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June 20, 2011

Cool Pics from Failing States

Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

FP has a penchant for futility rankings accompanied by like-minded slideshows. Fortunately for Westerners otherwise drowning in chain stores and television sitcoms, this stuff — given the crackerjack photo editing — is exciting as hell. This is from Guinea.

Foreign Policy photo gallery/Article (Postcards from Hell, 2011)

(photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images. caption: When Alpha Conde became the first democratically elected president in Guinea’s half-century as an independent state, he inherited a laundry list of legacies to try to undo: an overly militarized state, a culture of judicial impunity, a corrupt and unregulated mining sector (from which the government draws 70 percent of its revenues), and an impoverished population. Just over a third of Guineans can read and write.

Yet the window of calm, and the opportunity to catch up, are welcome in this brand-new democracy. “President Conde’s actions — or inactions — will either create a positive new human rights trajectory or trap Guinea in the excesses and abuses of the past,” Human Rights Watch’s senior West Africa researcher Corinne Dufka said when releasing a report on the country’s future. The court where Conde was inaugurated in December 2010 is pictured here.)

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