VIEWS: 127 PAGES: 36

									      DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE
DirecteD By HuBert Sauper
107 Minutes

      Study Guide
    03 introduction
    04 How to use this Guide
    06 Before you WatcH
            06 film Synopsis
            07 Map
            08 por trait of tanzania
            09 context: a region in conflict
    10 aS you WatcH
    11 after you WatcH
            11 ethics of representation
            18 Development for Whom?
            20 the Question of responsibility
    24 take action
    27 Glossary

    imagine if Jews all over the united States watched the same galvanizing
    film or read the same inspiring book. We already share a set of texts,
    traditions and values —what would it be like to apply them together to some
    of the great social and political challenges of our time? With a shared
    commitment to learning and engaging in collective action, we could achieve
    real and lasting positive change. Welcome to the first edition of the aJWS
    Global Justice film forum, a new educational series of film guides on current
    issues in global justice.

    Why a forum? aJWS believes that a commitment to global justice should
    be an intrinsic par t of american Jewish identity. this series will provide
    american Jews with context and inspiration for rich discussion and with
    thought-provoking oppor tunities to learn about global issues like economic
    justice, globalization, HiV/aiDS and refugee and migrant rights. Most
    impor tantly, we hope that the discussion and learning inspired by the forum
    will lead to meaningful, collective action.

             HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

    We encourage you to skim through this guide before facilitating a group
    viewing or watching the film on your own. this will help you determine the
    issues and concepts that interest you most.

    there are several components to this guide:

    Before you WatcH provides background on the film and the region in
    which it takes place.

    aS you WatcH suggests critical questions to keep in mind while watching
    the film.

    after you WatcH presents several categories of questions
    for in depth post-film discussion:

             a. etHicS of repreSentation analyzes the ways in which
             the filmmaker tells the story.
             B. DeVeLopMent for WHoM? takes a closer look at the
4            repercussions of global economic choices.
             c. tHe QueStion of reSponSiBiLity explores the
             complex relationships among social actors —ourselves included
             —in an interconnected global economic system.

    take action offers suggestions for individual and collective action in
    response to the film. this focus on concrete, practical activism is based on the
    belief that the failure to act in the face of injustice fosters apathy and cyni-
    cism, and that, alternatively, commitment and action build hope.

    tHe GLoSSary gives concise explanations of some of the major ideas and
    institutions addressed in the film and the guide.

    one of the strengths of the film is its effor t to confront many complex
    dimensions and interconnections among the problems facing people in the
    Global South. the guide attempts to reflect that complexity, and as a result
    contains more material than can be addressed in one session. We have some
    suggestions, but we encourage you to experiment.

    the film itself is 1 hour and 45 minutes. We recommend that you allow time
    to watch the entire film.
    Suggestions for how to organize discussion based on the time you have:

            2 hours

    Before you WatcH—distributed but not discussed as a group
    aS you WatcH—distributed but not discussed as a group
    after you WatcH—focus on the either the Question of responsibility
    section or the Development for Whom? section
    take action—distributed but not discussed

            3 hours

    Before you WatcH—briefly discussed
    aS you WatcH—briefly discussed
    after you WatcH:
           1. choose one category to focus on based on the interests
           of the group.
           2. Break up into three groups, with each focusing on one category,
           and then share main points in plenary.
           3. choose a few questions from each category without delving
           too deeply into any one theme.
    take action—briefly discussed
            Two sessions: Option 1
    Session #1:                           Session #2:
    Before you WatcH                      re-cap
    aS you WatcH                          after you WatcH—options
                                                   from above
                                          take action—briefly discussed

            Two sessions: Option 2
    Session #1:                           Session #2:
    Before you WatcH—                     re-cap
             briefly discussed            take action—revisit question five
    aS you WatcH—briefly discussed        from the Question of responsibility
    after you WatcH—options               section. review the action choices
             from above                   and discuss as a group: a. What are
                                          our values? B. Did the film clarify our
                                          values or make us uncomfor table
                                          about our stance? c. What on this list
                                          can we commit to taking on? What
                                          do we want to learn more about?
             BEFORE YOU WATCH

