Saturday, August 5, 2017

White man's game : saving animals, rebuilding Eden, and other myths of conservation in Africa by Stephanie Hanes, just put on reserve at NYPL

PW Reviews 2017 May #4
Journalist Hanes advances a too-little-regarded position regarding philanthropic aid and conservation efforts in this forthright volume on Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park. For years, Hanes argues, well-meaning Westerners have launched ambitious conservation initiatives in developing countries, taking control of the narratives surrounding the places where they've become involved. Rarely, Hanes contends, do locals get a say. She examines this disconnect, dividing her analysis into three sections. The first looks at ways in which Africa has been discussed historically and "why we are still stuck in them." Hanes traces Africa's appeal to outsiders back to the late 18th century, when adventure-seeking Europeans made their way to what they dubbed "the Dark Continent." In the modern era, fund-raising efforts such as Live Aid helped to perpetuate the idea that the continent "was poor, sympathetic, and in need of aid." The second section focuses on Gorongosa itself. "Biologically and topographically diverse," the park is "one of the best safari locations in southern Africa" and home to scores of vulnerable species. Hanes concludes by considering organizations such as National Geographic, whose travel-friendly depictions of the continent continue to obscure some of Africa's true struggles. In straightforward and fervent prose, Hanes gives readers "a new way of thinking about nature, conservation, and the pitfalls of best intentions." (July)
Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

No comments:

Post a Comment