Viral Photograph of African Migrant Workers Underscores ‘Obsene’ Gap Between Haves, Have Nots

F2FA October 23, 2014

African golf photo

A photograph taken in Morocco has gone viral due to the striking juxtaposition it presents between the haves and the have nots, with Guardian writer Jonathan Jones pointedly describing it as a metaphor for “Europe’s attitude toward refugees.”

SEE ALSO: Eliminating the Chasm Between Africans & Black Americans 

In the photo, one can see the display of the rich playing what is commonly known as a rich sport in their enclave of paradise — while feet above, the precariously positioned migrant workers seemingly look in to a world that they will likely never have access to.

Jones explains the “obsenity” of the golfers who appear impeccably dressed while their spectators are the visual antithesis of all that is taking place on the pitch:

“The obscenity of this photograph lies in the willed indifference of the golfers. They play as if they could not see the desperate danglers so close to their pampered game. They are clad in expensive, well-laundered white clothes and equipped with caddies of top-notch gear.

The creases and cleanness of their apparel are obvious even at a distance and contrast glaringly with the shabby garb of the migrants. The players shine in the African sun, their unwilling audience wears clothes that grimly repel it.”

To Jones, the biggest offense of the golfers is their obvious refusal to stop their game — despite the wretchedness of those who exist above them:

But it is the self-absorption of the golfers that is so unsettling. What could they be thinking? By playing on, enclosed in their game, turning away from the longing and need and inequality whose truth presses against their privileged space, they seem to insist on the absolute order of things. You belong back out there. We belong in here.

Here, Jones digs deeper, though, explaining how the photograph is a perfect representation of Spain’s actual presence and positioning in the north African country:

It is a metaphor not just of Spain’s enclave in north Africa as an uneasy meeting place of two worlds, but of the rich and poor parts of humanity. The golf course is Europe itself, shutting out a common humanity clamouring for better lives. Your poor, your tired, your huddled masses? Wrong continent.

Don’t sneer at the golfers. They are no different from anyone else in Europe – not least Britain – who refuses to look at migrants as fellow humans deserving of compassion. No room in paradise. We need the space for golf courses.

Poll Do you find the video offensive?

SEE ALSO: The Leaders Who Ruined Africa, and the Generation Who Can Fix it 


Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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