". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are Bono And Bob Geldof Good For Africa?

This isn't new, of course, but it is seldom covered.

Journalists often peg stories about the continent to what two of its most visible advocates say. "Africa aid levels a disgrace, says Bono," "Give us your "effin money, says Geldof."
Some say we journalists are lazy, others say their fame gives us a convenient way of getting stories that otherwise might not be heard past our editors and into the Western media.
I've sat with Ethiopians in gardens lush with greenery and laughed about a land where, according to the pair's famous 1984 Band Aid song, "nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow."
And I've heard people, in this nation that is largely Orthodox Christian and Muslim, laugh at the inappropriate nature of the song's title for them: "Do they know it's Christmas?"

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