kottke.org posts about Africa

Africa from the airJun 07 2011

Paragliding photographer George Steinmetz takes beautiful aerial photos of Africa and other places from what is basically a chair attached to a motor and parachute.

George Steinmetz

Steinmetz was the subject of a New Yorker profile last year.

Perspectives of PovertyJun 09 2010

Frustrated with the carefully chosen photos of Africans "dressed in rags, smothered in flies, with [looks] of desperation" used to symbolize poverty by development organizations, Duncan McNicholl has started a photography project in which he takes two photos of a person: one in a typical poverty pose and the other with the person "looking their very finest".

The truth is that the development sector, just like any other business, needs revenue to survive. Too frequently, this quest for funding uses these kind of dehumanizing images to draw pity, charity, and eventually donations from a largely unsuspecting public. I found it outrageous that such an incomplete and often inaccurate story was being so widely perpetuated by the organizations on the ground -- the very ones with the ability and the responsibility to communicate the realities of rural Africa accurately.

HIV older than previously thoughtOct 06 2008

A new study suggests that HIV jumped from apes to humans around the turn of the 20th century, which coincides with the development of colonial cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

HIV was and remains a "relatively poorly transmitted" virus, he said, so the key to the success of the virus was possibly the development of cities such as Leopoldville in the early 1900s.

The large numbers of people living in close proximity would have allowed more opportunity for new infections.

"I think the picture that has emerged here, is that changes the human population experienced may have opened to the door to the spread of HIV," he said.

Not sure when this happened, but theMay 08 2007

Not sure when this happened, but the New Yorker has posted the huge profile of Bill Clinton that David Remnick wrote for the magazine back in September 2006. Yes it's long, but well worth the effort. Related: a NY Times crossword puzzle with clues provided by Clinton.

Great aerial photography of Africa by MichaelJan 04 2007

Great aerial photography of Africa by Michael Poliza. One of my favorites. Poliza's work reminds me of Yann Arthus Bertrand. (via nickbaum)

A photoessay that follows the path ofDec 07 2006

A photoessay that follows the path of a diamond from the mines of Africa to the Western jewelry store. "In Angola, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, miners work for food but receive no wages" and "last year, grooms spent nearly $4.5 billion on engagement rings". See also the interview with Edward Zwick, director of Blood Diamond. "By putting your credit card down, you're essentially endorsing the practices that are involved in getting a resource. This place and that place are, in fact, interconnected." (thx, blake)

The case of Kelbessa Negewo, former EthiopianJun 04 2006

The case of Kelbessa Negewo, former Ethiopian government official and assused of torture and human rights abuses, and how a chance encounter with one of his alleged victims in an Atlanta hotel has turned into a 15-year legal battle.

Blog about the small village of NataApr 14 2006

Blog about the small village of Nata in Botswana that's documenting the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS there.

A convergence of fault lines in AfricaMar 28 2006

A convergence of fault lines in Africa near Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti is shifting the land so much that eventually the Red Sea will flow in and create a new ocean. (thx, brian)

Drawings of war from children caught upAug 04 2005

Drawings of war from children caught up in the Sudanese cleansing in Darfur. "Without any instruction or guidance, the children drew scenes from their experiences of the war in Darfur: the attacks by the Janjaweed, the bombings by Sudanese government forces, the shootings, the burning of entire villages, and the flight to Chad."

Tags related to Africa:
photography AIDS politics science

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