Survival International – the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights – has launched a worldwide advertising campaign highlighting Botswana’s persecution of Africa’s last hunting Bushmen.
Under the headline ‘Discover the hidden secrets of Botswana’, the ad exposes Botswana’s use of glossy and contrived images of Bushmen to attract tourists, while at the same time using violence and torture to deport the Bushmen from their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The ad is being published in five languages (English, French, German, Spanish and Italian) and will be placed in luxury and travel magazines and newspapers worldwide. The first ad has appeared in the March issue of Wired Magazine.
Botswana’s government has been persecuting its first people for decades in an attempt to drive them from their land. Banned from hunting, and forced to apply for permits to enter the reserve, they are now being pushed to the brink of extinction. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19198)
The ad urges tourists to join Survival’s boycott and not go to Botswana until the Bushmen are allowed to live on their land in peace. More than 7,000 travelers and celebrities including Gillian Anderson, Quentin Blake, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Okonedo, and Mark Rylance have already pledged not to visit Botswana, and three tourism companies have joined the boycott.
Last week, Survival supporters targeted the Adventure Travel Show in London and the Fitur travel fair in Madrid. They handed out hundreds of flyers to visitors and tourism industry professionals, urging them to stay away from Botswana until the Bushmen’s rights are respected.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, "We will be rolling out this ad campaign over the coming months, spreading the word of the government’s persecution of the Bushmen far and wide. The government could stop the boycott tomorrow by simply upholding the Bushmen’s human rights."