Trying to go behind the stereotype …

Two days ago WE’ve published our latest edition of we-magazine: WE_africa. It literally went around the globe via twitter – very impressing to see! Thanks for sharing this with us!

WE_africa is a very personal thing for me. The idea took shape during my last visit to Africa in August/September 2010 and our idea was to try to go behind the stereotype “western” way of presenting Africa. WE wanted to present very personal stories from people who usually don’t have a voice … WE were trying to draw an authentic picture of Africa, an Africa that is very diverse and very innovative and inspriring. It is so powerful in so many different ways … I hope you can “feel” it when you flip through the pages …

If I would have to choose the 3 most important articles for me (not that I have to;-) , I would go for:

The SLUMCODE story. This is because of the picture of this fetus laying in a plastic back on the street is still in my mind. While I was walking with Albert through Huruma I realized how close hope and despair are together. There was this incredible SLUMCODE team – young people full of hope to make a change right next to the overwhelming brutal reality of every day live in Huruma. A tension you really have to learn to handle and you have to learn to live with.

– Tunisia. Tunisia has definitely a “Neckermann” image in Germany: sunny, beautiful beaches, desert, holidays. Almost nobody in Germany has a glue that 4 weeks ago a revolution has started over there. No news or media reports on what’s going on there. Why?
Why not? WE decided in the very last minute to include the Tunisian revolution in WE_africa. An interview with Lina Ben Mhenni gives you an idea of what is happening. Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and association, the Tunisian government uses an array of legal, penal and economic measures to silence dissenting voices. And it is getting worse … Since the unrest started many people have been arrested …

– And the third one would be Richardson’s celebration of African culture. If you see Richardson dancing and singind then you will understand how important it is for young African people to understand their cultural heritage as something important, something where a lot of joy and positive energy comes from. Something what I would love to see more in our so-called western world …

As you can clearly feel … I am very very happy with our WE_africa: Bea did a wonderful job in transforming textual wasteland into a homogeneous beautiful magazine (see below) and Dominik exceled himself with WE_africa’s new website. Great job and thanks again to both of you for being with me on this journey … Let’s see what’s next.

We Magazine Africa

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