The Transformation of The Wolf Man in Film
Mist-covered moors. A silver bullet. A full moon. Few horror creatures are as iconic as the wolf man or werewolf. It’s a tale as seemingly old as time and is embraced by the zeitgeist so much that if you were to ask someone in the street they’d most likely say the tale of a man becoming a beast on the full moon is based on ancient superstition. Yet, whilst the inception of the idea is rooted in ancient cultural beliefs it’s surprising to find how recent the cementing of werewolf ‘rules’ are.
Earlier this year writer and filmmaker Leigh Whannell (Upgrade, Saw, Insidious) released a bold remake of The Invisible Man after Universal’s attempt at a cinematic universe with 2017’s Tom Cruise-lead The Mummy was a critical and commercial flop. The Elizabeth Moss-starring film went back to basics and presented itself as a tight and modernised thriller with horror elements, and was not only a hit with audiences but critics too. So much so that producer Jason Blum (of Blumhouse Pictures) revealed that Whannell was also granted the creative keys to another sacred Universal Pictures monster – The Wolf Man. So far nothing is known about the project apart from Ryan Gosling is set to star in the titular role, but it got me thinking about the history of the creature on screen and how Whannell’s modern-take could draw influence from what’s been done before.
So let’s take a journey through time and across Hollywood and back, as we look over how the transformation from man to beast has been tackled by some of the greats…
*Spoilers ahead for each of the films mentioned*
The Wolf Man (1941)
Directed by George Waggner
Written by Curt Siodmak
The OG. The one that started it all, no? Well…actually, no. After a string of Universal Monster hits including Dracula and Frankenstein the studio’s first attempt at a werewolf film came six years earlier in Stuart Walker’s Werewolf of London, though that film’s mediocre reception lead to a remake remaining on the table. However, after it’s original star Boris Karloff left the project, screenwriter Curt Siodmak fleshed out the idea and invented the general idea of what we now assume to be werewolf lore. The transformation at night, the susceptibility to silver and the infection by bite were all Siodmak’s idea, and it’s amazing how natural they feel from the get-go.
Even a man who is pure at heart,
And says his prayers at night;
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright.
It’s a simple story of course, but most of the Universal monster movies are. After returning home in the wake of a family tragedy, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) is bitten by a wolf whilst defending a woman from an attack. He’s then warned by a local gypsy fortune teller (Maria Ouspenskaya) that he will become a werewolf the next night, and will be powerless to stop the death and destruction he causes. Larry’s of course hesitant to believe this at first as he’s too caught up trying to woo Evelyn Ankers’ Gwen Conliffe, but sure enough when the moon rises that night his body becomes covered in hair and he stalks the gloomy forest, hunting down those poor lonesome souls caught in his path.
As iconic as the makeup by Jack Pierce is, I feel as though it pails in comparison to the more minimal (but fully utilised) one in Werewolf of London. In this original film, Larry’s transformation sequences leave a lot to be desired, and it’s not until the sequels where we get to witness an actual on-screen transformation from man to beast. But that doesn’t stop The Wolf Man from being influential, of course.
The first screen of the film itself displays a definition of lycanthropy (werewolfism) as a mental illness that makes victims believe they’re becoming animals and can even go so far as to display some physical characteristics of the creatures they believe themselves to be. Immediately there’s an interesting narrative offered up in the idea of Larry’s transformation and fears actually all being in his head – but then of course you remember this is a 1941 monster b-movie and that that amount of nuance would be ridiculous. Without such mainstream bells and whistles the creature wouldn’t have become such a momentous icon. That doesn’t mean all the rules implemented by Siodmak became tradition, however.
The narrative’s implementation of pentagrams as the mark of the wolf feels a little bit like mob-mentality, but the idea of a werewolf seeing a pentagram on the palm of its next victim adds a layer of unique tension not seen across the other monster movies. In fact, part of the reason why The Wolf Man became so popular was because he was relatable. Larry Talbot didn’t want this curse, and actively attempts to run away in order to keep people safe. He isn’t a creature created from a dozen different corpses or a vampire who gleefully feasts on human flesh, he’s just an innocent put into an impossible situation and that’s what happens to separate werewolf films from others of its ilk.
