There was also this show called MZUNGU that the Kilimanjaro Film Institute -- a photography show that interrogated the notion of Other from Tanzanian teens' perspectives. It was an interesting show but one that made me wonder if the images perpetuated these stereotypes or worked to break them down. Tough to say unless dialogues are a part of the show. Not sure if there were really formal conversations but we did talk informally and most agreed that it was time Tanzanians critiqued the behavior and language and power of whites/foreigners.
What were some of the categories?
Big Backpacks. Bad Dancing. Peculiar Shopping. The Scandinavian Volunteer with Hair Braids. Mzungu Dress. White Women Who Love Rastas. White Women Who Love Kitenge. White Women Who Love Head Wraps.
i think it's a long over-due conversation. The responsibility all of have to address difference with respect, love, curiosity, patience. To understand the rage and negativity and even "bad luck" we may pose to locals, and to understand in ourselves the reactions that give rise to self-detachment from the world that presents itself to you.
We are not all traveling for pleasure and it's not guaranteed that we are well-received where we go -- we can't expect that anymore than a foreigner in the West can expect to step into a set of values and systems without any struggle. Border crossing, culturally, spiritually, emotionally -- it's not a simple task.
Once again, and always, POWER is the ultimately concept to critique and challenge -- and the relationships therein that sediment or loosen the ties that bind us from understanding one another.