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#14 Links Expat Aid Workers Like

June 8, 2012

TGIF People! Here are your ever-entertaining links for the afternoon. As a reward for reading all the way to the bottom, you’ll get a new drinking game to start off your weekend.

The new face of Africa.

We’re really disappointed that some people (ahem, Vogue Italia; others) still haven’t learned how to write about Africa. (Come. On. People!)

Africa is a Country is kind of annoyed at Vogue Italia’s ‘Rebranding Disaster‘.

“The images are okay, but otherwise it feels like something a middle-schooler cobbled together for a class project.”

Binyavanga Wainaina (the official how to/not to write about Africa expert) is also annoyed and gives us the 2012 version of how not to write about Africa.

Tristan McConnell disagrees, however, telling us that contrary to popular you-don’t-know-how-to-write-about-Africa belief, journalists in Africa surely do know how to write about Africa; and Laura Seay and all the other How Not to Write about Africa people can just take a hike.

(Not sure about y’all, but we are almost officially bored with the “how to/not to write about Africa” debate.)

So let’s move on to some outrage baiting…. and who better than to create a massive burst of outrage than Robert Mugabe? He was apparently (not) asked to be the UN’s Envoy on Tourism. (Debunked here.) But the wave of collective affront was too frothy not to keep riding.  According to Canada’s foreign minister, this was just the ‘last straw’ and Canada is withdrawing from the WTO. (Take that, Zimbabwe and WTO!) Seemingly unperturbed, Mugabe’s Tourism Minister labeled Canada’s reaction as “an inconsequential move” by a “small player in the global tourism industry” who just wants to “leverage on the Mugabe brand” in order to get on the global map.” (Take that, Canada!)

Let’s talk about language again – and that pesky, endless problem of what to call countries other than “first world” and “third world”, “donor” and “beneficiary”, “developed” and “developing”…  @Jay_Ulfelder discusses the two kinds of countries in the world… [blank] and [blank].

What’s so distasteful about the conventional approach are its connotations of hierarchy and even moral superiority. A couple dozen countries, mostly “white” and European, are described as having reached the desired end state, while the rest of the world struggles and strains to catch up. The rich and powerful have matured; a few fortunate others are just now emerging from backwardness; and the rest remain retarded in their development.

Over to theory… @JonathanGlennie says we shouldn’t drop dependency theory:

Mentioning class will inevitably turn some people off, but the importance of dependency theory, like the Marxist analysis, is not that it provides a comprehensive theology to sign up to as some have previously thought. It is that it provides a vital perspective without which development analysis is in danger of becoming kitsch.

“Everyone is doing better,” say the people who are doing better. But what about those who aren’t? Is their lack of progress the foundation on which the progress of others rests? To answer that question, and others, dependency theories may be needed now more than ever.

Save the Children releases a report on the sexual violence against women and children that continues at the hands of UN Peacekeepers.

Save the Children found evidence that UN peacekeepers had raped young girls in the Ivory Coast, southern Sudan, and Haiti. Cornell constitutional law scholar Muna Ndulo recounted cases of UN peacekeepers fathering and subsequently abandoning children at the end of their deployment. Ndulo quotes staggering numbers in his report: that UN peacekeepers have fathered an estimated 24,500 babies in Cambodia and 6,600 in Liberia…

…In 2011, the United Nations reported 74 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. While this is down from 357 cases in 2006, the UN is limited in how it can prevent and prosecute these allegations due to the organization’s size and member state-centric operating system.

But who needs “peacekeepers” when you can just send over Academi to get real shit done, like this campaign to capture Kony:

…Following the release of the “KONY 2012” video, we found ourselves the subject of much criticism online. In order to address these criticisms, we’ve decided to partner with Kickstriker, in order to launch a transparent, direct funding campaign with the goal of capturing Joseph Kony once and for all. If this project is successfully funded, 100% of your donation will go toward hiring private military contractors from Academi (formerly Blackwater), who will be immediately deployed to central Africa. Their mission: to capture Joseph Kony, dead or alive. To be clear, 100% of your donation will go toward the mission and none will be used for Invisible Children’s general operating expenses.

Be sure to check out the prizes for donating to the kill Kony campaign, including appearing in b-roll in Invisible Children’s next video (“send us footage of you ‘clicking’, ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ any of the videos from our YouTube Channel”); commemorative Kony teeth (subject to availability) and Kony’s skull (for a pledge of $1,000,000 or more). See  Kickstriker for details on this and other innovative, crowdfunded direct action campaigns.

We liked this video: Shit People Say about Internet Piracy.

Bertie, a resister of harmful cultural practices aimed at women and girls in the UK speaks out. (HT @keshetbachan)

Submit a guest post to Stuff Local Aid Workers Likes (but only if you are a local aid worker!) Also, we’d like to see more local aid workers on Aid Source!!

And the drinking game link you’ve all been waiting for Field Visit Bingo! from @morealtitude (Click to enlarge or to print out.)

And a little FatBoy Slim to get you going while you play….

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