Sunday, March 10, 2013

Misfiring Economist

Africa made the cover of The Economist last week, as it does the cover of many a magazine these days. And lately the news, or more accurately the views, have been largely positive. I don't mean to be churlish towards our good friends at The Economist -- and one should never take these things too literally -- but is a giraffe with an abnormally elongated neck really the best visual depiction of "Aspiring Africa" that they could come up with?

If the aim was to dispel stereotypical (and wrong) notions about "Africa", doesn't representing the continent by this abnormal giraffe achieve the exact opposite? (And giraffes are wonderful creatures, I hasten to add.) Sadly the first thing that springs to the minds of many outside Africa about Africa are wild animals, not aspiring people. So when people think about Madagascar, or more recently Zambezia, for instance, they think of talking animals and almost never of the remarkable people that populate those African locations.

Just a thought.

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