’t angry, the odds are you are one of the people pissing me off.
In 2002, minority women made up less than 8% of the total female population, but 29% of the female prison population; despite often high academic achievements, we are twice as likely to be unemployed as white women; we make up over 1% of the population, but under 0.5% of MPs (just three black women). If parliament were representative there’d be 55-60 BME MPs. Let’s assume half of those were women, and if just half of those were black, we’d still have more than three times the black women MPs we currently have. Why does this matter? Because decisions are taken in the corridors of power that affect all our lives, so why shouldn’t we be represented at the table?
The truth is, black women are no angrier than white women; if anything we could do with being a lot angrier. But we get labelled because deep down everyone knows we’ve got a right to be mad as hell.
“It is a cataclysm. Black people saw the police of the black ANC government shooting their own workers. It’s shattered the deep-seated trust of the ANC as ‘our party’, the party you’re born into, the party your fathers belonged to. The ANC was in the black mind, the black soul, it took on an almost mystical quality. But now they’ve lost faith in it. The bond is shattered and it happened on television.”—
Allister Sparks (veteran journalist and analyst speaking to the Guardian about Marikana mine shootings)
“We live in a world where children as young as 5 have already internalized the message that black is ugly and white is pretty. We live in a world where fashion magazines regularly lighten the skin of women of color. We live in a world where, when asked why they didn’t use more models of color, brands respond with, “Well, we couldn’t find any good ones.”—What It’s Like to Be a Woman of Color in the Lingerie Industry
Just been reading an interesting post about the Greeks and their potential status as an “emerging market”- how bad must that burn? (And the “emerging market” label is definitely something you want to shake off- come to think of it, I don’t even really llike that term so I’ll try not to use it)
But has it really really come to this? Didn’t Greece just host the Olympics like yesteryear?? And who’s next to join the circus? Italy? Spain? (Although Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy felt the need to remind everyone, “We’re the number four power in Europe. Spain is not Uganda”, things aren’t looking too bright.)
And THIS is where things get interesting. We’ve already begun to see the decline of the US (but this guy says that’s a lie)- From where I’m standing, America’s out (for now). China’s in and Africa’s on the rise (for good). Time to start taking Chinese or Swahili lessons folks. Not kidding.
“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is EMPATHY, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound, purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”—Bill Bullard
“Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.”—Fashion is a Feminist Issue: Greta Christina (via tinybows)