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Animals And African Warriors For Sale At Joburg's Airport

Gallery of the problematic animals and African warriors for sale at Joburg airport's international terminal.


International airports tend to essentialize their local "culture" better than any travel agent's office could ever hope to. Beefeaters lead arriving passengers to the luggage carousel at London's Heathrow airport, yellow cabs and red apples illustrate the fast-paced vibe of the Big Apple at New York City's JFK airport, and when you hit the international terminal at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo airport you better believe you're practically on a wild safari complete with every problematic image of Africa under the hot magical sun. Take all of Bono's charities, all travel articles about Africa, and all Hollywood film renditions of the African warrior and combine them in one place with price tags: this is O.R. Tambo's international terminal. I could ramble on about how these images fit neatly into the long lineage of Africa's subjugation, but that'd be trite. We all know why Tarzan and The Lion King aren't cool, but it's still funny/troubling to check out the various absurd products that culminate into the commoditization of Africa; everything from a furry bottle of Wild Africa Cream Liqueur, to posters advertising a "Safari Toy Drive" (whatever that is). Above is a slideshow of images I took on my iPhone while waiting for a return flight to NYC.

 

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Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images

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