A new book on the Congo recycles stereotypes of Africa as a wasteland in need of saving in all its promo. It’s been rapturously received in the West.
Last month, award-winning author and academic Siddharth Kara published Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers our Lives. The book draws attention to labour conditions and living standards in areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that mine cobalt, a metal that will be critical in the hoped-for global energy transition.
Across 250 pages, it argues that by consuming products that contain Congolese cobalt, Western consumers are complicit in a human rights and environmental catastrophe.
In the US and UK, the book has been rapturously received. It became a New York Times bestseller in its first week of release and received a glowing review from the paper. Publishers Weekly heralded it as “a tour de force exposé”, and Foreign Affairs as “a thorough and insightful investigation”.
Kara was invited to discuss the book on the Joe Rogan podcast, which has racked up over four million views on YouTube in a little over one month. It has appeared on CNN, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Daily Mail, among others.
For the rest of this article: https://africanarguments.org/2023/03/cobalt-red-who-wants-to-hear-about-white-saviourism-gone-wrong/