             Film Synopsis

    in the skies over Mwanza on the edge of tanzania’s Lake Victoria, planes come
    and go bringing mysterious cargo and depar ting with perch fillets bound for
    the european market. the perch fishing industry, which rose in lockstep with
    the non-native perch’s annihilation of the lake’s natural ecosystem, has upset
    the social ecology as well. in a country already struggling with exploitative
    trade practices, the fishing industry contributes to a combination of pover ty,
    famine and disease. “Darwin’s nightmare” explores a broken system through
    the stories of World trade organization representatives, factory owners,
    pilots, fishermen and street children, in which everyone plays a role and no
    one wants to bear responsibility.

    the film was shot in 2004 by Huber t Sauper. in order to get intimate access
    at all levels of society, Sauper worked with only a local guide rather than a full
    film crew, and often in disguise.

             Portrait of Tanzania

    tanzania lies below the Horn of africa on the eastern coast of the continent.
    initially known as tanganyika, the region was colonized by arab traders,
    por tuguese merchants and German and British imperialists before gaining
    independence in 1961. in 1964, tanganyika and Zanzibar, an island
    largely controlled by the afro-Shirazi descendents of early persian settlers,
    merged to become the united republic of tanzania. Zanzibar is now
8   semi-autonomous.

    the first democratically elected administration, led by school teacher-turned-
    freedom fighter Julius nyerere, put an emphasis on african unity, non-
    alignment and self-sufficiency. in spite of effor ts toward these goals, the
    country turned to the international Monetary fund (iMf) and World Bank
    in 1986 for financial suppor t and was forced to implement disruptive
     Structural adjustment programs as a condition of receiving assistance.
    attempts to improve the economy have been dampened since 2003 by the
    country’s severe drought and concomitant famine. fifty-eight percent of
    citizens live on less than $1 per day. in 2001, the country founded the east
     african regional parliament and cour t with neighboring uganda and kenya.
    the same year saw the opening of a sizable gold mine, making tanzania
    the third largest african producer of gold. in 2005, it was granted 100% debt
    relief by the World Bank, but still holds a balance of over $4 billion in
    external debt. tanzania is the only country in east africa that is also a member
     of the Southern africa Development community (SaDc), which is
    negotiating a trade treaty with the eu. it also has a preferential trade
    agreement with china. in January 2005, tanzania became a non-permanent
    member of the un Security council.
    	        Context:	A	Region	in	Conflict

    While relatively politically stable since independence, tanzania lies in a
    hotbed of conflict and has operated as both mediator and ally during the
    numerous regional disputes of the last several decades. it has been
    involved with the ongoing conflict in the Democratic republic of congo
    (D.r.c.) since the 1960s, when it protected exiled opposition leader Laurent
    kabila against the u.S.-backed president Mobutu. the current tensions in
    the D.r.c. are in par t due to that country’s use as a base for armed groups
    fighting neighboring countries, including the ugandan invasion of tanzania
    in 1978, Burundi’s civil war in 1993, the civil war and genocide in rwanda in
    the early 1990s and ongoing turbulence in Sudan. tanzania helped to
    broker peace talks to end the conflict in Burundi and suppor ts the Lusaka
    agreement concerning the conflict in the D.r.c. the country has historically
    hosted displaced persons from Burundi (more than 750,000 since
    1993), rwanda (nearly one million following the 1994 genocide) and the
    D.r.c., and currently houses more than 500,000 refugees, more than
    any other african country.

                                 Refugees in Central and East Africa: 31 Dec 2007

                                                                                  total = 1,957,862







                                                         UGANDA        KENYA


                                                                                             > 100,000

                                                                                             10,000 – 100,000
                                                                                             < 10,000
                                                                                      OCHA RO-CEA, Feb 2008
              AS YOU WATCH
     Facilitator’s note: consider highlighting additional questions from elsewhere
     in the guide that you wish to consider along with, or in place of, the questions
     in this section.

