practicing talking about kenya, somewhat exhausted by it

  • i wondered how this part would be, coming home from a trip to kenya and having to talk to people about ‘africa’ and being a rich white tourist in kenya and so on. so far it is patchy and a bit exhausting, but i think i’m getting better.
  • first good talk with my mum about race and white privilege. finally enough tries.
  • i always need some practice to express things in a way people can understand. maybe because i spend so much time alone, and nonverbally? and hypertextually? i’ve really gotten to where i think in a big cloud of bits, not a focussed or linear way without effort.
  • a product of my thinking too much without talking… a lot of catching up to do on the talking front.

things that came up that i expected:

  • people generalizing about “africa” when i’m talking about specific places in kenya
  • people defining kenyan (and generalized african) societies as on a path of progress or evolution or civilization than ends up at a north american model
  • people much more willing to define or consider social problems in africa than problems at home
  • people defining the colonization process in canada as “more successful” than in kenya without considering that calling this successful defines genocide and occupation as a success strategy as long as it results in consumer luxuries.
  • people judging social and environmental problems in kenya and africa without considering their causes in western countries
  • when i try to process parts of my own privilege i’m uncomfortable with, decisions i would make differently now, i get back a lot of… like apologetic responses. ‘oh you did fine, how could you know any better? no one can do better anyway. that’s how things are.’ so many ways to silence a conversation.