Doing Africa

This post from Lynn Forester de Rothschild defending the work of Clinton Foundation is remarkable for one thing: in describing at length a recent trip to Africa she undertook with Bill Clinton, de Rothschild never once mentions where in Africa. The article even includes a series of photographs with detailed captions — but, again, not a single placename beyond simply "Africa". Not even West, East, Central or sub-Saharan.  De Rothschild mentions she visited 11 projects run by the Clinton Foundation over two weeks — all marvelous and inspiring — but we are never told whether they are in Liberia or Botswana, Burundi or Ethiopia, Mali or Chad. It's enough to know they are in Africa, apparently. 

So very strange, and strangely revealing. The entire continent is presented as a monolithic repository of Caucasian largesse; a gigantic backdrop for ostentatious do-gooding.   

The title of the post is "Back From Africa with Eyes Wide Open" which is ironic since the author must have had her eyes firmly closed while she was there.  

 (If you can't quite grasp what's wrong with the article, replace "Africa" with "Europe" and read it again).