The Howling (1981)
Directed by Joe Dante
Written by John Sayles & Terence H. Winkless
Based on the book by Gary Brandner
1981 was a busy year for werewolves, with three high-profile film releases ensuring audiences wouldn’t forget the monster anytime soon. The first released was director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Hole’s) second foray into the horror genre after Piranha. After news reporter Karen White (Dee Wallace) has a close run in with her mysterious stalker who is then shot dead, she begins to experience PTSD and frequent nightmares about the experience. Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee – yes, named after the director of The Wolf Man) sends her and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) to a relaxation retreat as a way of therapy, but of course all is not as it seems. For the colony is filled with animalistic werewolves ushered into hiding by the doctor, but it seems they’ve had enough of waiting to sink their teeth into the rest of humanity…
The Howling is often given the short end of the stick in regards to An American Werewolf in London that was released only five months later – especially in terms of special effects. The lengthy, bubbling, grotesque werewolf transformations are unique to say the last, and the towering beasts themselves are nothing to gawk at. In fact, aside from the tradition of biting to transmit the affliction, The Howling differs from its source material by allowing the antagonists a lot more freedom. Karen’s werewolf-stalker is able to re-emerge from the dead because he wasn’t shot with silver bullets, and her werewolves can regenerate and regrow limbs and other body parts that are severed from them. The biggest change though? The moon now plays no role in the transformation. In fact, werewolves are free to dictate when they change depending on if they want to or not. It goes a long way in fleshing out the tribe of beasts as an opposing, intelligent force rather than a horde of animals. These guys wanted to be werewolves and loved the freedom it gave them, which instils character in spades.
And what would a werewolf film be without subtext? Here, the animalistic nature of the creatures is used to promote a heightened sex drive. Leather-clad nymphomaniac Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks) symbolises the freedom and raw energy that’s a far cry from the film’s opening, entrenched in a seedy pornography store where men go into hiding once they see Karen’s presence. Werewolves need not to feel shame over their arousal and the film even goes so far as to feature a transformation during a sex sequence (though it’s never distasteful and jarringly features a bit where the characters become 2D illustrations…). It never fully capitalises on this thematic depth however, largely due to the film’s semi-comedic tone (this was a fairly low-budget endeavour remember). With that being said however I’ve got a penchant for the pointy-eared incarnations of the creature in this film and appreciate its influence on others down the line including Dog Soldiers and Late Phases. Just, be wary of the films seven sequels and watch them at your own risk…who knows, maybe the remake currently in production for Netflix by IT director Andy Muschietti will be able to retain the quirky magic a second time around?
Having said that, it’s still got a killer ending with some of the most interesting social commentary you could find in the early 1980s…
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Written & Directed by John Landis
The second of 1981’s trio of high-profile werewolf releases, An American Werewolf in London is in fact a comedy horror that focuses on two American backpackers who are attacked by a beast in Yorkshire. One, Jack (Griffin Dunne) is slaughtered viciously whilst David (David Kessler) survives and is whisked to a hospital in London. From there he experiences terrifying nightmares and is warned of his oncoming transformation into a beast upon the next full moon.
Narrative-wise An American Werewolf offers up little new to the table, but it’s adherence to the mythos and sense of charm made it an instant classic. Well that, and the makeup from Rick Baker and the masterpiece that is David’s first transformation sequence, both of which changed the face of horror makeup moving forward. The film features nice subplots involving David’s burgeoning romance with his nurse Alex (Jenny Agutter) as well as the mysterious intentions and information withheld by those in ‘The Slaughtered Lamb’ pub amidst the Yorkshire moors. The latter is filled with continued references to Curt Siodnak’s werewolf mythology, from pentagrams on the wall to flat-out using The Wolf Man as a way of communicating what’s going to happen to David. This lends itself to the comedic sensibilities of the film whilst also adding a layer of verisimilitude that heightens the horror when it does show up. And boy does it show up.
An American Werewolf in London is an important lycanthrope film because, much like The Howling, not only does it dictate the pre-established rules in detail but it offers up subtextual metaphors for the curse itself. A throwaway line by a nurse who takes a peek at David’s genitals and utters ‘I think he’s a Jew…’ sparks numerous parallels to David and Jack’s Jewish heritage and identity being ripped apart from them or punished. The most obvious of which is, in one of Landis’ extremely vivid and violent dream sequences as David nears his first full moon, the character imagines himself back at home with his Jewish family only to be slaughtered by demons in SS uniforms. The two characters are even introduced hiding in the back of a sheep-carrying truck like they were hiding from impeding Nazi forces (also cleverly utilising the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing at the same time). All of this culminates in the film’s own title – a rallying cry of being a stranger in a place that belittles and deprives you of your humanity. Writer/Director John Landis’ own Jewish heritage is often looked to for inspiration, but the filmmaker has never outright confirmed such analyses of his film and he doesn’t have to.
