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BRAND X

Orphaned transracial international ungrateful insurgent Class Bastard.

Posts tagged colonialism

Aug 11 '14

chickenyaoi:

America is some fucked up dystopian shit honestly like how are y’all even surviving? Paying for healthcare? $60,000 on tuition? POC getting shot in Wal-Marts? White men shooting up elementary schools? That’s terrifying I’m worried about all of you

Aug 5 '14
"In one often repeated story, a Native American girl in Oklahoma raises her hand when the teacher asks, “Who here can speak a foreign language?” She replies: “I can. English,” incurring the teacher’s disapproval. Yet for her—indeed, for all Native Americans—English is a foreign language. The power of their native tongues has lingered all over the land, as shown in rivers such as the Chattahoochee, Monongahela, and Susquehanna. Rarely do newcomers rename rivers; they merely mangle the old pronunciation. For instance, in Ojibwe misi-ziibi means “Great River.”"
K. David Harrison, The Last Speakers (via fifthblackbird)
Jul 5 '14
"Abodja, Adinda, Adnyamathanha, Adyinuri, Aghu-Tharngala, Agwamin, Aji, Alawa, Algan(Wig-), Alngith, Alura, Alyawarre, Amangu, Ami, Amurrag, Anaiwan, Andajin, Andigiribinha, Angkamuthi, Anguthimri, Anindilyakwa, Anjingid, Antikirinya, Arabana, Aragawal, Arawari, Aridinngidhigh, Arngam, Arrernte, Awabakala, Ayabadhu, Ayerrerenge, Ba rangu, Ba:na, Ba:nggala, Baanbay-Ahnbi, Badimaya, Badjalang, Badjiri, Bagandji, Baganu, Balardung, Balgalu, Balmawi, Banambila, Bandjagali, Bandjin, Banjgaranj, Banyjimad, Baraban, Baradaybahrad, Baramangga, Baranbinja, Baraparapa, Bardi, Bardrdala, Barunggama, Batjala, Bayali, Bedaruwidj, Bemba, Berrkali, Biangil, Bibbulmann, Bidawal, Bidia, Bididji(Gugu-), Bidjara, Bigambul, Bilamandji, BilinBilin, Bin-gonginad, Binbinga, Bindal, Binggu, Binjarub, Birbai, Birdingal, Biri, Birladapa, Birniridjara, Bolali, Bouliboul, Brabirawilung, Brabralung, Braiakaulung, Bratauolung, Buan, Bugongidja, Bugula, Bujibada, Bujundji(Gugu-), Buluguda, Buluwandji, Bun wurrung, Bunara, Bundhamara Punthamara, Buneidja, Bungandidjk (=Buandig ), Bunggura, Bunuba, Bural-bural, Buranadjinid, Burarra, Cabbee, Coastal Lamalama, Da:rdiwuy, Da:wa(Gugu-), Dadi-dadi, Dagoman, Daguda, Dainiguid, Dajoror, Damala, Dambu-gawumirr, Danganegald, Dangbon, Darambal, Dargudi, Daribelum, Darkinyung, Darmarmiri, Daungwurrung, Debidigh, Dhaapuyngu, Dhalla, Dhalwangu, Dhanggagali, Dhanggatti, Dharug, Dharumba, Dhawa, Dhayyi, Dhiyakuy, Dhuduroa, Dhurga, Ding-Ding, Diraila, Dirari, Diyari, Djabadja, Djabwurrung, Djadja wurrung, Djadjala, Djagaraga, Djagunda, Djalarguru, Djalgandi, Djamandja, Djambarrpuyngu, Djambarrpuyngu, Djandjandji, Djangun, Djapu, Djarawala, Djargudi, Djarn, Djarrwark, Djerag, Djeraridjal, Djerimanga, Djial, Djidjijamba, Djinang, Djinba, Djirin, Djiru, Djuban, Djulngai, Djungurdja, Do:dj, Dolpuyngu, Dudu, Dulua, Dungidjau, Dyeraid, Dyirbal, Dyirringany, Dyowei, Eastern Torres