Misrepresentation in the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign image: There’s something terribly wrong with Nigeria – Tola Adenle

May 9, 2014

Society/Living, Women

First, the government announced that it has rescued all but eight of a hundred girls kidnapped and everybody was relieved to a great extent.  Being forever a cynic on any statement issued by Nigerian government or its agencies, I told my spouse it just was not possible because things do not move that fast and efficiently in Nigeria and it was definitely a press release to have people lay off so that President E.G. Jonathan and the PDP could continue their campaign rallies.

Sadly, I was proved not only right but the world learned there were over 200 girls.

Now this.  Where has honor, which used to be very important in society – gone?  Why did that departing Australian lament that in Nigeria, it’s not socially unacceptable to be dishonest? 

This is an absolute disgrace but as long as there’s no line we won’t consider as no-no; as long as there are no principles in our dealings even in simplest things and on simplest issues, worse than these will continue to surface. 

Now, where do I classify this since more than government is involved, create a new category that says we all behave like a crime syndicate?  NEVER because there are still many straight-as-arrow Nigerians but why are ugliest our face to the world?

Why is everybody around the world afraid to deal with Nigerians?  Why are many of us who live in Nigeria afraid to deal with our fellow citizens?  Why would a person who plagiarizes at the highest level in the university be bold enough to tongue-lash the person whose paper he/she copied and the words of “comfort” the person would receive would be that she should leave the stealer of another’s work alone?  Why would a pretender tongue-lash genuine citizens in publications and get away with it?  Why would “reputable” publications lift others’ materials without giving credits to their sources?



The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls – Ami Vitale in an interview with James Estrin

Tell me about the photos.
There were three photos that were taken from either my website or the Alexia Foundation website, and someone made these images the face of the campaign. But these photos had nothing to do with the girls who were kidnapped and sexually trafficked.
There are many times when I get upset when people take my photos without permission, but this isn’t about that. I support the campaign completely and I would do anything to bring attention to the situation. It’s a beautiful campaign that shows the power of social media. This is a separate issue.
This is about misrepresentation.
These photos have nothing to do with those girls who were kidnapped. These girls are from Guinea-Bissau, and the story I did was about something completely different. They have nothing to do with the terrible kidnappings. Can you imagine having your daughter’s image spread throughout the world as the face of sexual trafficking? These girls have never been abducted, never been sexually trafficked.
This is misrepresentation.
I know these girls. I know these families, and they would be really upset to see their daughters’ faces spread across the world and made the face of a terrible situation.
The photos were taken from two separate stories. I was there in 1993, in 2000 and then in 2011 for the Alexia Foundation. I lived there for six months, learned the language, learned about their lives and became very close to all the people in these pictures.
What was the story?
I wanted to put a human face on conflict. But when I got there my story changed. Because I realized the way Africa is generally portrayed in mainstream media is either wars, famine or stories like this terrible abduction. You see the horrors or the other extreme, beautiful safaris and exotic animals. There’s nothing in between.
So it’s ironic the story I was telling was that there is a beautiful world that lies between these two truths. Why don’t we ever tell these stories that show the dignity and resilience of these people?
And this is why I feel so enraged, because I was trying to not show them as victims. They are not victims. Using these images and portraying them as victims is not truthful. The story I did was a hopeful story.


FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2014.  4: 50 p.m. [GMT]


, , , ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: