Friday, November 03, 2006
Thanks, but no thanks
The Chinese appear to have pulled out all stops to welcome the African leadership. Beijing is draped with images from pre-colonial Europe - a dark continental backwater, best left for fishing, hunting, and anything else to do with wildlife. The people are too savage and black to warrant wasting any kodak film, simply a backdrop to the wild idyll painted by the likes John Henry Patterson in Man-eaters of Tsavo (on which the 1996 film, the Ghost and Darkness, was based). I insist that most Africans aren't that familiar with wild animals, unless you count lizards in urban Nigeria, cows in the middle of traffic, or chickens at the market. But of course the Chinese use the Safari stereotypes to promote their relationship with Africa, they don't know any better.