I found this image on LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs’s blog and, even though my research have not been very fruitful as to where it comes from and whether it is actually a real picture, I thought it captured really well the conversation we had this week about We Need New Names and the double-sidedness to Darling and her friends’ knowledge about Western popular culture. Diggs captioned the picture “Afro Comic Con”. This image was very powerful to me because of the background, exposing the un-material lives of the people walking towards the viewer. Their bare feet on the ground also points towards the men’s lack of material things the Western world often take for granted, such as clothes and shoes.
Yet, they all put on a piece of clothing representing them as superheroes, subscribing them to knowledge they might (or might not) have, just like Darling knows Céline Dion but has never heard “Wow” before. This image raises questions as to how knowledge, especially one coming from the United States, is shared within the world and why certain specific things, such as the renown american geeky culture of comic books and superheroes. Also, how are these figures symbolized in a completely different culture and country? Is the american ideology of militarism passed over with these images of strong and manly individuals fighting for freedom and defending fellow citizens from harm? This made me think about Bornfree and Messenger in We Need New Names, on promoting values that does not necessarily have a graspable meaning in a world where everyday needs become villains because of their scarcity.