Virunga’s White Savior complex
It is easy to see why the Oscar-nominated film Virunga has received such widespread acclaim. But the resulting sense of moral righteousness obscures several serious problems with the documentary: it omits crucial aspects of the violent colonial origins of Virunga, and it marginalizes the voices of the people who live in and around the park. As a result, the film perpetuates racial stereotypes and oversimplifies politics and conflict in Congo.
The full commentary appeared in Foreign Affairs on 5 March 2015.
This article was also published in Dutch in MO on 21 February 2015.