I am supposed to be on my summer blogging break , but the world of bad development does not seem to take a vacation... The first time I came across the #SWEDOW (Stuff We Don't Want) debate about what to do with unwanted stuff and whether to send it to 'Africa' was in 2010; in fact, I wrote about a shoe donation project on the blog in 2012. Fast forward to July 2019 and a local British Women's Institute Facebook page with about 500 page likes is posting a picture of two innocent-looking parcels that has been shared very widely. The vast majority of the 500+ comments under the post are positive and I am sure that both charities will receive quite a few parcels in the next few days. It seems almost futile and pointing out bad examples of charity and development is not always the best way to communicate, but I anonymize the post as much as possible to avoid simply shaming a particular Women's Institute chapter. 'Rapey men here are the same as rapey men t
It all started with a Tweet... German public broadcaster from Bavaria aired a comedian who impersonated an African dictator (including blackface/white gloves) to “satirically” address recent cases of corruption within Christian Democratic Party CDU...it’s painfully offensive & financed through TV license fee https://t.co/Bd5Klf9rpr — Tobias Denskus (@aidnography) April 2, 2021 On the surface this is just another incident of “satire” gone wrong: Helmut Schleich, a German comedian with a monthly show on Bavarian public broadcaster BR (part of the ARD network of publicly funded broadcaster in Germany) recently showed up in blackface. As his alter ego Maxwell Strauss he portrayed the illegitimate son of Franz Josef Strauss who had turned into an African dictator of the fictitious “People's Republic of Mbongalo ” . So far, so Chinese state television bad. Playing with a lot of stereotypes associated with “Africa”, including corruption and strange diseases, the punchline centers
Hi all, I wish I had more energy & the right mindset to celebrate my 400th #globaldev link review properly, but for the time being I am just grateful for all the great, critical, sometimes uplifting & inspiring content that my project encourages me to engage with every week-so a big THANK YOU to all the readers, writers, sharers & lurkers that will probably keep me motivated for a while! Enjoy! My quotes of the week If you look at American workplaces at the moment I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that antiracism was quite easy. The speed at which diversity training programs mushroomed in the aftermath of the anti-police uprisings of the past summer, along with specialist gurus leading them, could easily lead you to think that antiracism was a set of politics best practiced in the bowels of HR departments. No Black bodies left dying on streets, no police stations to burn, just a stack of Robin D’Angelo books and late afternoon management-led sensitivity training sessions.
A few reflections on curating humanitarian content & the limits of virtual knowledge repositories My colleagues of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) encouraged me to share a few thoughts on the occasion of their first anniversary of IHSA's curated newsletter . Blogging and curating international development and humanitarian content have played an important part in my digital life for almost ten years now and I recently shared my 400 th weekly development content review here on the blog and started to experiment with my own newsletter . But as tempting as positive metrics are, they cannot capture some of the bigger issues in our otherwise small community and we need to stay humble and realize that we are communicating in a very small bubble… One of the big challenges I have found throughout my years of communicating on social media is that expanding readership and engagement into any ‘popular’ arena is difficult and most nuanced content, often f
After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the ' 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School ' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago. This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK . I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and t