Cultural imperialism


You all know her. You do not know who she is, but you saw her around the block. Maybe more than just one time.

To tell you the truth, I think this photo is disgusting. And you can shout all you want about how this is the first woman who took off the burkha in Afghanistan and all the shebang, but the person who set this photo up is clearly missing a few wheels inside his/her head.

They posed the poor girl like she`s a fucking monkey! Like she`s some organguat from the fucking jungle, waiting for her morning banana. Those dead non-human eyes, no face expression, no nothing. Is she happy? Is she sad? Is she excited? Nothing! She just broke the cardinal rule of her society and what does she has to show? Nothing. Monkeeeeey.

This is the worst example of the cultural imperialism I`ve even seen. What`s even worse is that it`s coming from a magazine which promotes cultural diversity and united colors of…you know.

National geographic is going slovene sometime next month. And we got this planet-of-the- apes photo all over the city. Posters, billboards, adds…disgusting!

Shame on you, national geographic. You flunked at your own exam.


9 komentarjev na “Cultural imperialism

  1. ill-advised

    Sure we know who she is.

    I’m not sure if this whole matter is quite so shocking as you make it sound. It started as just another photo that was published on the cover of the magazine back in the 80s. For some reason, people were massively fascinated by it (perhaps it’s because of the girl’s wide-eyed stare), and it ended up as one of the most famous National Geographic photos ever, so it’s hardly surprising that the NG society often uses it in marketing purposes.

    My understanding (which may be wrong) is that the photo was originally intended to illustrate the plight of the displaced persons in Afghanistan during the 1980s conflicts there — i.e. not much to do with cultural imperialism, or taking off the burqa, or anything of that sort.

  2. sv3der

    @ill-advised: I totally agree with you in your explanation of the photo. but it is sad that they (NG) still prostitutes this photo nowadays.

    a propos NG: I thnk that NG nowadays is mere shadow of well-known magazine years ago. It´s just full of advertisements and really bad and cursory articles.


  3. jaKa

    ill-advised shed some light on the whole thing for you, cookie, regarding what the photo intends to show. it’s got nothing to do with uncovering her face and, btw, 12-year-olds are not really required to cover their faces. next time, double check the facts: it’s what you journalists are supposed to do, right?

    cultural imperialism… bah…

  4. ill-advised

    a propos NG: I thnk that NG nowadays is mere shadow of well-known magazine years ago. Its just full of advertisements and really bad and cursory articles.

    Are we reading the same magazine? Mine’s about 120 or so pages long, of which I’d say that maybe 10 are adverts. The rest consists of articles, of which there are maybe five or so (+/- 1). One or two of these may be mostly photos while the others contain a substantial amount of text.

    That doesn’t quite quality as “full of advertisements” and “cursory articles” in my book.

    I can’t really tell whether they are bad or not as I don’t have any suitable frame of reference for that. I am often impressed, however, at how they often draw protesting letters to the editor from several completely opposed points of view — i.e. for many stories, they get both letters saying “your article was blatantly anti-X” as well as those saying “you were blatantly pro-X”, where X may be an ethnic group, the theory of evolution, a branch of the economy, or any of a wide assortment of other things and concepts 🙂 All of which leaves me with the opinion that their articles, even if they are bad, are perhaps at least reasonably unbiased.

    As for whether the magazine was much different years ago, I don’t really know. I don’t have the impression that it has changed substantially in the last 15 years or so since I’ve started reading it, but I don’t really know what it was like before that.
    I did take a glimpse at the scanned pages of their first issue (from 1880 or thereabouts), however — believe me, it has improved vastly compared to that first issue. That was essentially a really turgid journal full of academic articles that used plenty of technical geographical and geological vocabulary (much of it of German origin) 🙂

  5. ill-advised

    next time, double check the facts

    Actually, this might be cookie’s clever new method of checking the facts: post a rant about a subject on your blog, then just sit back and wait for the curmudgeons and pedants to flood you with correct information 🙂 It would be a perfect case of symbiosis 🙂

  6. Dragan

    What a great photo indeed. Has absolutely nothing to do with cultural imperialism, in contrary! I didn’t see yet mentioning Steve Mc Curry, the author.

    It’s just one of the strongest & most vibrant
    portraits ever made, it has it’s own magic like the infamous Mona Lisa painting.


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