Strait, Eora, Gabalbaral, Gabin, Gadang, Gadyarawang, Gagadju, Galali, Galawlwan, Galibamu, Galpu, Galwa, Galwangug, Gamberra, Gambuwal, Gamilaraay, Ganalpuynguh, Ganganda, Ganggalida, Gangulul, Garama, Garandi, Garanggaba, Garanguru, Garanya, Garawa, Garendala, Garingba, Garmalanggad, Garuwali, Gawambaray, Gay-Gay, Gayiri, Geawegal, Geinyan, Giabal, Gidabal, Gidjingali, Gigi, Gilibal, Gingana, Giraiwurung, Girramay, Giya, Go:la, Gobadeindamirr, Goinbal, Going, Golpa, Gonani:n, Gonggandji, Gonin, Gonjmal, Gooniyandi, Goreng, Goreng goreng, Grawadungalung, Gudabal, Gudjala, Gudjalavia, Gudjandju, Gugada, Gugu Warra, Gugu Yalanji, Gugu-Badhun, Gugu-Dhayban, Gujambal, Gujangal, Gulin, Gulngay, Gulumali, Gulunggor-Gulungo, Guluwarin, Gumatj, Gumbainggirr, Gun-djeihmi, Gunardba, Gunavidji, Gundara, Gundidy, Gundudj, Gundungura, Gungabula, Gungadidji, Gungaragan, Gunggalenjad, Gunggarbara, Gunggari, Gunggariganhgg, Gunindiri, Gunjbarai, Gunya, Gupapuyngu, Guragone, Gurdu(-wanga), Gureendyi, Gurindji, Gurnuornu, Gurung, Gurungada, Guugu Yimithirr, Guurindyi, Guwa, Guwamu, Guwij, Guyangal, Gwandera, Gwijamil, Ia:d, Ibarga, Indjilinji, Inggarda, Iningai, Jaabugay, Jabirr jabirr, Jagalangu, Jalugal, Jalung (Gugu-), Jalunju(Gugu-), Jambina, Jaminjung, Jan(Gugu-), Janari, Janggondju, Janjango, Janju(Gugu-), Jardwadjali, Jaru, Jawa(Gugu-), Jawaraworgad, Jawi, Jawoyn, Ji:randali, Jiduwa, Jingilu, Jirgandji, Jiwarli, Jugaiwadha, Jukun, Jurruru, Juwula, Kala, Kalaku, Kalamaya, Kalkatungu, Kamu, Kanai, Kaniyang, Karajarri, Kariyarra, Kaurna, Kayardild, Kaytetye, Kija, Kiyajarra, Kokatha, Koko bera, Kolakngat, Ku-ring-gai, Kugu-Muminh, Kukatj, Kukatja, Kulin, Kunbarlang, Kune, Kunjen, Kunwinjku, Kurrama, Kurtantji, Kurtjar, Kuthant, Kuuku-Ya u, Kuwarra, Kuyani, Kwini, Ladamngid, Ladji-Ladji, Lama-Lamai, Lamami, Laragiya, Lardil, Lewurung, Linngithigh, Liyagalawumirr, Luritja, Luthigh, Mabuyag, Madarrpa, Madhi-madhi, Madngele, Madoidja, Magalranalmiri, Maia, Maidjara, Majuli, Malak Malak, Malara, Malarbardjuradj, Malardordo, Malkana, Malngin-Maialnga, Malyangapa, Mamangidigh, Mamu, Mamwura, Manatja, Mandandanji, Mandelpi, Mandjigai, Mangarayi, Mangarla, Mangeri, Manggalili, Mangu, Mangula, Manjiljarra, Manu, Manunguy, Mara, Maradanggimiri, Maramanindji, Marangu, Maranunggu, Mararba, Marawara, Maraway, Mardidjali, Margany, Margu, Marrakulu, Marrithiyel, Martuthunira, Martuwangka, Marulda, Marungun, Maung, Mawula, Mayali, Mayi-Kulan, Mayi-Kutuna, Mayi-Thakurti, Mayi-Yapi, Mbabaram, Mbambylmu, Mbara, Mbiywonn, Mbo aru, Meindangg, Meriam, Mian, Midhaga, Midjamba, Milamada, Miliwuru, Min-kin, Minang, Mini(Gugu-), Minjangbal, Miriwoong, Mirning, Miwa, Moil, Mpalityanh, Mudalga, Mudumui, Muluridji(Gugu-), Mulyara, Mun-narngo, Munumburru, Muralag, Murngin, Murrinh, Murumidja, Muruwari, Mutpurra, Nabarlgu, Nada (-jara) (-wanga), Nakkara, Nalawgiynhahlhaw, Nambuguja, Nangadadjara, Nanggumiri, Nangiblerbid, Nangorg, Narangga, Nargala, Nargalundju, Nari-nari, Narrinyari, Natanya, Nawo, Ndorndorin, Ndra ngidh, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngaatjatjara, Ngadhugudi, Ngadjuri, Ngagu, Ngajan, Ngaladu, Ngalakan, Ngalgbon, Ngalia, Ngaliwuru, Ngambaa, Ngamini, Ngandangarad, Ngandi, Ngandjar (Wig-), Ngangurugu, Ngarduk, Ngarigu, Ngarinyin, Ngarinyman, Ngarkat, Ngarla, Ngarluma, Ngaro, Ngatjumaya, Ngawait, Ngawun, Ngayawung, Ngayimil, Ngengenwurung, Ngewin, Nggerigudi, Ngindadj, Ngiyampaa, Ngkoth, Ngoera, Ngorbur, Ngu rand, Nguburindi, Ngugi, Ngumbarl, Ngunawal, Nguramola, Nguri, Ngurlu, Ngurlu, Nhanta, Nhuwala, Nimanburru, Njegudi, Njirma, Njunggal(Gugu-), Njuwadhai, Nordanimin, NorweilimilLemil, Ntrangith, Nuguna, Nundjulbi, Nungali, Nungara, Nunggubuyu, Nungulrulbuy, Nunugal, Nyagi-Nyagi, Nyamal, Nyangga, Nyangumarta, Nyawaygi, Nyikina, Nyininy, Nyiyaparli, Nyulnyul, Ogerliga, Oidbi, Olgol, Palyku, Payungu, Pinikura, Pintupi, Pitjantjatjara, Pitta-pitta, Portawulun, Pulinara, Purduna, Putijarra, Raggaja, Raijang, Ralwia, Ramindjari, Rarmul(Gugu-), Rembarrnga, Rereri, Ribh, Ringu-ringu, Rirratjingu, Ritharrngu, Takalak, Thaayorre, Thalanyji, Tharrkari, Thiin, Tiwi, Tjungundji, Ulaolinja, Ulwawadjana, Umbindhamu, Umbuigamu, Umpila, Ungawangadi, Unggumi, Unjadi, Urningangg, Waanyi, Wad:a, Wada wurrung, Wadi-Wadi, Wadi-wadi, Wadi(-wanga), Wadigali, Wadja, Wadjabangaid, Wadjingi:n, Wadyalang, Wagaman, Wagara (Gugu-), Wagelag, Wageman, Waiangara, Waidjinga, Wailywan, Wajarri, Wajuk, Wakaya, Wakirti, Wakka-wakka, Walajangarri, Walamangu-Walamangu, Walandja(Gugu-), Walangama, Walbanga, Walboram, Waldja(Gugu-), Walgal, Walgi, Walmajarri, Walmbaria, Walu, Walyan, Wampaya, Wandandian, Wangaypuwan, Wanggamala, Wanggamanha, Wangganguru, Wanggadyara, Wanggara, Wanggatha/Wangkatja, WanggumaraWangkumara, Wangurri, Wankan, Wanudjara, Wanyiwarlku, Wanyjirra, Wanyurr, Wardal, Wardaman, Wardandi, Wardibara, Wareidbug, Wargi, Warlmanpa, Warlpiri, Warndarang, Warnman, Warramiri, Warray, Warrgamay, Warriyangka, Warrumungu, Warrungu, Warrwa, Watjanti, Wawula, Waygur, Wemba, Wembria, Wengej, Widi, Widjabal, Widjandja, Widjilg, Wiilmana, Wik-Epa, Wik-Me anha, Wik-Mungkan, Wik-Ngathana, Wik-Ngathara, Wik-ompona, Wilawila, Wilingura, Wilyagali, Wilyali, Wilyara, Wimarangga, Wiradjuri, Wirangu, Wirdinya, Wiri, Wiriyaraay, Witukari, Wogait, Woljamidi, Wonganja, Wonggadjara, Wonnarua, Woralul-Uronlurl, Worgabunga, Worla(ja), Worrorra, Wotjobaluk, Wubulkarra, Wudhadhi, Wudjaari, Wulagi, Wulbudyibur, Wulguru, Wulwulam, Wunambal, Wunumarad, Wurangu, Wurangung, Wurungugu, Wuy wurrung, Yabula-Yabula, Yadymadhang, Yakara, Yalanga, Yanda, Yandruwantha, Yanga, Yangga, Yangkaal, Yangman, Yanhangu, Yankunytjatjara, Yanyuwa, Yaraldi, Yaraytyana, Yardliyawara, Yari-Yarit, Yarluyandi, Yawuru, Yaygirr, Yidiny, Yiiji, Yilba, Yilngali, Yiman, Yindjibarndi, Yinhawangka, Yinwan, Yir Yoron, Yirawirung, Yitha Yitha, Yiwayja, Yorta yorta, Yu-yu, Yu:ngai, Yuat, Yubumbee, Yugambal, Yugul, Yuin, Yukulta, Yulparija, Yumu, Yunggor, Yuru, Yuwaalaraay, Yuwibara"
These are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that existed prior to British invasion. There were around 250 languages and around 600 dialects. Now, only 145 Indigenous Australian languages exist with 110 of them being “critically endangered”. (via black-australia)
Jun 30 '14

