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Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

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Biafra And The Politics Of Humanitarian Consumption, Chi-Chi Ayalogu Oct 2019

Biafra And The Politics Of Humanitarian Consumption, Chi-Chi Ayalogu

Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

The Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-70) is overwhelmingly represented by photographs of malnourished, sickly looking and often protein-deficient children, iconic and complex images that encapsulate the narrative of an impoverished black Africa in the western imagination. While these photographs reveal the grievous, inhuman atrocities that took place in Biafra, they have come to be negatively associated with the entirety of black Africa, as they tend to validate inaccurate ideas of homogeneity on the continent. Yet despite their homogenizing effect, Biafran leaders re-appropriated images of suffering for propaganda use, specifically to elicit a humanitarian response and thereby procure aid and resources from denizens ...