In fact, Landis’ writing piggybacks and gives and voice to The Wolf Man in a way that Hollywood couldn’t have done in 1941. Curt Siodnak was a Jewish man who littered his screenplay with similarities between the beast and his experience in a time of war. In Germany the idea of a lycanthrope was powerful, and Hitler referred to himself as a ‘wolf’ on many occasions, to the point where a band of the Nazi forces were named ‘werwolf’. Therefore, for a Jewish writer to fill a screenplay with an average outsider (Larry Talbot) becoming a monster and trying to hide it as best he could – is a bold and amazingly intricate way of adapting the Jewish experience. That’s ignoring the details like the five-point-star, which a werewolf sees on its next victim, being used to tag Jewish prisoners for death during the genocidal attempts by Nazi forces. An American Werewolf in London and The Wolf Man share this hidden identity and work well as a double-bill because of this.
With all this said, the added details to the iconic curse such as David being haunted by a graphically-deteriorating Jack, his vivid nightmares as well as his fleeting fear all make for an engrossing and enigmatic protagonist with enough individual flair to remain unique. It’s these extra touches that work in tandem with the established mythos not against them. A new werewolf story should add pieces that feel like they’ve always belonged instead of trying to change things too much, but it’s an extraordinarily fine line to cross and one of the reasons why so few werewolf films have messed with the established rules over the years.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
Directed by John Fawcett
Written by Karen Walton & John Fawcett
After another slow decade for werewolves across the 1990s, a small Canadian production popped up out of nowhere and amassed a cult following large enough to spark one of the most unique film trilogies ever made. Ginger Snaps is great for a number of reasons. 1, it’s got a pun in its title. 2, it focuses on the relationship of its characters as a priority and 3, it finally made the leap on-screen of using lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty (specifically in women). Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle play sisters Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald, two outcasts outside of social conformity who are obsessed with death and love nothing more than to perpetuate the stigma that they’re witches and groan over their sex and boy-obsessed classmates.
After a string of dog deaths in their town, Ginger begins her first period and wouldn’t you know, the blood attracts a wolf that then attacks her and bites her before being run over and killed. From then on her behaviour shifts, much to the worry of her sister. Her wounds heal quickly, she begins to grow hair in strange places and she’s beginning to behave sexually aggressive for the first time in her life (much to the joy of the boys). They soon comes to the conclusion that she’s becoming a werewolf in time for the next full moon, and need to find a way of clearing her of the affliction.
Whilst the period/puberty metaphor may seem obvious, when it’s this well implemented into the story it’s hard to bat an eyelid. The feminist undertones harken back to something like Jennifer’s Body too (these two would make a great double bill), with Ginger’s actions and reckless behaviour striking a fine balance between self-empowerment and slowly losing control to the beast within. Whilst Ginger’s initial transformations look like something you’d find on tumblr or in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her final form is a surprisingly harsh and disgusting look at the lengths these sisters will go to protect each other.
Oh, and it’s also got a great warning against unprotected sex. So go on, pop it on and enjoy yourself whilst chanting ‘girl power’ every five minutes. You’ll have a great time.
Van Helsing (2004)
Written & Directed by Stephen Sommers
I’ll only briefly touch on this one because this bloated CGI monster bash only partly touches on werewolves throughout its runtime. One of the most interesting aspects of the original Universal monster movies was its shared universe – something that we’re now very familiar with. But, perhaps in crafting the Dracula mythos, author Bram Stoker implemented ancient beliefs of lycanthropy. After all? Dracula and werewolves are intrinsically linked, as the Count himself has the ability to transform freely into a wolf whenever he pleases. Sommers’ blockbuster utilises this similarity in an interesting way to enhance the relationship between big-bad scenery-chewing Count Vladislaus Dracula (Richard Roxburgh) and hunter Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman).
Besides their inherited bloodline as enemies throughout history and multiple references to their roles as angels/fallen angels in the war of heaven vs. hell (seriously this film has so many cool ideas and concepts in it that aren’t given nearly enough time or detail), it appears as though the only thing that can kill the esteemed vampire emperor is a werewolf. It’s never fully explained why, but the idea that Dracula holds power over lycanthropes (he’s the only one with a cure) because they’re the only thing he fears is a truly wonderful idea and one I’d love to see expanded upon in some way, shape or form. And no…I’m not talking to you, Underworld (though I am a fan).
Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven
The duo behind Scream teamed up once again to take on the werewolf genre in the early 2000s, but unfortunately the epitome of development hell prevented their film from reaching its full potential. With makeup and werewolf designs by Rick Baker being replaced by bland CGI, constant rewrites, cast changes and tonal shifts, 90% of the film ended up being reshot and over the course of almost three years of production to the point where star Jesse Eisenberg has said at one point the crew had ‘Cursed 4: Back for More’ t-shirts made.
Whilst it probably wouldn’t have been anything revolutionary, the promise of a hard R rated fun werewolf gorefest from Craven is enough to get anyone salivating. But the watered-down PG-13 harmless teen film is all thanks to, you guessed it, the Weinsteins. But that’s enough about real monsters, how do the werewolves hold up?
After being involved in a car accident on Mulholland drive siblings Ellie and Jimmy (Christina Ricci & Eisenberg) are bitten by a hulking wolf creature and begin to shown various side effects such as an increased sexual magnetism, increased strength…and a passion for raw meat. Before their final transformation into werewolves at the next full moon, the two attempt to track down the beast that infected them and kill it before their transformation is complete. Cursed is ripe for thematic subtext thanks to Williamson’s decision to set it amidst Hollywood’s ‘wolf-eat-wolf’ culture, but unfortunately anything deeper than surface level has seemed to be lost in the multiple cuts.
Ellie’s boyfriend Jake (Joshua Jackson) runs a Planet Hollywood-esque night club, complete with mannequins and sets from Universal monster classics. Once again Waggner’s The Wolf Man is front and centre, with Larry’s silver cane from the classic on full display. Much like Stu’s house encompasses the perfect third-act location in the original Scream, the night club features several theme layers all building up during the pivotal werewolf attack. The only problem is, because of the rushed nature of the released product, I only realised how cool this whole concept was once I watched the behind the scenes features on the DVD.
Apart from that, Cursed features a nice reversal of the pentagram mythology, having those infected with lycanthropy bare the mark constantly. The transformations within the film are mostly minimal or off-screen, but even when they’re shown they’re once again replaced by CGI that’s aged horribly – it’s such a shame because the glimpses of what could have been amazing practical effects are briefly shown in some of the special features. Cursed was released to lacklustre reviews and disappointing box-office returns and is a film that not many remember. It’s nowhere near as bad as it should have been from all the studio meddling, but it could have been so much more than a cheap teen, self-aware werewolf slasher pic.
The Wolfman (2010)
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker & David Self
Directed by Joe Johnston
It’s fitting that the last ‘major’ werewolf film to be released is this full remake of Curt Siodmak/George Waggner’s original. Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot, an actor who returns home to Blackmoor at the behest of his recently-deceased brother’s wife Gwen (Emily Blunt) to try and figure out what lead to his unusually-graphic death. Lawrence’s father Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins in fine form) offers his pleasantries and seems overjoyed to have his son back, despite casting him aside during his adolescence and forcing him to spend an entire year in bedlam. As you might guess, Lawrence’s brother was killed by a werewolf that stalks Blackmoor when the moon is full, and after warnings from the local gypsies our protagonist becomes bitten and carries the affliction himself.
Unfairly criticised when it was released, The Wolfman never stood a chance. With a bloated $150 million budget, the film had to appease both horror aficionados and the blockbuster crowd…and I personally don’t think it did a bad job. Grandiose gothic architecture and atmosphere are slightly undercut by the omnipresence of CGI-effects and shoehorned action sequences, but for yet another project that went through development hell (director Johnston was hired as a replacement just three weeks before cameras began rolling, with an original budget of $85 million) it’s not bad at all.