mizoguchi:

Soleil O/Oh Sun (Med Hondo - 1967)

Jun 25 '14
pleasedotheneedful:

socimages:

#intagrammingafrica: The narcissism of global voluntourism.
By Lauren Kascak with Sayantani DasGupta PhD
An article in The Onion mocks voluntourism, joking that a 6-day visit to a rural African village can “completely change a woman’s facebook profile picture.”  The article quotes “22-year old Angela Fisher” who says:

I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders.

It goes on to say that Fisher “has been encouraging every one of her friends to visit Africa, promising that it would change their Facebook profile photos as well.”
I was once Angela Fisher. But I’m not any more.
***
I have participated in not one but three separate, and increasingly disillusioning, international health brigades, short-term visits to developing countries that involve bringing health care to struggling populations.
Such trips – critically called voluntourism — are a booming business, even though they do very little advertising and charge people thousands of dollars to participate.
How do they attract so many paying volunteers?
Photography is a big part of the answer.  Voluntourism organizations don’t have to advertise, because they can crowdsource.  Photography – particularly the habit of taking and posting selfies with local children – is a central component of the voluntourism experience. Hashtags like #InstagrammingAfrica are popular with students on international health brigades, as are #medicalbrigades, #globalhealth, and of course the nostalgic-for-the-good-days hashtag #takemeback.
It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience. I took over 200 photos on my first international volunteer mission. I modeled those I had seen on Facebook and even premeditated photo opportunities to acquire the “perfect” image that would receive the most “likes.”
Over time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of those photographs, and ultimately left my camera at home. Now, as an insider, I see three common types of photographs voluntourists share through social media: The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.
The Suffering Other
In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.
Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph…

…must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.

The Self-directed Samaritan
Above we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.
The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10 day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?
This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”
Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On Photography, Susan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”
The Overseas Selfie

(Photo obtained from Global Brigades.)
In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are … In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning – there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community but rather, as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.
***
Voluntourism is ultimately about the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit. In fact, medical volunteerism often breaks down existing local health systems. In Ghana, I realized that that local people weren’t purchasing health insurance, since they knew there would be free foreign health care and medications available every few months. This left them vulnerable in the intervening times, not to mention when the organization would leave the community.
In the end, the Africa we voluntourists photograph isn’t a real place at all. It is an imaginary geography whose landscapes are forged by colonialism, as well as a good deal of narcissism. I hope my fellow students think critically about what they are doing and why before they sign up for a short-term global volunteer experience. And if they do go, it is my hope that they might think with some degree of narrative humility about how to de-center themselves from the Western savior narrative. Most importantly, I hope they leave their iphones at home.
Lauren Kascak is a graduate of the Masters Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, where Sayantani DasGupta is a faculty member.  DasGupta is the editor of Stories of Illness and Healing and the author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories and Her Own Medicine.

Totally. I get that volunteerism isn’t totally altruistic but I often see people take it to a level that comes off as totally disingenuous. Several years ago I probably would’ve been guilty of the same.
Also worthwhile to investigate candidate mission organizations and see what kind of long-term impact their work has on the local community… as touched on here, some end up doing more harm than good.

To name just one example: Child Trafficking “Orphan” Trade in Nepal Directly Fueled by Voluntourism
Because who gives a fuck about white peoples’ narratives &/ motivations really. The most salient point is that white voluntourism not only corrupts local infrastructure (a fact barely referenced and only by the end of the piece), but actively destroys the lives of non-Western people, then expects the survivors (most often children of color) to be grateful.

pleasedotheneedful:

socimages:

#intagrammingafrica: The narcissism of global voluntourism.

By Lauren Kascak with Sayantani DasGupta PhD

An article in The Onion mocks voluntourism, joking that a 6-day visit to a rural African village can “completely change a woman’s facebook profile picture.”  The article quotes “22-year old Angela Fisher” who says:

I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders.

It goes on to say that Fisher “has been encouraging every one of her friends to visit Africa, promising that it would change their Facebook profile photos as well.”

I was once Angela Fisher. But I’m not any more.

***

I have participated in not one but three separate, and increasingly disillusioning, international health brigades, short-term visits to developing countries that involve bringing health care to struggling populations.

Such trips – critically called voluntourism — are a booming business, even though they do very little advertising and charge people thousands of dollars to participate.

