I’ve had a lot of culture over the last few days in Juba. Now that I’m not officially an employee of the Rift Valley Institute in South Sudan – I’m now full-time on the PhD, finally – I’m putting in a lot of time (read, I’m still in the office at 10pm) on various consulting jobs, an article, and planning for moving my life up to Aweil next Thursday. And I’ve had time to do culture.
Tag Archives: ethnicity
Thursday night was also well-attended at Juba University for Jacob Akol’s talk on the concept of the House of Nationalities in South Sudan; the panel then led an open debate on issues of language, women’s positions, traditional justice and marriage systems, mother tongues, the rights to move within the South and the invisibility of disabled people in the country.
The podcasts for all the lectures can be found on the RVI website.
Debate was lively, but no progress was made on how it would really work to incorporate and ‘deal with’ ethnicities in South Sudan through the constitution and elsewhere in national life. As one speaker said, “one nation, one culture, one language hasn’t got us anywhere in the last fifty years.”
[Diesel advert reads: “Instead of conquering an island by killing the natives, we decided to simply buy it. (Besides, have you seen the price of weapons these days?) Diesel Island: Land of the Stupid, home of the Brave.”]
Not content with sexualising and appropriating various forms of culture – Native American stands out here, but fashion does love “tribal” stuff – this Diesel ad has been consistently annoying me this week.
Conquering an island is apparently still an option – although guns are pretty pricey at the mo! Thank heavens we can resort to white Western privilege and buy an island through some happy debt slavery. Apparently the Diesel campaign has the tagline ‘What would it be like to start a nation from scratch?’, and lets you become a citizen online. I would like to be a citizen in a world where these kind of adverts – yay references to genocidal invasion! – just didn’t happen.