Of course, a lot of that comes from the performances. Del Toro is famously a Wolf Man fanatic and that comes through with his layered performance that counteracts Hopkins’ scenery-chewing smuggery at every point. Both Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving offer up fine supporting roles too, unleashing the true thespian side of the monster movie. Make up artist extraordinaire Rock Baker is back too, after being shunted off of Cursed to treat the audience with an updated and effective take on the Lon Chaney Jr. appearance. The Wolfman in this film is more humanistic, with ripped clothes and a human silhouette, but can switch to a galloping, ruthless slasher at the drop of a hat (there’s some seriously nice gore in the film’s unrated cut). The makeup design actually earned the film an Academy Award too, which is a long time coming for Baker as he wanted to do another werewolf project after An American Werewolf in London. But does the film itself do anything different? Well, yes and no…
Whilst the essential plot is the same as the original, the dynamic between Lawrence and his father is placed under a telescope, as it’s revealed John is the beast that bit him and is also responsible for the death of his own son and wife – events that have haunted Lawrence throughout his entire life. The Wolf Man hints at Lycanthropy’s definition as a mental illness in its opening text, but The Wolfman actually does something with the idea, not much of course (it still has to be an exciting blockbuster) but still. After his first transformation (which is done, unfortunately, with CGI due to the lack of pre-production) Lawrence is sent by his sadistic father back to bedlam, where they inflict torturous methods of ice and electrotherapy in order to cure his apparent broken mind. It’s a nice detail to the plot and allows for an extended chase sequence through London town, but other than that the film goes for the big moments of werewolf vs. werewolf in a fire-laden manor for its climax. Can’t say I blame them though; I would hate to have Universal beathing down my neck too.
As the most high-profile werewolf film to date, it’s worth noting that the film’s atmosphere, whilst hindered by plot contrivances and the occasional cheap jump scare, is blisteringly good. That goes for the visuals too. Cinematographer Shelly Johnson cranks up the white to inhuman levels and allows the enriched thickness of the gothic to flow free. It’s a beautiful movie to look at. However not only did it receive negative reviews but was also a box-office bomb, failing to even make back its production budget. And so the werewolf was banished to the independent creators once again, back with the people who respected it and wore it best. Until…
Not long after The Wolfman, Universal attempted to emulate MARVEL’s success with the MCU and create a shared universe betwixt their monsters starting with Dracula Untold in 2014, then they tried again in 2017 with The Mummy after poor reception. Then…they just decided to stop trying altogether.
Which brings us to now. Blumhouse/Universal’s upcoming interpretation of the classic character is going to be directed by Leigh Whannell, based on a story by star Ryan Gosling himself, written by Lauren Shuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo. Whannel was able to get a lot of mileage out of The Invisible Man on a shoestring budget, and whilst I doubt the reboot’s budget will be that small, it wouldn’t surprise me if the film is going for a smaller, self-contained feel. Blumhouse are known for making stories with a small scale feel big.
Another interesting thing to note is the presence of Gosling. Reports have stated that he’s set to play the titular beast, but does that mean he’ll be playing the main role? Whannel is a horror director through and through, and most of the interpretations of The Wolf Man have been lacking in the scares department. Is this because the antagonist and protagonist are one and the same? The Invisible Man reboot flipped the switch and mad him a dread-encompassing presence that stalks the protagonist instead, could we be getting a leaner Wolf Man? The film’s theme could also tap into the mental illness that lycanthropy’s based on – a Jacob’s Ladder-esque haunting of a man who believes himself to be a werewolf? It would certainly keep the scale of the piece down.
Of course speculation like this isn't meant to dampen the effectiveness of the film once it comes out, it's simply appreciation for both the creature in question and the filmmaker(s) that have been granted access to it. The Wolf Man is often sidelined amidst the monster canon, but all it needs is a fresh take to rise back against the likes of Dracula. If this success means we get a series of mid-budget quality films covering each of the creatures I'm all in. Now, who do I call about The Creature from the Black Lagoon?
Other werewolf films/TV shows:
Teen Wolf: The original 80s Michael J Fox comedy, not the MTV series (which I haven't seen). Whilst Teen Wolf technically doesn't even try to adhere to any remote werewolf mythology, seeing one play basketball is still super fun.
Silver Bullet: Stephen King's foray into the werewolf genre is a neat coming-of-age story that sadly fell too soon after the trio of 1981 films to leave a mark. It's got some decent moments and isn't bad by any means, but it's unfortunately unremarkable.
Trick 'r Treat: This brilliantly Halloween anthology employs a wonderful bait-and-switch within its short werewolf segment that's a hell of a lot of fun.
Wolfen: The third werewolf film released in 1981 is a very different affair, drawing the beast into a crime thriller with interesting results. More cerebral but all the better for it.
Bad Moon: This 90s forgotten gem is a hard mother/son family drama that ushers its genuinely great effects work into the background as seasoning. Definitely worth a watch.
The Company of Wolves: This twisted, fantasy-fuelled collection of stories doesn't reinvent the wheel but instead flaunts its extravagance in a way that hadn't been seen at the time. You'll never look at Red Riding Hood in the same way again.
Dog Soldiers: Just go watch this now already. It's Neil Marshall's epic story of soldiers vs. muscular werewolves in the Scottish highlands and it's a cult classic for a reason.