How do they attract so many paying volunteers?

Photography is a big part of the answer.  Voluntourism organizations don’t have to advertise, because they can crowdsource.  Photography – particularly the habit of taking and posting selfies with local children – is a central component of the voluntourism experience. Hashtags like #InstagrammingAfrica are popular with students on international health brigades, as are #medicalbrigades, #globalhealth, and of course the nostalgic-for-the-good-days hashtag #takemeback.

It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience. I took over 200 photos on my first international volunteer mission. I modeled those I had seen on Facebook and even premeditated photo opportunities to acquire the “perfect” image that would receive the most “likes.”

Over time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of those photographs, and ultimately left my camera at home. Now, as an insider, I see three common types of photographs voluntourists share through social media: The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.

The Suffering Other

In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.

Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph…

…must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.

The Self-directed Samaritan

Above we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.

The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10 day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?

This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”

Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On PhotographySusan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”

The Overseas Selfie

1 (2)

(Photo obtained from Global Brigades.)

In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are … In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning – there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community but rather, as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.

***

Voluntourism is ultimately about the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit. In fact, medical volunteerism often breaks down existing local health systems. In Ghana, I realized that that local people weren’t purchasing health insurance, since they knew there would be free foreign health care and medications available every few months. This left them vulnerable in the intervening times, not to mention when the organization would leave the community.

In the end, the Africa we voluntourists photograph isn’t a real place at all. It is an imaginary geography whose landscapes are forged by colonialism, as well as a good deal of narcissism. I hope my fellow students think critically about what they are doing and why before they sign up for a short-term global volunteer experience. And if they do go, it is my hope that they might think with some degree of narrative humility about how to de-center themselves from the Western savior narrative. Most importantly, I hope they leave their iphones at home.

Lauren Kascak is a graduate of the Masters Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, where Sayantani DasGupta is a faculty member.  DasGupta is the editor of Stories of Illness and Healing and the author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories and Her Own Medicine.

Totally. I get that volunteerism isn’t totally altruistic but I often see people take it to a level that comes off as totally disingenuous. Several years ago I probably would’ve been guilty of the same.

Also worthwhile to investigate candidate mission organizations and see what kind of long-term impact their work has on the local community… as touched on here, some end up doing more harm than good.

To name just one example: Child Trafficking “Orphan” Trade in Nepal Directly Fueled by Voluntourism

Because who gives a fuck about white peoples’ narratives &/ motivations really. The most salient point is that white voluntourism not only corrupts local infrastructure (a fact barely referenced and only by the end of the piece), but actively destroys the lives of non-Western people, then expects the survivors (most often children of color) to be grateful.

Jun 24 '14

koreaunderground:

dakotapuma:

The Ghosts of Jeju
Using previously secret and classified photos, film and documents, this will be the first English-language documentary about the struggle of the brave people of Gangjeong Village who are opposing the military advance of the United States, just as their parents and relatives did in 1947. As then, they are being arrested, jailed, fined, and hospitalized for resisting the construction of a massive naval base that will accommodate America’s “pivot to Asia,” and will destroy their 400 year old village and their UNESCO protected environment.

Screening tonight (Mar. 20, 2014) at the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, 3850 Westgate Place. Doors open at 6:30 PM, movie at 7 PM.

the jeju massacre… a good case for the “unofficial” starting point of the war? syngman rhee and the us military’s start of the war on the people of korea, both “south” and “north”?

(Source: vimeo.com)

Jun 18 '14

akeppleaday:

"Happy" World Cup, Brazil.

(Here are some sources.)

Jun 12 '14
Jun 12 '14
"All organizing is science fiction. What does a world without poverty look like? What does a world without prisons look like? What does a world with everyone having enough food and clothing look like? We don’t know. It’s science fiction, and it is as foreign to us as the Klingon homeworld (which is called Q’onos in case you were wondering). But being able to envision it and imagine it means we can begin seeing the steps it would take to move us there."
Jun 11 '14
lastrealindians:

Check out this disgusting racist letter to the editor found in the Gallup Independent newspaper.

Funny how white supremacists see being nonwhite as diametrically opposed to being human (note “redskin” versus “person”)
and then inevitably try to derail all examination of oppression with 'BUT WE ARE ALL HUMAN!!!111”

lastrealindians:

Check out this disgusting racist letter to the editor found in the Gallup Independent newspaper.

Funny how white supremacists see being nonwhite as diametrically opposed to being human (note “redskin” versus “person”)

and then inevitably try to derail all examination of oppression with 'BUT WE ARE ALL HUMAN!!!111”