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The Invisibility of Darfur

I found this article very interesting in the way it examined the role the media plays in shaping narratives and rhetoric regarding genocide, rape, and other atrocities. It reminded me of the interview our group recently did for our upcoming podcast with activists doing work in Darfur. One of them talked about how the story about the genocide in Darfur, and specifically the plight of Darfuri refugees, has been ignored recently because the story is no longer “sexy”. It was in the news for a while, but it soon got lost amidst other tragic stories about human rights violations and violence in other parts of the world.

Chiwengo offers Rwanda as an example of the “international community’s disinterest in Africa,” which is now being manifested in the Darfur genocide. The ways in which these stories are presented through the Westernized media are usually not conducive to eliciting a response capable of significant change. In our interview, the activists talked about how the refugees are aware of their basic human rights and they know they are being denied many of them. They wonder why the world hasn’t intervened to help them and they are losing hope because they think they are considered second-class human beings. This article explains how people in Darfur wonder why President Obama intervened in Libya, but he has not helped Darfur. This newspaper article wonders if President Obama has forgotten about Darfur. And the following movie gives an look at President Obama’s view on Darfur before he was elected by saying he did not want to “abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter”. Despite his original ambitions, however, the violence continues and people are still dying.

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One response to “The Invisibility of Darfur

  1. I completely agree with you. It is angering to see how many of these stories such as the Darfur one are only paid attention to for a while and then grow “old.” Once this occurs people no longer provide help although the problem and the challenge to reconstruct Darfur and stop the killings is still there and will take decades to resolve and address. The same thing happened with Haiti, a whole bunch of artists got together, made a song, people helped, yet many have not continued to help. The Haitian people are still suffering, whether or not the media pays attention to them.

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