Articles and Analysies
Race and colour consciousness art or is it ... Religions? Hatim Elmadani
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Oct 10, 2006 - 11:47:00 AM

Race and colour consciousness art or is it ... Religions?

 When the late Leni Riefenstahl Hitler’s beauty arrived in Sudan, away from the German prosecutors, she became interested in the Nuba mountain tribe people and later published her book “Die Nuba” with clearly staged photographs of the tribe women and men posing naked.

The westerns world media then seem to see only through the work a famous artist who greatly influenced the art of film not Berta Helene Amalie the Nazi’s propaganda films maker, who used Gypsy concentration-camp inmates as extras in her films.

And for the poor Nuba Mountain people, the simplest of mind they are in different wave length, they are only an object for her and don’t understand the wickedness of the Nazi’s supremacist Ideology or the photographer past.

For me I saw their experience was one of humiliation not because of the artist, thus may be she was thinking they are as physically imposing as Hitler's finest but I felt for the colonial breeds in that frame of mind whom from time to time points to the colours differences and not their short memories about the continent.

As some of these photographs of the Nuba girls posing naked came to me as stark reminder of history that still fresh in many Africans minds, the infamous pictures of the Namibian Herero tribes girls posing naked to be photographed by a German soldiers after they eliminated their tribe and forcing its women to become the sex slaves of German colonials to evade death.

Not to mention ignorant and arrogant! Even at the time in several Sudanese tribes, women and men were going completely naked except for a string tied about the waist they viewed such interests from outsiders and tourists about the naked body’s, as only implied to them as if they were in a zoological park and such interest later only encouraged most of them wrongly to part from their Naturist and healthy way of life.

Even though Leni Riefenstahl always maintained she was simply an artist and many seem to share that, my point here not her been mystified about naturist also but on why colorism is pervasive and powerful to her and also in some societies likes minds even today? 

The answer is more interesting, at least to me and demonstrates important philosophical missed arguments you find them at the centre of the so called new multiculturalism debate now there, after unworkable extremes of integration and separation.

Its deep rooted uncertainty in both American and Europeans and reflected in their struggle with race issues because it been looked at of its contemporary meanings rather than core values.

 American and Europeans continually juggling between race supremacy one time and having obsolete beliefs and religion righteous another time and later they dropped all these for another form of “me in class alone” for the sack of finding deference’s again and all these supremacy sleeked ways that lacked respecting others cultural values are all became an indoctrination blindly led to crate people with a warring nature not a celebrating differences one.

 Although the American and Europeans were not alone, but after the second world war there was overwhelming feeling all over the worlds against the hidden causes of wars to be confronted these addressed as the race relations issues and the way wrongly we approach them today through constitutions laws not values this why the issues still here today, and despite decades of scientific evidence later that race exists only as a social construct, generation after generation failed to stamp out the silliest of the race issues like the colour differences.

And today  if we considered two models like the black Civil Rights movement in the USA or the South African apartheid struggle era and presumed are both reached a conclusion term at one point there, we finds after the black-and-proud slogan era days when  look at  as an achievements to be counted towards equality in the world, it did not  materialised to stamp out the racial fictions, only tackled the colour issue, because as human after discounting the colours we failed to celebrate ours and others cultural differences later on, so the colour issue only been used before and after to advocate about something else the "equal rights for all" not the ‘multi’ concept, and integration the core issues. and the symptoms still here in our world today  as we see clearly now both the main ingredients of  hates about differences religion and colour are used again as war tools against another group of people i.e. the Asian Moslems and the Arab, another failed approach in addressing the cultural and political differences openly, or trying another concept the idea of the International multiculturalism first. We find also today the earlier solutions ‘to the black and white era that worked in America and Europe are applied foolishly as factors and cure to tribal deference’s issues in Africa.

Instead we find that by exporting the European or American model remedies to race issues in places like Africa, because they only see the colour again behind these issues it contributed to creating anon exist form of race issues on the ground there and by doing so they are threatening the long co-existents and tribal cohesion of the people they want share these values with leading them towards the roads of wars.

Before I conclude this fatal attraction to the style of instant journalism with the questions that are we in celebrating cultural differences will help to eliminates race differences? Let us all first  be disgust of the colour deference’s first to be viewed not more than nature way funny sort of art and this should never be allowed  to be used to grab attentions or highlights by pressure groups, politics’ and advocate agendas.

  I will leave that to political philosophers of multiculturalism, such as Bhikhu Parekh or Charles Taylor, but in a country like Sudan where there is more than two hundreds tribes speaking several hundreds local languages and living  together for centuries, exporting our colour based ideas may not improve their lives and their diversities’ and they should be left to melt alone and their way of life to be celebrated and encouraged not to be divided to a black and whit and religions factions that will arguably lead to more fragmentations in the feature and it will spell all over Africa.

*Hatim Elmadani    . 


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