WEEKEND REMIX

Posted on March 4, 2012

5


1) EU expansion meets KILL BILL and, true to their style, every possible non-western stereotype… and fit it in one video.

I’m, literally, crying blood.

2) Why do documentaries of the Chinese diaspora in Africa seem to have the same geographical concentration (Zambia being the epicentre)  and interview the same people?

Al-Jazeera’s ‘King Cobra and the Dragon’ (made for ‘People and Power’ programme) directed by Solange Chatelard, interviews Mr Liu, who’s got to be Zambia’s most famous farmer, after also featuring in ‘When China met Africa’, directed by Mark and Nick Francis, another documentary on Sino-African relations. His family is also featured in both documentaries, and so are his accounts of how hard-working Chinese people are. However, in Francis’ documentary he is portrayed as a rather rude and harsh boss who does not pay employees on time and is does not tolerate complaints from the workers in his farm. However, in Chatelard’s video, the Liu family appears to be largely integrated in Zambian life: from the open attitudes of the parents to the daughter’s Zambian accented English.

Al-Jazeera’s account also includes the story of the Zambian workers who died at a Chinese-run factory explosion a couple of years ago… and so does Channel 4, Unreported World Series, ‘China’s African Takeover’ (Season 13 episode 3), presented by Aidan Hartley. This latter documentary is sensationalist to the max, and I just find it hard to relate to anything it shows.

Even though Al-Jazeera’s documentary draws on examples that have been previously explored on other occasions, it does so much more successfully, portraying a multifaceted reality. This achievement is unique to Chatelard’s account, as  the rather audience-seeking ‘China’s African Takeover’ or the biased ‘When China met Africa’ remained very peripheral on the topic, drawing on already existing stereotypes.

Al-Jazeera/Chatelard’s: Mr Liu/His daughter/ graveyard for deceased Zambian workers.

Channel 4/Aidan Hartley: graveyard for decease Zambian workers.

Mark and Nick Francis: Mr Liu/Mr Liu’s daughter

3) The Guerrilla Girls: REVISITED 22 years after.

I wrote this article about Race and Gender at the Gagosian Galleries in New York. Things haven’t changed much in the past two decades.
I mean WOW. The blog entry is here.

4) EYE·PATCH·REVIVAL:

A few years after Daryl Hannah brought sexy back to eyepatches on Kill Bill, we have recently been bombarded by the images of the journalist Marie Colvin , who passed away in Homs during the ongoing Syrian upraising and who had been wearing an eyepatch for the last decade (a couple of years before Tarantino’s film came out). In the Spanish-speaking world a new media blitz has evolved around bullfighter Juan José Padilla facing the bull after a terrible accident where he lost his left eye. The iconography of eyepatches (and incredible power at establishing ‘human-logos’ of one’s brand) is something I need to look more into…
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