Week 3, Debate (Rumbi Mupindu)


What place does Ebola have outside third world countries?

The latest campaign from Unicef for Ebola featured the Scottish player saying

“I want to beat England” followed by Wayne Rooney stating

“ I want to beat Scotland” then they both say

“And together we want to beat Ebola”.

The controversy that has caused the Ebola virus to become a world spectacle is not one of unity and world peace. Ebola has become a spectacle because of the politics of whiteness, power and fear. I mean what place does Ebola have outside third world countries? Entering first world countries, now it must be stopped.

There are more diseases in the world that kill more people in comparison to Ebola everyday, and unbeknown to a lot of people plus how the media is putting it across it seems as if Ebola is a new Virus when it was actually first detected in 1976 near the Ebola River in Congo. The media is trying to project fear into the audience, everyone should be scared, because everyone is going to die! ‘A spectacle is something you watch, it impresses us, overpowering and gives us the illusions of participation” We have to take inconsideration how Racial imagery and racial representation are fundamental to the body of the modern-day world but, while there are many studies of images of Asian and black people, whiteness is an invisible racial position.

To the naked eye it seems as if the spectacle is revolving around trying to figure out a solution to stop Ebola, when in actual fact it’s not about the disease at all. But rather, lets protect our country from the dirty place that is Africa. . Laura Mulvey coined the term “male gaze” in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” she was saying how the gaze of movies reflects the point of views of white middle aged heterosexual males being that only 9% of Hollywood films were directed by women. “They dominate the upper echelons of our society, imposing, unconsciously their values…they make up overwhelming majority in government, in boardrooms, and also in the media”(Perry,2010). Africa’s representation within the media is a tarnished one of which has nothing other than starving babies, raped mothers, famine, dirty water and constant wars. All 54 countries, all represented in the same light. Other countries fail to see Africa as a continent but rather a country. Ebola has affected maybe 1/10 of the countries in which the continent holds and is now being seen as an African epidemic. If the virus was found in France, Spain and Germany would it be seen as a European epidemic?

“The spectacle appears at once as society itself, as a part of society and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is that sector where all attention, all consciousness, converges, Being isolated – and precisely for that reason this sector is the locus of illusion and false consciousness; the unity it imposes is merely the official language of generalized separation”. Both UK and America have gone through the phase of shutting down their boarders, shutting out the disease therefore shutting out Africa. These two nations both a few of the most powerful countries in the world and both ideologies of “whiteness” and the position of those who have been identified as well and racialized as white. By “whiteness” I mean cultural, social practices, historical also the ideas and codes which virtually and indirectly structure the power and privilege of those racialized as white, in this case the countries. ” Thus it is said (even in liberal text books) that there are inevitable associations of white with light and therefore safety, and black with dark and therefore danger,” (Dyer,1997)

White doesn’t know poverty the way Africa knows poverty, and this is what happens when the material and symbolic privileges provided by whiteness are threatened they go the extra mile to ensure all barriers of defence are up. It’s almost as if Ebola is WW3 and when they show the third world countries that have been affected by the virus on the media we see all this high-tech futuristic almost animated extensive scenery in comparison to the visuals we are shown of west Africa where there is no sign of extensive protective gear, which I would have thought there would be when supposedly the nations are trying to stand together to beat Ebola.


Art.ucsb.edu 2014. The society of the spectacle [ONLINE] Available at http://www.arts.ucsb.edu/faculty/budgett/classes/art19/spectacle.pdf [Accessed: 14 Nov 2014].

Cumoodle.co.uk 2014. Spectacle [ONLINE]] Available at https://cumoodle.coventry.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/628955/mod_resource/content/0/Spectacle%201.pdf [Accessed: 13 Nov 2014].

Unicef.org.co.uk 2014. For every child in danger [ONLINE] Available at http://beatebola.unicef.org.uk/why-the-match-matters.html [Accessed: 13 Nov 2014].

Newreplublic.com 2014. Straight white middle class default man needs to be dethroned. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119799/straight-white-middle-class-default-man-needs-be-dethroned [Accessed:13 Nov 2014].

Who.int 2014. Ebola Virus [ONLINE] Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/ [Accessed: 15 Nov 2014].

WordPress.com 2013. White [ONLINE] Available at http://livinginadigitalworld280.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/dyer-white.pdf [Accessed: 13 Nov 2014].






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