It is a liberated space in which the usual rules do not apply: a nobody from America or Europe can go to Africa and become a godlike savior or, at the very least, have his or her emotional needs satisfied. Many have done it under the banner of “making a difference.”
And we also agree on something else: that there is an internal ethical urge that demands that each of us serve justice as much as he or she can. But beyond the immediate attention that he rightly pays hungry mouths, child soldiers, or raped civilians, there are more complex and more widespread problems. There are serious problems of governance, of infrastructure, of democracy, and of law and order. These problems are neither simple in themselves nor are they reducible to slogans. Such problems are both intricate and intensely local.
Teju Cole: The White Savior Industrial Complex
Rosebell Kagumire: My response to Invisible Children’s campaign
Mahmood Mamdani: What Jason didn’t tell Gavin and his Army of Invisible Children
Dinaw Mengestu: Not a Click Away: Joseph Kony in the Real World