When it comes to Africa, the perception of the continent doesn’t quite match up with reality. While many of us know the Motherland boasts a wealth of history, a diverse collection of countries, a beautiful cross-section people, and some of the world’s most valuable resources, the mainstream media rarely shows Africa in a positive light.
The result? Stereotypes, misconceptions, and horror stories abound. Many Africans both here in the U.S. and abroad have rebuked the negative portrayals of the continent, and the African Student Association (ASA)group at Ithaca College is lending their voice to the chorus.
Exhausted by having to answer ignorant questions such as “Do you speak African?” or “What is Africa’s flag?” the students of the ASA at Ithaca launched an online campaign to pushback against the negativity and educate their classmates about Africa.
In a series of striking images, which depict the students draped in various flags of African countries, the ASA students hope to show “the beauty” of Africa.
“What we wanted to do was embrace the individual flags of the countries of Africa,” Rita Bunatal, head of PR for the organization, told CNN. “We wanted to show the beauty and the power of the flag. We also wanted to break one of the biggest misconceptions about the continent, which is that Africa is a country.”
The images include gripping taglines such as, “Africans do not all look alike,” “Africans don’t need to be saved,” “Africa is not a country” and “Africa is not a land filled with diseases.”
A move Bunatal hopes will not only attract attention, but will also help educate her peers and dispel myths about the continent.
“The simplest actions can create awareness and we are hoping to do this not only campus-wide, but also world-wide.”
Take a look at some of the images from “The Real Africa: Fight the Stereotype.” What do you think?