Insight No. 4: “China Loves Africa” by Kenyan Contemporary Artist Michael Soi (incl. reblogged insight)

arts, Cartoons, Insights, Kunst, Reisen

CHINA LOVES AFRICA – Really?

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Actually, China continues to build rail lines, bridges, dams and other public works projects evidence of an altruistic commitment to improve communication and commerce within Africa or a calculated strategy to further facilitate China’s deep penetration into the African hinterlands for raw materials (not unlike the European colonialists who built rail lines and ports to export Africa’s mineral wealth). China fully supports corrupt-to-the-core African dictators not because it does not want to “interfere” in local politics but because these dictators are the only means China has to ensure a chokehold on Africa. China’s fortunes in Africa are tied to the (mis)fortunes of Africa’s thugtators and dictators.

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Is China a genereous investor and developer or have Africans face a revival of colonialism?

Cit: Alemayehu G. Mariam, Sep 07, 2017:

“The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside… The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the develop-ment of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increa-ses rather than decreases the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world…. Neo-colonialism might be also the worst form of imperialism. For those who practise it, it means power without responsibility and for those who suffer from it, it means exploita-tion without redress. In the days of old-fashioned colonialism, the imperial power had at least to explain and justify at home the actions it was taking abroad. In the colony those who served the ruling imperial power could at least look to its protection against any violent move by their opponents. With neo-colonialism neither is the case.”

WILL AFRICA FEED CHINA …OR HAVE AFRICANS TO BUY LOCAL FOOD FROM CHINA IN THE FUTURE?

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There are African voices that are warning: Beware of Chinese bearing gifts: “Investments, loans, aid…”
China has literally invaded Africa with its investors, traders, lenders, builders, developers, laborers, Confuzius institutes and who knows what else.

Feel free to get insight into facts & figures of the Chinese FDIs and Arican politics published by Alemayehu G. Mariam in the Pambazuka News (Voices for Freedom & Justice):

https://www.pambazuka.org/global-south/chinese-neocolonialism-africa

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The Artist Michael Soi (Kenya)

Kenyan Contemporary Artist Michael Soi is one of the crtical voices today.

Among other beautiful arts and design objects, he created a series of colorful, strong paintings called “CHINA LOVES AFRICA” (web: http://michaelsoistudio.com/)

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He blames the Africans for selling their continent with ist natural resources, oil, gas , Copper, Titanium, Farmland, cattle, cheap labor for sweat shop relocation from APAC to Africa and so on. ..without transferring know-how same time.

In my view (Weiss-Nix), the Chinese won´t do the same mistakes like the greedy Western investors in China, who enabled China to become a global competitor because they gave up their loyality to their staff and locations in the course of the quite short-sighted globalization process – putting shareholder value first without any scrupel.

However, Michael Soi highlights that the engagement of the Chinese infrastructure investments are not free of charge at all. In the Weltspiegel-TV interview of 19th Aug. 2018, he explains cit:

“DEBTS ARE THE NEW IRON CHAINS OF TODAY”.

As a European I wonder, why it has been possible to keep and distribute the oil / gas related wealth across the Arabian societies (UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA….) and why the African states, who are blessed with so many natural ressources (incl. people, farmland & animals) seem to be not able to manage these assets to the benefit of their People by developing their countries in a long run? A naive, stupid question?

Unfortunately, we (Germans) have to live from our sole significant natural ressource: Education, Discipline & Creativity – which means: Our People. Imagine what we could achieve if god would have been a little bit more generous to us….Okay, we`ve got a lot of rain…which won´t be for sale to China like our hidden gems (=innovative small-medium-sized businesses) and our strong global brands, I hope.

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Bildergebnis für Michael Soi
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ABOUT MICHAEL SOI

Michael Soi (Born Nairobi 1972) lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya where he has is a leading light in what is a burgeoning contemporary art scene. The son of one of Kenya’s most distinguished contemporary painters, Soi has developed in to a successful painter and sculptor with a unique vision and highly distinctive style. His three dimensional work is playful and cryptic – usually created with brightly painted plywood. Much of his paintings provide satirical commentary on socio-political issues his unforgiving if humorous gaze focussing on political impunity, greed and Kenya’s growing sex industry.

