Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor, provided insightful presentation, shares her experiences and observations about Eritrea. Mary Harper is the Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and has reported on Africa for the past twenty years with a special interest in the Horn of Africa, reporting frequently from the region. She is the author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State (Zed Books) and is writing a book about the Islamist group Al Shabaab. She has reported from many other parts of Africa, including Nigeria, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Algeria. Mary contributes to academic journals and writes for publications including The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post.
Presentation by Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor @ Birkbeck University!
Possessing years of journalistic experience, particularly across Africa, Harper’s coverage of Eritrea has been a reinvigorating breath of fresh air; she avoids the tired clichés, nauseating stereotypes, and longstanding assumptions and distortions to provide an accurate, contextualized, more reliable account of Eritrea. Harper notes that “Eritrea…is very complex.” While this perspective and approach seems academic and straightforward for the exploration of any country, it is notable here because its acknowledgement is frequently lacking from most mainstream discussions about Eritrea.
These responses underscore how the discussion of Eritrea has long been framed and tightly controlled, with dissenting views and perspectives being sidelined, silenced, ignored, marginalized, or disregarded. However, rather than restriction, a broader range of views and perspectives, such as Harper’s, should be encouraged toward promoting constructive dialogue, increasing accuracy, enhancing reliabilit...