The environment and Africa: recent stories

Treehugger often feels like a pretty random “environmentalist” website. Half the time, I feel like they are trying to sell me something I don’t need (eco-consumerism is not necessarily a good thing).  That said, they also occasionally have very interesting stories.

This week I noticed they had a couple posts about Africa.

One does a fantastic job of playing into the stereotype of “Africa as exotic”.  It is a series of photos about “Socotra: The Most Alien-Looking Place on Earth”? That said, it clearly is a beautiful and unique place. And I’m surprised I had never heard of it before.

The other post is on the trade in Rosewood from Madagascar. The title mentions that the Rosewood is headed to China but the text never discusses that point. What it does suggest (but not really substantiate) is that the coup last year created an opportunity for outsiders to step in and exploit Madagascar’s natural resources. Once again, a familiar portrayal of Africa, this time as “victim”.

Africa as the exotic victim, plagued–in these cases–by environmental problems, is a refrain that persists. My question is whether — as Lakoff argued for liberals  — this is a frame that can be changed.

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2010 regional shortlists unveiled | RobAroundBooks

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2010 regional shortlists unveiled | RobAroundBooks.

I would love to hear comments from anyone who has read these books…

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Best Book Trespass by Dawn Garisch (South Africa) The Double Crown by Marié Heese (South Africa) 03-The-Thing-Around-Your-Neck-by-Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie Eyo by Abidemi Sanusi (Nigeria) Tsamma Season by Rosemund Handler (South Africa) Refuge by Andrew Brown (South-Africa) Kings of the Water by Mark Behr (South Africa)

  • Trespass by Dawn Garisch. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Kwela Books.
  • The Double Crown by Marié Heese. Country: South Africa. Country: Human & Rousseau.
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Country: Nigeria. Publisher: Fourth Estate.
  • Eyo by Abidemi Sanusi. Country: Nigeria. Publisher: WordAlive Publishers.
  • Tsamma Season by Rosemund Handler. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Penguin.
  • Refuge by Andrew Brown. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Zebra Press.
  • Kings of the Water by Mark Behr. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Penguin.
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Best First Book I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (Nigeria) The Shape of Him by Gill Schierhout (South Africa) The Shadow of a Smile by Kachi Ozumba (Nigeria) Come Sunday by Isla Morley (South Africa) Sleepers Wake by Alistair Morgan (South-Africa) Jelly Dog Days by Erica Emdon (South Africa) Harmattan Rain by Aysha Harunna Attah (Ghana)

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