Monday, February 14, 2011

Tell Me About Africa

A friend of my from Ireland, Scott Sloan, runs this great blog about all things Africa.  He invited me to write a piece about Adrien's Olympic weekend.  I love what this blog tries to get across to the people of other continents who don't quite know what to think about Africa.

"The western media can depict the people of post-colonial African nations as victims – whether of poverty, natural disaster, corruption or all three. This casts the people of those countries as perennially, even innately, passive – those to whom life happens. It accentuates the negative in a way that, for all the press's attraction to bad news, does not happen when the west discusses itself.

In relaying short stories of character this blog aims to dispel such notions of passivity, in a bid to challenge some of our mis-laid preconceptions.

To quote from Kapuscinski, however, these stories are not "about Africa, but rather about some people from there.. The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say “Africa.”

Stories will not always be good. That too would be condescending. The challenge will be to provide a whole picture – good, bad and ugly.

I am honored to be able to contribute to his aim with Adrien's Road to the Olympics

Adrien is third from the left.  This photo was taken February 18, 2007 almost four years to the day of his epic Olympic qualifying race.

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