2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Africa and the West: the Globalisation of AIDS

My objective within this project from the outset has been to use the inspiration I got whilst doing volunteer work in Africa to look at how the West deals with AIDS and to what extent global charities have really made a difference in tackling it. I decided therefore that Kenya will be my territory and that I will need an in-depth understanding of the cultural, political and economic aspects of Kenya to form a basis for my project. I will also consider how Kenya has changed over the past century with a consideration of pre-colonial times and its subsequent struggle for independence. My object within my project will be the issue of AIDS itself. I will focus upon the raw statistics of AIDS and how it affects people in Kenya; I will also use my own experiences to give a wider understanding to the lives people with AIDS lead. I will then consider AIDS within the West and whether events in the media such as ‘Live 8’ and ‘Project (RED)’ have done little more than to globalise the issue, and the resulting consequences of this. • The main concept of my project will focus on cultural differences. • The philosophical side of my project will focus upon cultural relativism juxtaposed with cultural realism. I will use the works of Quine in his discussion on language to try and reconcile Western attitudes to AIDS with that of African attitudes. I will look at the work of Trigg in regards to realism to understand the different perceptions of AIDS from the global media to the Third World. I will also consider the work of Adorno to support the idea of the globalisation of AIDS through his ideas regarding media as a social phenomenon. His ideas on human suffering will also be useful in explaining the reality of AIDS in Kenya. • I will conclude my project with an understanding as to whether the West can really help stop AIDS through globalisation in the media, and whether this is more effective than direct government intervention.