[Creating “Say No to Xenophobia” posters]
No matter where I am in the world, I always end up getting crafty. Except this time, it’s done with a much bigger purpose.
As beautiful as it is here, the history and political issues don’t go unnoticed. Racism and segregation still exists, and more recently, xenophobia has become a violent issue.
Xenophobia, the irrational fear or hatred towards people who are perceived as foreign (to put it lightly), has caused animosity towards migrant workers. Violent attacks against foreign nationals from other African countries has become an issue here, including 7 deaths and many arrests. This xenophobic violence has caused China, UK, and Australia to issue a travel advisory for South Africa.
Since the attacks that began a few weeks ago, thousands have resorted to refugee camps, which have been set-up to help foreigners fleeing xenophobia. Protests and media sources around the country confront this issue with a message “We are all Africans”, as well as #saynotoxenophobia on social media and “Say No to Xenophobia” on traffic billboards.
This sort of first hand experience puts many life lessons into perspective. You really learn a lot when you are immersed in a country with so much history and political unrest. As a visitor, it’s not necessarily unsafe to travel to South Africa, but it helps to take extra precaution!
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” -Nelson Mandela