Livetweet Recap: NYT (and Vogue Italia) “Rebrands Africa” (again)

From a series of tweets I did on the New York Times story “Rebranding Africa” which you can read here.

  1. AfricasaCountry
    Coming up: Elliot livetweets a read-through of @NYTimes latest infuriant, “Rebranding Africa” h/t @siddhmi
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:45:32
  2. AfricasaCountry“The continent is entering the fashion arena”. What? It wasn’t in it already? Is this like when it hadn’t “entered history”?
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:49:10
  3. AfricasaCountry
    Oh, I see, this is a remix of Sarkozy’s Hegelian mash-up in Dakar, but for fashion. Great idea @NYTimes!
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:50:21
  4. AfricasaCountry
    Apparently Africa is entering fashion because of “the quality of its handwork”. Nope, me neither.
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:53:21
  5. AfricasaCountry
    I wonder what else Africa might be about to “enter”? Planet Earth? The Solar System? Suggestions to @NYTimes
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:51:55
  6. AfricasaCountry
    On the plus side, Suzy Menkes is right to identify early on that Africa is, in fact, a continent.
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:52:36
  7. AfricasaCountry
    Key is the “Rebranding” of Africa. Yawn! For fuller critique of this kind of guff see
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:55:32
  8. AfricasaCountry
    Rebranding constitutes no kind of “change in attitude/perception” because it offers Africa for consumption/ exploitation as of old
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:56:36
  9. AfricasaCountry
    This month’s Vogue Italia is dedicated to Africa. Well that’s nice. Why is @NYTimes reporting on it? Seems like a very long plug?
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:57:28
  10. AfricasaCountry
    And the cover star of that Africa edition of Vogue Italia. It’s the obvious choice: Ban Ki-Moon. African style icon, for sure.
    Mon, May 14 2012 12:58:08
  11. siddhmi
    @Okwonga @AfricasaCountry It read like an unabashed press release for Vogue Italia, didn’t it! Just absurd.
    Mon, May 14 2012 14:12:11
  12. AfricasaCountry
    Oh God isn’t Africa so confusing? What with the poverty AND the creativity in THE SAME PLACE? You’d never find that in, say, New York City
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:00:02
  13. AfricasaCountry
    Ban ki-Moon is a Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion4Development “to support the UN’s wider issues in helping Africa”. Nonsense on stilts.
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:01:50
  14. AfricasaCountry
    Uh-oh> ” For Ms. Sozzani, “positivity” is the key word in taking an uplifting attitude to a nation where “the image is so low.” “
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:02:48
  15. AfricasaCountry
    Did the @NYTimes just refer to the nation of Africa? I think it did you know!
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:03:36
  16. AfricasaCountry
    Attn @NYTimes fact-checkers. A minute ago Africa was a “continent”. Now it’s a “nation”. We’re as confused as ever.
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:05:00
  17. Okwonga
    @siddhmi I know, eh! Copy editor should be hanging his/her head in shame. @AfricasaCountry
    Mon, May 14 2012 14:30:56
  18. AfricasaCountry
    Sozzani: “All the pictures are made in a glamorous way — there is nothing sad, trashy or poor”. Well that’s a relief!
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:05:50
  19. AfricasaCountry
    Very important to ensure that the poor are never photographed in Vogue Italia. Sorry poor people, you’re just not cool enough.
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:07:38
  20. AfricasaCountry
    Sozzani:”if we can give an uplifting image it is helping people who wouldnt have considered Africa at all” Yes vital that those ppl get help
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:08:33
  21. AfricasaCountry
    [Also helping with rebranding]: “the lush beauty of the country & its allure as a tourist destination”
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:10:36
  22. AfricasaCountry
    All so confusing Africa fluctuating wildly b/w status as country and continent. Surely crucial to establish prior to confident “rebranding”
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:12:17
  23. AfricasaCountry
    “The emergence of Africa as a source of fashion creativity is about more than elegant images.” What, you mean they have clothes?
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:15:05
  24. AfricasaCountry
    There was I with the idea that Western fashion houses had been appropriating African style/design for ages. Welcome to fashion, Africa!
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:17:40
  25. kweligee
    @AfricasaCountry I’m so glad we’ve been let in now. All we need is an African For Us By Us. Yes, I know, FUBU made ugly clothes.
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:19:56
  26. siddhmi
    @BBCAfricaHYS @AfricasaCountry Menkes repeat rebrander: ’09, Africa’s “sculpted geometric shapes & rich, spicy colors”
    Mon, May 14 2012 14:17:30
  27. AfricasaCountry
    Is “rebranding” really the best way to think about, for example, no longer believing in loads of racist, supremacist myths?
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:20:29
  28. BeyondAid
    @AfricasaCountry World Economic Forum taught us last week that Africa is “a clean sheet of paper”
    Mon, May 14 2012 13:12:33

Further Reading

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.