Your ignorance isn’t welcome here

I met a young man just the other day, an acquaintance of a friend. He (I’ll call him Mr A) comes from a wealthy family, attended university in Boston, USA. My friend describes him as privileged and obnoxious and I agree with her. He is a cocky bastard and did not endear himself to me when he, almost as soon as we met, made what I consider to be a remark that betrayed his racism and ignorance. Continue reading

Save yourself, feed Africans

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‘She has no running water, no makeup, no clothes but the ones she herself has sewn, and no strict diet to follow – her figure is kept flawless because she is in a constant state of malnutrition. ‘

This and other send-ups of the “white saviour” trope are on Barbie Savior’s Instagram page.  The entries are hilarious, but also horrifying – because of they reflect the reality of widespread attitudes towards communities in Africa and Asia.

If you haven’t yet, you have to read this excerpt from Louise Linton’s memoir about how her gap year (spent saving Africa) turned into a nightmare, and also this brilliant send-up of her book.

But lies and satire aside, here’s Teju Cole‘s well-considered argument against ‘the white saviour industrial complex’.