Michael Soi’s paintings are informed by a strong tradition of cartoonists whose works have satirised Kenyan society since independence – often bravely poking fun at the political establishment. He is at pains to make work that is meaningful to his own countrymen and also bought locally by a new generation of Kenyan art collectors, but at the same time he now has a growing international following. His concern is with clarity of form and legibility of message; in the process he has created his own universal pictorial language

Soi’s acrylics on canvas paintings are sharply political and expressive, questioning Beijing’s push to making the most of Africa’s cheap labor, natural resources, and the continent’s increasing need for advanced technology and infrastructure. Put together, the pieces stand as both social commentary and a visual diary of how China is shaping the future of Kenya— and Africa — for generations to come.

With reference to his “CHINA LOVES AFRICA Series”, please find an INTERVIEW below…

https://qz.com/africa/1343155/michael-soi-china-loves-africa-paintings-question-chinas-influence-in-africa/

Due to the fact that I couldn`t retrieve MIchael Soi` s website that included an online shop with very stylish designer bags (his old domain seems to be expired), please have a look at his FACEBOOK presence:

https://de-de.facebook.com/pages/category/Artist/Michael-Soi-studio-188021591260258/

Cartoon No. 17: Who are you? (Wer bist Du?)

arts, Cartoons, humor, Kunst, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Zen

WHO ARE YOU?

No. 1 of 7:

The Ray of Light: Only now, we can wonder…Who is she?

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No. 2 of 7:

The 4 Elements: “It´s me!”

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No. 3 of 7:

The Ray of Light: WHO?

Air: No Panic. There must be a logical answer! Think!

Water: Oh, I am already suffering from myself …spare myself!

Fire: COWARDS! This stupid ray of light won´t decide who I am!

Earth: I don`t understand anything! I am hungr! I feel cold! I want to sleep!

Wer ist SR 03

No. 4 of 7

The Ray of Light: I can give Life… but to whom of you 4?

Air: Aaah!

Water: Schluchz!

Fire: That´s beyond question! Me!

Earth: Pah! Without me, anything will work!

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No. 5 of 7:

All 4 Elements: ME! MEEEE!

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No. 6 of 7:

Flash!

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No. 7 of 7:

She: Was it just a dream?

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Cartoon No. 10: Multiple Personalities (Multiple Persönlichkeiten)

arts, Cartoons, humor, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Zen

Fr Soltau

The Turtle (Master): “Little Buddha, your true nature consists auf 3 aspects:

  • what you think you are,
  • what others think you are,
  • and what you are in  truth.

The Wayfarer: Damn! Exactly what I was concerned of…

“Multiple Personality Disorder!”

Cartoon No. 18: Mayflys (Eintagsfliegen)

arts, Cartoons, Creatures, Gedichte, humor, Psychologie, psychology, Zen

Eintagsfliegen

ENGLISH:

Don´t take life too serious…

You won`t come out of it alive anyway!

 

DEUTSCH (ja, ist nicht gut zu lesen, sorry):

Nimm das Leben nicht zu ernst…

Du kommst da eh` nicht lebend heraus!

 

Cartoon No. 56: Lessons Learnt (Gelerntes)

arts, Cartoons, humor, Kunst, Psychologie, psychology

Hr Hirschfeld - Kröte schlucken

The Turtle: What is it you can learn from the crane?

The Wayfarer: Balance!

The Turtle: And what does the snail teaches you, over there?

The Wayfarer: Patience!

The Turtle: And what is the lesson of the toad, over there?

The Wayfarer: …that toads aren`t easily to swollow!

 

Note: “To swollow a toad” = German proverb that outlines that there might be issues in life that are very difficult to accept. “To swollow a bitter pill” is a similar proverb (also used in German language) but it`s even harder to swollow a disgusting, big, living toad than a small pill.