how not to make a video about how not to write about africa | august 28, 2009


This might be the lamest thing I've ever seen. Not the text, by the brilliant Binyavanga Wainaina, but rather the video.

Is it that they stuck Djimon Hounsou, a two-time Oscar-nominated actor, in a 10x12 bedroom with a little girl surrounded by photographs and taxidermied animals...or the cliche music...or the montage of starving children at the end that only reinforces stereotypes of Africa, turning the entire piece on its head...or the tagline/plug, "Great Music Saves Lives"? Maybe a combination of all of them.

This is exactly my problem with Bono's whole RED campaign. If making change really were as easy as buying a T-shirt, then we wouldn't need more activists, we'd need more hawkers. And I really don't think rock stars should liken themselves to politicians, but I guess I'm no expert.

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