Glamourous aid worker Emma McCune conformed to none of the stereotypes: although driven and committed to her work she was at least partially attracted to Africa because it enabled her to live in a style she could not achieve in Britain, and she was famous in East Africa for wearing mini skirts and for her affairs with African men.
Initially much admired, if also suspect for her social flair, she appalled the aid community wither her marriage to a local warlord, who was deeply involved in both rebellion and murder. She had fallen in love and, a rebel to the end, she insisted on following her feelings, even if it left her rejected by her fellow workers and in an ambiguous position - was she on the side of the refugees or the warmongers?
Even after her death in a road accident, the fascination with her life continues: it is a mixture of 'Romeo And Juliet' and 'Heart Of Darkness', with a large helping of Graham Greene.
This is also an immensely powerful evocation of the complexities and horrors of the Sudan, where Gordon of Khartoum lost his life and possibly his sanity campaigning against the slave trade; where today life is so harsh that desperate families sell their children into slavery, hoping for a better life for the child; where hopeless children volunteer to be sold, grabbing at any opportunity for change, however slight; and where boys grow up aspiring to be child soldiers and men dedicate their babies to war.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 06 / 2003
- 135 x 216mm