By Alex de Waal
Why, two decades into the trouble, are democratic governments appearing so poorly in tackling AIDS in Africa? De Waal argues that latest techniques are pushed via pursuits and frameworks that fail to have interaction with African societies' resilience and creativity. Already, African groups have confounded the various worst predictions of catastrophe. If appropriately supported, they'll locate methods of maintaining improvement and democracy in the course of HIV/AIDS.
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Extra info for AIDS and Power: Why there is no Political Crisis - Yet (African Arguments)
39 As in Soweto, jealousies drive witchcraft allegations often among intimate kin. What, indeed, can a society do when threatened by an invisible enemy, which is destroying the life chances of an entire generation? Catherine Campbell’s Letting Them Die: Why HIV/AIDS Programmes Fail40 is another superb ethnography of contemporary South African township life. It focuses on how mineworkers, commercial sex workers and other residents of the pseudonymous De Waal 02 26 23/5/06 9:30 am Page 26 AIDS and Power ‘Summertown’ are locked into belief systems, behavioural patterns and economic constraints that condemn them to a very high risk of contracting HIV and dying of AIDS.
Although sex is rarely talked about publicly, sex acts are embedded in the most fundamental power relations and are symbolically represented in the imagery and ideological construction of the continent’s big men. Patriarchy is found in liberal and leftist political systems, too. Constituency-based electoral systems return a preponderance of men, often in proportion to how competitive they are. Leftist politics are deeply imbued with militarism and hegemonic masculinity. 21 This, he contends, underpins Robert Mugabe’s homophobia, his pathological grip on power, and his ability to mobilize the anger of war veterans – real and imagined – in the pursuit of the fruits of victory which they feel they have been denied.
As South African protests go, the Queenstown sit-in was unexceptional – there are almost daily demonstrations against unemployment and local government cutting off water or electricity supplies, which are marked by street rallies, burning tyres, and provocations to the local police. Exactly how many demonstrators De Waal 03 23/5/06 9:31 am Page 35 AIDS Activists: Reformers and Revolutionaries 35 entered the hospital, how much they disrupted activities there, and for how long, is uncertain from contradictory media accounts.
AIDS and Power: Why there is no Political Crisis - Yet (African Arguments) by Alex de Waal