Afrika-Expeditionen svarer på kritik /// Afrika-Expeditionen responds to critique

ENGLISH TRANSLATION FURTHER DOWN:

Hej alle

Vi er i den seneste tid blevet noget forundrede over den kritik der har været fremsat mod vores projekt ”Afrika-Expeditionen 1814” som var en camp på årets Roskilde Festival. Vi er først og fremmest forundrede fordi projektet i sin natur handler om at have det sjovt og fordi vi ikke havde skænket det en tanke at nogle ville føle sig stødte over det. Det var da også kun positive oplevelser vi havde på festivallen. Hvert år er der mange temacamps på Roskilde Festival der ligesom os går meget ud af udklædning og events og som er med til at skabe den mangfoldighed og fællesskab som festivalen er kendt for. Vi er også forundrede fordi vi ikke synes at projektet kan forstås som nedladende over for afrikansk kultur eller historie. I de dele af projektet hvor vi har forholdt os satirisk til historien har det været imperialisterne vi har lavet sjov med. Det er fx tilfældet med det kort over Roskilde Festival der startede kritikken. Kortet er ikke en opdeling af Afrika, men en opdeling af Roskilde Festival, der rent faktisk har fungeret som kort. Navngivningen hvor campingarealernes bogstaver har fået tilføjet endelsen ”-ongo” udstiller 1800-tallets europæeres begrænsede forståelse for Afrika. Det er selvfølgeligt ikke en opfattelse vi deler. Denne tolknig giver Roskilde Festival også udtryk for i en kommentar inden de fjernede kortet:

”UPDATE: This map is – as we understand it – a satirical piece of 19th century colonial europe’s view of Africa. This post is not made with the intention of offending anyone. Clearly this has been the case. Also, we dont want the people behind the camp to be accused of having world views which they clealy dont have. Therefore, we’re leaving this post online until 14;00 CET (so that you have time to see this comment – and then we are deleting this post.)”

Vi har altid omgået afrikansk kultur og historie med respekt som det fx er tilfældet med vores oprigtige interesse for afrikansk musik. Når vores projekt ikke har handlet mere om afrikansk kultur end det har været tilfældet, er det netop fordi historien om en ekspedition i Afrika var en rammefortælling. Der var egentligt tale om en ekspedition til Roskilde Festival og derfor synes vi også det er åbenlyst, at den sjov vi har haft ikke har kunnet være nedladende overfor kontinentet Afrika. Når dette er sagt har vi fortrudt vores brug af ordet imperialisme fordi vi er enige i at det har en negativ politisk klang. For at gøre det fuldstændig klart at vi har tænkt projektet som en ekspedition, hvor det er legen og nysgerrigheden der er det væsentligste, vil vi derfor afholde os fra at bruge dette ord fremover.

Vi beklager oprigtigt at nogen har følt sig stødt og håber at vi med denne kommentar kan give dem en forklaring. Har i flere spørgsmål er i velkomme til at skrive på vores Facebook-side.

Vi glæder os til næste års festival.

Mvh

medlemmerne af Afrika-Expeditionen




Hi everybody.

During the last weeks we have been puzzled by the critical reactions that has been raised against our project, ”Afrika-Expeditionen 1814” which was a theme camp at this year’s Roskilde Festival. We were surprised about these reactions since the project in its nature is all about having fun, and because we never thought that anyone would feel offended by our camp theme. We only met positive reactions at this year’s festival. Every year at Roskilde Festival there are a great amount of theme camps which – like us – put a lot of effort into their outfits and events, and are thus supporting the human diversity as well as the social community which the festival is famous for.

Furthermore, we are surprised at the critical reactions because we clearly don’t see our project as something degrading African culture or history. In the parts of our project where we have been satiric towards history it has been the imperialists we made fun of. This is for example the case with the map of Roskilde Festival that started the critique. The map is not a division of Africa, but a division of Roskilde Festival, that is actually useable as a map of the campsite. The naming where the ending ”-ongo” have been added to the letters of the camping areas shows 19th century europeans limited views of Africa. This is of course not a world view we share. Roskilde Festival supported this view in a comment before they removed the map:

”UPDATE: This map is – as we understand it – a satirical piece of 19th century colonial europe’s view of Africa. This post is not made with the intention of offending anyone. Clearly this has been the case. Also, we dont want the people behind the camp to be accused of having world views which they clealy dont have. Therefore, we’re leaving this post online until 14;00 CET (so that you have time to see this comment – and then we are deleting this post.)”

We have always treated african culture and history with respect, as it for example is the case with our profound interest in african music. When our project hasn’t been about African culture more than the case has been, it is because the story of the expedition in Africa merely is a frame narrative. It was actually an expedition to Roskilde Festival, and we think this makes it clear that the fun we had could not possibly be condescending to the continent of Africa. When this is said we regret our use of the word imperialism because we agree that is has a negative political connotation. To make it perfectly clear that we view the project as an expedition, where curiosity and playfulness are the key focus, we will abstain from using the word from now on.

We sincerely regret that some people have been offended and hope that this comment can give them an explanation. If you have any more questions you are welcome to write us on our Facebook page.

We are looking forward to next years festival.

Greetings

the members of Afrika-Expeditionen

 

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