Harvard political analyst Nanjala Nyabola argues that the Western media does not understand the nuances of culture and language, and therefore engage in simplistic commentaries on the rising violence in South Sudan. Nyabola argues that Sudanese people inhabit multiple cultural perspectives through their use of multiple languages alone. Western journalists report from a predominantly English-language perspective which misses the nuances of communication. These journalists are only hearing certain phrases that validate their Western point of view.
“So when a foreign journalist enters a space in which he speaks the formal but only understands the informal, a great deal will necessarily be lost in translation… There is an easy way to resolves this of course: ask Africans what they think and have them tell their own stories, instead of co-opting them to undermine or reinforce existing narratives among the Western audience. But given the aforementioned racial hierarchy of knowledge in the Western public sphere, I doubt this will happen and we should all prepare ourselves for another bout of misunderstanding.”
Read more: http://buff.ly/1aslisS.
Image by Surian Soosay via Flickr, CC.