     Documentaries are often presented, explicitly or implicitly, as objective
     reflections of reality, with invisible, omniscient narrators. in fact, they are care-
     fully crafted collections of images that together ar ticulate the vision of a
     par ticular filmmaker, and as such, they are often are more telling of the biases
     and perspectives of the filmmaker than they are descriptive of a given reality.
     as you watch, consider the following questions. after the film, briefly discuss
     your answers before moving on to other questions in the guide.

               a. What role does the filmmaker play? When does he allow himself
               to be seen as a par ticipant, and when is he an invisible observer?
               What impressions do you get from each mode of storytelling?

               B. Do you notice any patterns to the images the filmmaker chooses?
               How does he aim to influence your interpretation and understand-
10             ing of these images (for example, using edits, juxtapositions, sounds,
               symbolism, etc.)?

               c. How does the filmmaker represent his subjects along the spectrum
               of powerful—powerless?

               D. Whose perspective would you have liked to hear more of ?
               Did you feel that any perspectives were missing? What questions
               are you left with?
              AFTER YOU WATCH

     	        Ethics	of	Representation

     Questions in this section explore the good and bad, right and wrong—
     and in between—of how the filmmaker chooses to represent his subjects.

              QUESTION 1

     Mount kilimanjaro, the highest peak in africa and a popular travel destination,
     lies along the northern border of tanzania, about 400 miles from Mwanza
     by train. Serengeti national park and Game reserve, another popular
     destination, touches Lake Victoria along its nor thwestern border. there are
     also countless humanitarian organizations working in region and the
     country as a whole.

              a. Why do you think the filmmaker chooses to omit these pieces
              of the larger picture?

              B. What statement (if any) does omitting them make about the effects
11            of tourism or humanitarian aid on the people he chronicles?

              QUESTION 2

     the film presents layered understandings of the reality of life on Lake Victoria,
     such that the picture presented at the beginning of the film is very different
     from the one that viewers are left with at the end. these filmic layers parallel
     the layers of understanding that different actors within the system hold about
     life in tanzania.

              a. at what points in the film did your understanding of those
              layers shift?

              B. Where in the film do the understandings of one actor contradict
              those of another?
             QUESTION 3

     the renowned ethnographic filmmaker Jean rouch once said of filmmaker
     Sauper’s work that it is “a cinema of contact.”

             a. What effect do the interviews throughout the film have on your
             impression of the circumstances in Mwanza?

             B. in par ticular, why do you think the pilots, whose cargo is illegal,
             let the filmmaker have such intimate access?

             QUESTION 4

     at the hear t of the passover Haggadah, we read, “in every generation, each
     person must look upon himself or herself as if he or she had personally come
     for th out of egypt.” During the seder, we apply this teaching temporally,
     seeking to identify with people scores of generations removed from us.

             What would be the implications of applying this same principle
             spatially instead of temporally, such that you had to see yourself
             as one or more of the people por trayed in the film?
12           choose 2-3 people in the film and ar ticulate how you identify
             with each of them. What’s the value in this exercise?

             QUESTION 5

     though there are many interrelated forces at work in Mwanza, the filmmaker
     chooses to organize the film around resource extraction, as represented by
     the fishing industry.

             a. What is the benefit of framing the film as a story about fish?
             What is lost by putting fish at the center of the narrative?

             B. How would the story change if Sauper were to have used
             the cargo planes or HiV/aiDS as the central organizing principle
             of the film?
                              QUESTION 6

darwins              in an interview about the film, Sauper said, “i could make the same kind
nightmare.com/       of movie in Sierra Leone, only the fish would be diamonds, in Honduras,
set.htm              bananas, and in Libya, nigeria or angola, crude oil.” [1]

                              a. Whether or not you are familiar with the economic histories
                              of the countries Sauper mentions, draw on your understanding of the
                              circumstances surrounding the removal of fish in the film and
                              consider what you would expect to find in Sierra Leone, Honduras,
                              Libya, nigeria or angola.

                              B. While it’s true that there are similar patterns of exploitation and
                              pover ty throughout the Global South, do you agree that the
                              same movie could be made anywhere? What is specific and unique
                              and what is generalizable in this situation?

                              QUESTION 7

                     there is a limiting, but extremely pervasive, narrative about africa, such that
                     people often automatically associate the continent with aiDS, civil wars,
     13              extreme pover ty, corrupt officials and so on.

                              a. How does the way Sauper tells this story contribute to or detract
                              from this narrative?

