Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

The Vice guide to Liberia

On most days 55 mins is a really long time to dedicate to a web video but today I couldnt turn off my computer mesmerized by the Vice Travel Guide to LIberia. My emotions ranged from repulsion, to anger, and hope. If you ever wanted to get an impression of what some white middle class American men may find interesting about Africa then this is the film for you. Archival images and videos of the blood and gore of Liberia’s civil war are juxtaposed with current slum images of little kids shooting cocaine, filth and open sewage. If you believe this version of Liberia, the only thing thats changed since the end of its civil war is peace. The roads and buildings are dilapidated. Every man is an excombatant and every woman a sex worker and there are no schools. The government does nothing. There are no restaurants, no hotels, no paved roads, intellectuals, nothing. According to the Vice Travel Guide to Liberia, this is a country of cannibals brought to you so that you wont have to go there. Highlights include the reformed general butt naked now a pastor, an ex commando BinLaden, prostitutes in brothels asking for money, and kids taking cocaine. Its profiteering from other people’s misery but we cant ignore it just because we dont like how the story is told but we can provide context and say this is not the whole story. Anyone can take film crew to any African nation and tell a one sided story of how bad things are. But you can also do the same thing in America. You can take a camera to the 16th congressional district in the South Bronx, where over 50,000 people live in just 1 square mile in the projects and show crime, violence, and abject poverty. For more from VICE

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