Author Topic: What's in a name? In Uganda, a free pig  (Read 3083 times)

Debra

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What's in a name? In Uganda, a free pig
« on: December 11, 2006, 07:55:30 PM »
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BUTEYONGERA, Uganda, Dec 11 (Reuters) - George Sabadu Hornsleth says he is grateful as he proudly indicates a neatly constructed wooden pen where his new piglet snuffles under the shade of a papaya tree.

The pig is a gift from a Danish artist. In return, George Sabadu changed his last name to Hornsleth -- after Kristian von Hornsleth, the artist who gave him the pig.

Hornsleth, who on his Web site sometimes spells his name Horn$leth, says the scheme -- offering villagers here aid in the form of a pig or goat if they take on his name -- is a commentary on the hypocrisies of society.

Its slogan: "We want to help you, but we want to own you."

But the scheme has outraged some in the Ugandan government. Officials such as Ethics and Integrity Minister James Buturo have condemned the Uganda Village Project, which Hornsleth launched in June, as racist.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L04455599.htm
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sparqui

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What's in a name? In Uganda, a free pig
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006, 09:26:37 PM »
It's an interesting project and I agree with the point being made as do some of the Ugandan recipients it seems.

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"Africans adopting European names for gifts -- we've been doing that since colonial times," said 46 year-old George Sabadu. "Why do you think I'm called George?
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

skdadl

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What's in a name? In Uganda, a free pig
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2006, 06:26:57 AM »
It makes me uncomfortable, although that is his point, of course.

To me, you can only take that logic so far. It is important to foreground Western hypocrisy, although politics needs to do a lot more than that. And whatever my political or satirical intent, I still couldn't play these kinds of games with human dignity.

I've always been bothered by the foster-parents' plans that drag people in by requiring the children helped to send back messages to the donors, whose egos are flattered by being given a palpable sense of the real person they have "adopted." Ick. If you really want to help someone, send money and check your ego at the door first, so that less money will be wasted on all the bureaucratic and marketing nonsense of pretend individual contact.

I also can't tell how ironic Hornsleth is being in his claim that he supports "free trade." Perhaps I should actually read his site.

sparqui

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What's in a name? In Uganda, a free pig
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2006, 12:16:48 PM »
I got the impression that he was being quite ironic and that the whole exchange is a performance art piece. I agree that respecting human dignity is key that's why I was relieved to see that the Ugandan participants were fully aware of the ironic intent of the project.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

 

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