Earlier in the week, a pretty interesting story arose from the Stockholm Library of Culture, where it was decided that all of Georges “Hergé” Remi’s famous series of Tintin books would be removed from the library. Behrang Miri, artistic director for children and young people for the Library, stated that he felt it was not right to continue supplying books aimed at children that he felt displayed a “caricature of a colonial perspective”. These views are not unlike those some have held against Disney movies likeAladdin, where he contends these books show negative stereotyping where “Africans are stupid, that Arabs sit on flying carpets, [and] Turks smoke hookahs.”
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This argument against Tintin comes up time and time again, personally I don’t really understand it because we still have so many other books and films on shelves that have similar themes. I’m not saying that it’s okay or that it justifies it, what I’m saying is that those things are generally viewed as great pieces of artistic work and/or of historical value and therefore are still available to everyone to enjoy. We know that it’s unacceptable to think that way now, but that people once did and we can still learn from this book/film and appreciate it for what it is. Why is Tintin viewed any differently?