Brooklyn Brewery war correspondents: Philip Gourevitch on coverage of Africa. (VIDEO).

The Brutality of Colonialism and the Mess It Left Behind in Africa 

The Brutality of Colonialism and the Mess It Left Behind in Africa 

Dispatches from the front.
Sept. 29 2014 4:48 PM

The Aftershocks of Colonialism  

Africa’s postcolonial recovery and the problem with how it’s covered.


Photo by Dominique Aubert/AFP/Getty Images

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this fourth installment, Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent, sits down Philip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda.

“We tend to cover it poorly, fitfully, inattentively, in a fragmented and sporadic fashion, and usually when the news is always bad.”

In the clip above, Philip Gourevitch discusses the fundamental problem with news coverage of the African continent and how it has helped shape our view of Africa into little more than a host for conflict. Gourevitch also reflects on the primary cause of much of the region’s strife and conflict—the mess left behind by “total colonial brutalization”—a morally appalling moment in time that he describes as “one of the most extraordinary and undercovered stories of human history.”

A.J. McCarthy is a speechwriter for New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and a former Slate writer and producer.

Andy Zhao is a Slate Video intern.