                              B. How do you think this narrative affects citizens of african nations?

                              c. When describing a global issue or event, how does playing into
                              the expected narrative affect your ability to understand and
                              wrestle with the issue? What is the responsibility of a filmmaker to
                              his or subjects when addressing an issue or a region fraught
                              with stereotypes?
                                QUESTION 8

                       a. o. Scott, the New York Times film critic, reviewed “Darwin’s nightmare”
                       shor tly after its theatrical release and called the film a “work of ar t”:

                                Given the gravity of Mr. Sauper’s subject, and the rigorous pessimism
                                of his inquiry, it may seem a bit silly to compliment him for his
                                eye. there are images here that have the terrifying sublimity of a
                                painting by el Greco or Hieronymus Bosch: rows of huge, rotting fish
                                heads sticking out of the ground; children turning garbage into
                                makeshift toys. at other moments, you are struck by the natural
                                loveliness of the lake and its surrounding hills, or by the handsome,
                                high-cheekboned faces of many of the tanzanians. the beauty,
                                though, is not really beside the point; it is an integral par t of the
                                movie’s ethical vision, which in its tenderness and its angry
                                sense of apocalypse seems to owe less to modern ideologies than
                                to the prophetic rage of William Blake, who glimpsed heaven and
                                hell at an earlier phase of capitalist development. Mr. Sauper’s movie
                                is clearly aimed at the political conscience of Western audiences,
                                and its implicit critique of some of our assumptions about the shape
                                and direction of the global economy deserves to be taken seriously.
     14                         But its reach extends far beyond questions of policy and political
                                economy, and it turns the fugitive, mundane facts that are any docu-
                                mentary’s raw materials into the stuff of tragedy and prophecy. [2]
Scott,	A.	O.,	“Mov-
ie	Review:	Darwin’s	            a. Do you agree that this documentary is a work of ar t? What are
Nightmare,“	New	
York	Times,	August	             the benefits of making an “ar tistic” film about this kind of subject
3,	2005.
                                rather than a more conventional documentary?

                                B. Scott says the film is aimed at the consciences of Western
                                audiences. Do you agree? How does the film impact your conscience?

                                QUESTION 9

                       Scott is not the only reviewer to have made comparisons between Sauper’s
                       work and other ar t, including the paintings of Bosch and Brueghel, the
                       prose of William S. Burroughs and the poetry of William Blake. consider the
                       images and texts below and discuss:

                                Do you find the connections that Scott draws (see question 7
                                above) to these and other ar tists fitting? Why or why not?
                                What other associations did the film inspire in your mind?
                   The Garden of Earthly Delights (1504)
                   Hieronymus Bosch

                           “ar t historians and critics frequently interpret the painting as
     15                     a didactic warning on the perils of life’s temptations. However, the
                            intricacy of its symbolism . . . has led to a wide range of scholarly
                            interpretations over the centuries. 20th-century art historians are
                            divided as to whether [it] is a moral warning, or a panorama
                            of paradise lost. american writer peter S. Beagle describes it as an
/wiki/The_                  ‘erotic derangement that turns us all into voyeurs, a place filled
Earthly_Delights            with the intoxicating air of perfect liber ty.’ ” [3]

     “Land, air, and water seem to be overrun by an odd assor tment of
      real and fantastic fish, while in the foreground a man, accompanied
      by his son, gestures toward the scene. the meaning of his gesture
      is conveyed in the flemish inscription, which translates: ‘Look son,
      i have long known that the big fish eat the small.’ this vernacular
      form of the ancient Latin proverb, which appears in majuscule
      lettering just above, relates to the theme of a senseless world in
                                                      Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1557)
                                                      Heyden, pieter van der
                                                      (c. 1530—after 1572). (after
                                                      pieter Bruegel the elder)


4                    which the powerful instinctively and consistently prey on
In Timeline of Art
History. New York:   the weak. that the son understands the lesson is apparent
The	Metropolitan	
Museum	of	Art,	      from his gesture toward the other man in the boat, who
                     has extracted a small fish from a larger one.” [4]
(October	2006)
                          	        Development	for	Whom?

