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Fair Trade vs Free Trade

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GEO 3106 Producing Africa: Take – Home Exam 1) The ‘real Africa’ is presumed to be filthy and miserable (Wainaina, 2005). Discuss.
Representations of Africa in a global context have been largely negative, often presumed to be one country the continent is stigmatised as backwards, disease ridden, violent and in need of Western assistance. Although some positive imagery does emerge from Africa including that associated with Comic Relief, corporate campaigns such as Guinness’s stylish philosophy and in music videos like ‘Am I wrong’ by Nico and Vinz, Africa is subject to the use and re-use of negative imagery resulting in prominent stereotypes shaping our geographical imaginations of the continent. This is a similar concept to that of orientalism explored by Edward Said (1987). This essay will argue that presumptions of the ‘real Africa’ are largely negative, discussing how ‘Africanism’ and stereotypes of the continent are heavily influenced by colonial representations of people and place arguing that these assumptions are highly compatible with Western domination and power rooted in imperial attitudes.
Jan Pieterse (1992:75) recognises that Africa has been depicted as the ‘Dark Continent’ plagued by stereotypes ‘which colonialism would build on and elaborate’. Imaginaries of childlike, savage, inhumane distant others who are dependent upon Western help dominate the way in which Africa is perceived. Campbell and Power (2010) suggest that a dominant scopic regime shapes our perception of Africa through the repetitive use of colonial tropes which has become embedded in the global visual economy. These presumptions support the concept of ‘Africanism’ in which the continent is negatively homogenised and tribalised. Ferguson (2006) re-emphasises these ideas arguing that Africa is understood to be culturally, politically and economically inferior to its Western and...

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