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Africa in the media: how are stereotypes fabricated?

18 August, 2017

From the beginning, the activities of Social Forum had tried to show The Africas of Africa, but also we have focused about one idea: the change of view. Sometimes we look with the wrong glasses to Africa, causing stereotypes and prejudices. Some of them come directly from the media; they are the main responsible for creating those kinds of negative stereotypes about Africa and everything that has something to do about the continent.

Benicassim, 2017-08-18. Africa contada desde los media y la fabricacion de los estereotipos (Foro Social). Photo by: Guillem Chesa © Rototom Sunsplash 2017.

An Africa where there are hunger, wars, self-destruction and the incompetence to govern themselves. Gemma Solés, communicator and publisher at Wiriko, calls that “The image of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. We also could listen to the journalist Lucía Mbomio and the African culture specialist and manager of Afribuku, Javier Mantecón, in a Social Forum in which we reflected on Africa seen through the media and the fabrication of stereotypes.

There were many questions to think about: How can we deconstruct those stereotypes? Which is the role as a journalist and in the mass media? Creation of stereotypes, invisibility, and creation of negative connotations by the media is what causes a racist and paternalist view. Lucía talks about some clear basis about journalistic rigor and what becomes sensationalism. She gave a lesson about the loss of meaning and aim of the Four Estate. Despite this, there are some alternatives that do look to the right Africa.

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