                          This section explores the socio-economic implications of international
                          trade and development, using the circumstances in Mwanza as an example
                          of pervasive global patterns.

                                   QUESTION 1

                          the woman at the fish scrap mill says she prefers her current job to working
                          on her farm upland, because at least here she makes a wage. yet, despite the
                          factory owner’s claim that no one would have jobs if it weren’t for the fishing
                          industry, the film suggests that the perch boom in fact drew people away
                          from stable livelihoods and created a situation of urban pover ty and disease.

                                   a. How do the woman’s favorable comments at the mill compare
                                   with your sense of what would be best for the people depicted
                                   in the film?

                                   B. What might be the sources of any differences between your
                                   perspective and hers?

        18                         QUESTION 2

                          Social economist eirik Jansen, who has done extensive research on the fishing
                          industry in eastern africa, notes:

                                   for every job created in the expor t industry, 6-8 jobs are being
Jansen,	Eirik,	                    lost in the informal sector. it is par ticularly the many thousands of
Recent		Develop-
ments in East                      women that are small-scale traders and processors of fish that
African	Fisheries,	                have lost their jobs… Many of the fishermen who in the past were
University	of	Oslo,	20	
March	2006.                       “owner-operators” of their own fishing boats and equipment are
                                   now tied to the factories through credit relationships and thereby
                                   only receive a minimum price.[5]

                                   a. How do Jansen’s research findings affect your understanding
                                   of both the factory owner’s claims and the fish scrap mill
                                   worker’s claims?

                                   B. What do you think motivates their responses to the state of life
                                   in Mwanza?
             QUESTION 3

     apply the passage below to the circumstances in the film and to the
     quotation from Jansen’s socio-economic research (see question 2 above):

             r. Judah, r. Jose, and r. Simeon were sitting, and Judah, a son of
             proselytes, was sitting near them. r. Judah commenced [the
             discussion] by observing, “How fine are the works of [the roman]
             people! they have made streets, they have built bridges, they have
             erected baths.” r. Jose was silent. r. Simeon b. yohai answered
             and said, “all that they made they made for themselves; they built
             market-places to set harlots in them; baths to rejuvenate them-
             selves; bridges to levy tolls for them.”
                       —Babylonian talmud Shabbat 33b

             in light of Jansen’s findings (see question 2 above), which “works”
             in Mwanza do you think r. Judah would praise? How would r.
             Simeon ben yohai critique his praise? B. r. Judah and r. Simeon’s
             differing interpretation of the same infrastructure suggests it is
             not the romans’ works that are the problem, the way in which they
             are used. Do you think the but same applies to the infrastructure
19           suppor ting the fishing industry?

             QUESTION 4

     in an informal interview, one of the pilots says, “children in angola receive
     weapons on christmas day; european children receive grapes. that’s business!
     But i wish all children could receive grapes.”

             in the broadest sense, what do you think the pilot means
             by “business”?
                 	        The	Question	Of	Responsibility

                 This section explores the moral quandaries of obligation and responsibility
                 that the film poses —both for those participating directly in the fishing industry
                 in Mwanza, and for us as viewers and consumers.

                          QUESTION 1

                 consider the following quotation from the filmmaker, which addresses the
                 way the circumstances in Mwanza are connected to and maintained by many
                 different actors both in and out of tanzania:

                          it seems that the individual par ticipants within a deadly system
                          don’t have ugly faces, and for the most par t, no bad intentions.
                          these people include you and me. Some of us are “only doing their
darwins                   job” (like flying a jumbo from a to B carrying napalm), some don’t
nightmare.com/            want to know, others simply fight for survival. i tried to film the
startset.htm              personalities in this documentary as intimately as possible. Sergey,
                          Dimond, raphael, eliza: real people who wonderfully represent
                          the complexity of this system, and for me, the real enigma.[6]

    20                    a. think about how each person—from the fishermen to factory
                          owners to pilots to prostitutes to Wto representatives to
                          consumers —is invested in the system. Why would they each want
                          to maintain the status quo of the perch industry?

