kawuli (kawuli) wrote,
kawuli
kawuli

Black Panther Nitpicking

(Edited slightly from a comment I put on [personal profile] staranise's Black Panther post)

So, the the zoom-in-map bit at the beginning of the movie suggested that Wakanda is somewhere around Uganda-ish, and assuming that's right, that makes the recent past REALLY INTERESTING.



Because in the last 30 years, in that region, you have: the Rwandan genocide, the various DRC wars, Joseph Kony and the LRA... and unlike, say, the Atlantic slave trade, those conflicts (except MAYBE the DRC stuff, but even there...) were small enough in scale that Wakanda could have made an absolutely enormous difference without risking many Wakandan lives. (I mean, this in no way lets the rest of us off the hook, but Wakanda was RIGHT THERE...)

If I was Rwandan and found out that Wakanda had sat there and watched in '94 I would be fucking furious, honestly.

And then on the flipside, how much information from the outside gets INTO Wakanda, because if you're sitting there comfortably in Wakanda and hear about genocide happening practically on your borders, I would guess there'd be at least SOME people who'd demand their government do something to stop it. Was there a thwarted uprising in 1994 over Rwanda? Earlier, over Idi Amin? Apartheid? Somalia? Famines in Ethiopia or the Sahel? Or is there super strict information control--if you block the BBC world service on shortwave, keep the internet out and rely only on state media and you'd be able to control what people know about the outside world, but that gets dystopic really fast.

ha, and now I want the fic about the War Dogs in neighboring countries SCREAMING about how they had to DO SOMETHING and getting told no and... well, basically the Wakandan Romeo Dallaires. Because fuck, there'd have to be a few of those. (Unless they only send War Dogs outside of Africa? but again, that ALSO gets dystopic pretty fast...)

So okay, and now they're going to get involved in international aid and development work, which is cool, but the fact that they're Africans doesn't mean they necessarily know how to do foreign aid all over the continent. Aid is hard. It's a big, diverse continent. Being African doesn't make you immune to the same patriarchal, patronizing bullshit that white folks pull. See, for example, Ethiopians I worked with who don't know shit about how to work effectively in Mali. Or the African extension workers who tell farmers they're stupid for not doing what they're told. Humans are humans, regardless. So I would actually be surprised if there weren't some early Wakandan aid fuckups of the sort that often happen when people go "hey we have this cool tech, we should Save The World with it!" and end up with solutions in search of problems rather than the other way around... but we'll be hopeful that the Wakandans have a pretty quick learning curve on that.

Maybe all the Wakandan Romeo Dallaires and the rest of the frustrated War Dogs stationed on the continent who've been sending increasingly exasperated memos about how if only someone would give them the resources they could just FIX THE THING can be in charge of WAID. Nakia at least seems to have her head on straight, and T'Challa seems to realize that. So that's a good start.

Anyway, that's my day-after thoughts for now...
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