Annwen Bates

In a piece written for Pambazuka News in 2007, Annwen E. Bates looked at how Africa’s lack presented as spectacle is used ‘to legitimise Euro-American programmes of salvation – from colonialism to aid involvement’. With South Africa in the spotlight ahead of the football World Cup in June, Bates revisits some of the ideas raised by her original article.

Western visual paradigms are obsessed with the body. Annwen Bates asserts that in the imagery of the “Black African other” and HIV/AIDS, this translates into a mixture of “ghoulish fasincation and horror when confronted with the body’s demise”

“There are only two kinds of people in Africa: those infected with HIV, and those affected by it.”
These are the words of dedication in a booklet entitled Positive Health, which is filled with practical hints and tips for living with more, 'the continent of terra incognito was, and continues to be, constructed as "nothing" and corpulent darkness'. Annwen Bates on the visual representations of the spectacle of aid in Africa.

You are a celebrity humanitarian and guest-editor of a well-circulated glossy. The more