What Are Africa’s New Missionaries Peddling?

2014 Global Thinker and visual artist Sam Hopkins joins FP contributor Michela Wrong to discuss the aid industry's skewed view of East Africa — and how artists can offer a better picture.


In this week’s Global Thinkers podcast, writer Michela Wrong and artist Sam Hopkins share their experiences working in the “NGO-ville” of Nairobi and consider where Africa’s next wave of artists are being nurtured. Deputy Editor Seyward Darby hosts.

About the participants:

Sam Hopkins is a 2014 Global Thinker. A visual artist who grew up in England and Kenya, he explores the implications of development and aid in Africa in much of his work. At the 2014 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal, Hopkins exhibited “Logos of non-profit organisations working in Kenya (some of which are imaginary),” a screen-print collection of both real and fictional logos for international aid organizations. The work pushed viewers to reassess and reengage with their assumptions about these organizations.

Michela Wrong is a writer, an FP Voice columnist, and the literary director of the Miles Morland Foundation, a U.K. charity that supports African writing and literature. She previously served as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and the Africa correspondent for the Financial Times. She is the author of three nonfiction books about Kenya, Eritrea, and present-day Congo. This summer, she published her first novel, Borderlines. Follow her on Twitter: @michelawrong.

Seyward Darby is deputy editor for print at Foreign Policy. Follow her on Twitter: @seywarddarby.

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