oh my gosh dorm rooms are the same /everywhere/. even across the atlantic, apparently.
Not even a dorm - I live in a house of which I have slightly more control over how I decorate my room. It’s good to know that Americans had similarly pretentious faux-academic decorations, though. I’ll feel massively out of place if I take all this stuff on my study abroad only to find that my room mate(s) don’t harbour a similar appreciation of art and/or history.
I love my wall. The rest of my home may be a cavernous dirty hellhole, but the wall’s remained intact. I have:
a) A postcard of Hadrian crushing a peasant; Alexander; and a Caryatid, all from the British Museum, a favourite haunt of mine;
b) Virgins, by Botticelli and some other bloke, from The Louvre in gay Paree;
c) an ornamental cat from my hometown museum in Brighton, a genuinely wonderful and interesting place;
d) A piece of Persian art; a postcard of Hadrian’s Wall; a picture of Carcassonne, a beautiful and touristy French city; many a picture of a trip me and a friend took to Venice in the summer of 2010;
e) A poster of Dickens’ ~heroes and villains ~ from a copy of The Guardian, my favourite national British newspaper.
This is long winded as fuck, but I harbour a great affection for my wall of stuff. Hopefully it’ll stay intact on the transatlantic flight to Massachusetts, as I intend to take all of it on my study abroad.
….As I tracked the story shift on my Twitter feed, I saw a couple of tweets from Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan journalist whose opinion I value highly. I met Rosebell at a climate change conference but she’s a braver reporter than that. Back in 2005 she was reporting on the Joseph Kony story itself. Here’s one of her tweets that caught my eye.
I asked Rosebell to expand and here’s what she told me in an email:
I viewed it this morning and the first 5 minutes told me this was another effort by a good white American guy trying to save my people. In this story Ugandans are just mere watchers as Kony kills our children. In this story not much can an African do. It is the same old sensationalization of African stories and simplification of our problems to tell the western world using even his son that they should save Africa. How? by giving us money.
It’s a narrative that many of us of the continent who work in the media always look at in disbelief but such videos are easy to enter the hearts of an ignorant Western audience who do not question the narrative.
The film is void of any means like peace efforts that have gone on and it simplifies the war to Joseph Kony — a mad evil man. This war was bigger than Joseph Kony and those who will end it won’t be Americans. It’s a complex war that requires African governments of Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic to work together to pacify the region. And when I heard him say that Uganda is in central Africa despite [him] having visited here I almost stopped watching.
All in all it’s a very imperialistic film trying to touch sentiments of those who can ‘save’ Africa i.e. Hollywood and the West.
I am glad for social media that we are able to watch this kind of work and we react. This kind of condescending attitude towards Africa and its problems shouldn’t be given space in the 21st century.
Lots of people off of my course talking about the whole Kony 2012 thing on tumblr, and saying things like “stop being cynical” and “it’s about awareness” etc etc, and claiming that people are only criticising it to seem ~individual~.
I’d get involved but I have to admit that I don’t know enough about it to be slugging it out with acquaintances on Facebook. I’ll save my arguing for Remembrance Sunday …
Also I now appear to have an official UMass online account, so I assume I’ve been accepted? I’m somewhat confused, as this is the first piece of communication I’ve received since submitting my application to UEA a month ago.
But it’s exciting nonetheless. There are vastly more History modules than I thought there would be. How exciting. Would it be cheating to take modules like “Victorian Britain”, despite my being English and having studied it on and off for the past 10 years?