Late Phases: This indie horror-drama doesn't reinvent the wheel, but the concept of a blind protagonist in a retirement village being terrorised by werewolves is good enough on its own. And the transformation sequence is pretty damn good too.
Howl: Another indie gem that's kept afloat by a decent script and some surprisingly good werewolves, Howl simply poses the question 'what if your train broke down at night in the middle of a woods infested with werewolves?'
What We Do In The Shadows: Alright alright, this isn't really serious but it is incredibly funny. And the idea of werewolves wearing their affliction like an addiction is great. Just remember, they're werewolves, not swearwolves.
Wolf: Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfieffer are great in this lavishly-produced, erotic shlock fest that doesn't quite work but is still worth a watch. This might have had the biggest budget outside The Wolfman.
Wolfblood: This brilliant CBBC family drama series has the deep mythology and mature storytelling worth of a big-screen successor. Unfortunately despite still being great, its production always limited the scope.
Being Human (UK, preferably): The story of a vampire, ghost and a werewolf living together starts out as a sitcom's dream and very quickly becomes an engrossing and layered supernatural drama.
Big Wolf of Campus: This is a guilty pleasure for me. A cheesy 90s/early 2000s, a comedy series about a senior year who is bitten by a werewolf and soon becomes the protector of his town. It's...awesome.
Doctor Who: Episode Tooth and Claw is mostly just a cool werewolf romp that asks whether the royal family are lycanthropes but the mythology of monks transferring the curse from host to host in order to satiate the beast is a different take I think's strong enough for a feature elsewhere...
Then of course there's individual characters/episodes of shows like Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Hemlock Grove, Death Valley, Penny Dreadful and Once Upon a Time to fulfill your needs. Now go! It's almost a full moon! Go watch as many as you can before they get you!
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Well, it's been another week hasn't it.
A vote against free meals for school kids during half-term by MPs here in the UK is likely to go down as one of the most heinous acts in this current government, and one that will define their flippant attitude towards not only the worse-off but the general public.
Meanwhile if you look outside the UK headlines and take 10 minutes to research into the goings on across the world you'll find so much more. If you just look at Africa for instance you'll see how little our 24-hour news system reports on.
Africa is on fire with riots and uprisings and the fight against SARS (an armed, special unit of the police force) in Nigeria who are inciting violence and torturing those they're supposed to be protecting. #EndSARS
In the Congo, funding is coming from across the globe to put on searches for Coltan, a natural resource used to power electronic devices mostly used elsewhere. These searches are murdering innocent people for those resources. The funding from places like the UK, US and France is going straight to the military, who are wiping out those with access to this resource.
Child labour and child trafficking is increasingly steadily across Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
The murder and rap of 19-year-old university student Uyinene Mrwetyana in South Africa has sparked a demand for justice and a call for a lower rate of rape across the country. Every three hours a woman is murdered in South Africa - these are gendered attacks.
More than 240 people were killed by ethno-extremist group and the regional police in protests that erupted after the assassination of Oromo musician Hacaaluu Hundeessaa in Ethiopia. Now the attacks are just targeting Orthodox Christians and other minorities (especially Amharan). Civilians continue to be killed by the services that swore to protect them.
Rape has increased by 50% during the pandemic against young women and children in Liberia. More than 1000 in the past 10 months to the point where President George Weah has declared rape a National Emergency. This isn't just in Liberia either. The enclosed proximity of the pandemic has lead to severe increases in rape and domestic abuse across the globe and the numbers are shocking to look at.
The women of Namibia have taken to the streets of Windhoek and other cities to protest sexual and gender-based violence due to the rise in numbers. Protestors like that need all the help they can get.
If you would like to know more about the issues Africa is currently dealing with you can find an updated list, resources, and ways to help here:
That's just one country. One country in a world where all western eyes are on an election and an ongoing pandemic that half of them stopped caring about back in March. The best way to combat ignorance like that is to stay informed and up to date. Combat naysayers in conversation with facts and figures, that way even if they deny it then at least you could have affected an eavesdropper or an onlooker.
Take 10 minutes. The please, take another 10 to remind yourself of some of the good going on too, because it is overwhelming.
Usually I post a couple of carrd links but the ones I do seem to be falling to the wayside, so I'm going to try a new one that's seemingly dedicated with keeping people up to date with what's happening in different areas and for different causes.
Thank you for Reading.
Stay safe, everyone.
See you next week.