                          B. Who stands to benefit from the various effects of the perch
                          industry? Who stands to lose?

                          QUESTION 2

                 consider these quotations from exodus and the Mishnah:

                          When a fire is star ted and spreads to thorns...the one who star ted
                          the fire must make restitution.
                                    —exodus 22:5

                          if a spark flew out from under the hammer and caused damage,
                          he [the smith] is liable. if a camel laden with flax was passing through
                          the public domain, and its flax entered into the store, and it caught
                          fire from the candle of the storekeeper and set fire to the building,
              the owner of the camel is liable. if the storekeeper placed his candle
              outside, the storekeeper is liable.
                        —Mishnah Bava kama 6:6

              a. How, if at all, are these perspectives on restitution and liability
              relevant to the situation presented in the film?

              B. How would you assign responsibility for the circumstances
              depicted in the film? if you find this exercise hard, what do you think
              are the advantages and disadvantages of a system in which it is
              difficult to assign blame for terrible things?

              QUESTION 3

     a number of coalitions have called for total cancellation of debts in the
     Global South, making the case that it is in fact the nor th that is the debtor
     for centuries of resource extraction and exploitation of the South.

              a. How does this square with Sauper’s suggestion that it is the system,
              rather than individual actors within it, that is at fault? How could a
              debt of this kind be repaid?
              B. How do debt cancellation campaigns compare to the ethical
              considerations in exodus 22:5 and Mishnah Bava kamma 6:6
              (see question 2 above)?

              QUESTION 4

     consider this quotation from rambam’s Mishneh torah:

              one may not buy from a thief the goods he has stolen and to do
              so is a great transgression because it strengthens the hands of those
              who violate the law and causes the thief to continue to steal; for if
              the thief would find no buyer he would not steal, as it says, “He who
              shares with a thief is his own enemy.”
                        —rambam, Mishneh torah Laws of theft

              How might this perspective bear on the question of responsibility
              for the situation in Mwanza?
                                 QUESTION 5

                the earlier quotation from the filmmaker concerned the relationships among
                actors in a system (see question 1 above). the excerpt below from
                Wallace Shawn’s play The Fever looks specifically at the relationship — and
                the responsibility — that the consumer has in the system:

                        i came to a phrase that i’d heard before, a strange, upsetting, sor t
                        of ugly phrase: this was the section on “commodity fetishism,”
                        “the fetishism of commodities.” i wanted to understand that weird-
                        sounding phrase, but i could tell that, to understand it, your whole
                        life would probably have to change.
                                   [Marx’s] explanation was very elusive. He used the example
                        that people say, “twenty yards of linen are wor th two pounds.”
                        people say about everything that it has a cer tain value. this is wor th
                        that. this coat, this sweater, this cup of coffee: each thing wor th
                        some quantity of money, or some number of other things — one
                        coat, wor th three sweaters, or so much money — as if that coat,
                        suddenly appearing on the ear th, contained somewhere inside itself
                        an amount of value, like an inner soul, as if the coat were a fetish,
                        a physical object that contains a living spirit. But what really deter-
 22                     mines the value of a coat? What is it that determines the price of
                        a coat? the coat’s price comes from its history, the history of all
                        the people who were involved in making it and selling it and all the
                        par ticular relationships they had. and if we buy the coat, we, too,
                        form relationships with all of those people, and yet we hide those
                        relationships from our own awareness by pretending we live in a
                        world where coats have no history but just fall down from heaven
                        with prices marked inside. “i like this coat,” we say, “it’s not expen-
                        sive,” as if that were a fact about the coat and not the end of a story
                        about all the people who made it and sold it, “i like the pictures in
                        this magazine.”
                                   a naked woman leans over a fence. a man buys a
                        magazine and stares at her picture. the destinies of these two are
                        linked. the man has paid the woman to take off her clothes, to
                        lean over the fence. the photograph contains its history — the
                        moment the woman unbuttoned her shir t, how she felt, what the
                        photographer said. the price of the magazine is a code that
                        describes the relationship between all those people — the woman,
Shawn,	                 the man, the publisher, the photographer — who commanded,
Wallace.	The            who obeyed. the cup of coffee contains the history of the peasants
Fever.	Grove	
Press,	2007.
     who picked the beans, how some of them fainted in the heat of
     the sun, some were beaten, some were kicked. [7]

     a. What does this text imply about responsibility in the relationships
     it describes?

     B. Do you agree with Shawn’s asser tion about what price means?
     What are three things you purchased today?

     c. How do you think Shawn would respond to Sauper’s
     characterization of the economic system as too complex for
     blame to be properly assigned?

     D. Shawn implies that consumers have the responsibility to be aware
     of the relationships between them and the myriad people and
     stories involved in the products and services they buy. How does
     this sense of obligation square with the other perspectives about
     obligation and responsibility above? How might you, as a consumer,
     practically embrace this responsibility?

               TAKE ACTION
               rabbi tarfon and the elders were once reclining in the upper story
               of nithza’s house, in Lod, when this question was posed to
               them: Which is greater, study or action? rabbi tarfon answered,
               saying: action is greater. rabbi akiva answered, saying: Study
               is greater. all the rest agreed with akiva that study is greater than
               action because it leads to action.
                         —Babylonian talmud kiddushin 40b

     american Jewish World Service embraces akiva’s notion that what makes study great is
     its capacity to inspire and inform action.this section enumerates six dimensions of Jewish
     Global citizenship—giving, spending, teaching, learning, serving and advocating—that
     are consistent with Jewish values and that promote a more just, sustainable and equitable
     world.We hope you will use the suggestions below to translate what you saw and learned
     in the film into substantive action, and we encourage you to collaborate with others to
     magnify the positive impact of your choices.


     tHe arMS traDe
24   the control arms campaign (a joint project of amnesty international, oxfam internation-
     al and the international action network on Small arms) pushes for legislation to regulate
     the international arms trade and to put an end to the illegal movement of small arms:

     perSpectiVeS ontraDeanD DeVeLopMent
     paul collier,the Bottom Billion
     William easterly,the White Man’s Burden
     amartya Sen, Development as freedom
     Joseph Stilitz, Globalization and its Discontents
     Jim yong & Joyce Millen, Dying for Growth
     See the glossary for explanations of free trade and fair trade

     fooD JuStice
     taras Grescoe, Bottomfeeder: How to eat ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood
     raj patel, Stuffed and Starved:the Hidden Battle for the World food System

     a summary of research on east african fisheries from eirik G.Jansen, of the university of
     oslo, norway: www.sum.uio.no/big_fish/no/lenker/20%2003%2006%20 %20east%20
     a project of the socio-economic program of the kenya Marine and fisheries research
     institute (kMfri): www.lake-victoria.info

     Share what you’ve learned and engage others in the questions you’ve confronted. Hold an
     event of your own with this film, or make use of other resources provided in this guide to
     raise awareness about these issues in your community.

     the other half of being a conscious choice-maker—put your mouth where your money is!

     traDe JuStice
     put pressure on the uS government to change the current to change the policies and
     incentives that maintain inequalities in global trade.

     contact your local representatives, the president, and the office of the united States trade
     representative: http://www.ustr.gov/—even your state legislature has a stake in this issue,
     as states can be held accountable to international trade treaties signed by the u.S. See
     http://www.citizen.org/trade/subfederal/states/ to find out if your state is protesting these

     Dear _________________,

     the current global economic crisis provides a crucial moment to reflect on the damaging
     trade policies set in motion by the Washington consensus thirty years ago. as a result of
     free trade deregulation and privatization of markets, poor countries around the world –
     the very countries these trade policies were ostensibly crafted to help – are so burdened
     with debt that they can barely address the public health, infrastructure, and welfare needs
     of their citizens. these Highly indebted countries are frequently at the mercy of foreign
     interests, who can exploit the resources of such a country with impunity while its citizens

     this affects us all. a global economy that plunges poor countries further into debt makes
     for an incredibly unstable world – one that breeds more poverty, spreads disease, and
     encourages mass migrations and violence. it is clear that these policies are not working.

     We need transparent, democratic, and accountable global economic institutions. We need
     policies that promote human rights and environmental protections in trade, not polices
     driven purely by profit incentives. We need policies that promote the development of
     local economies and demand accountability to local stakeholders, not policies that merely
     protect the interests of foreign investors while they exploit local resources.

     i encourage you to take action on these issues. as a constituent, you can be sure i will not
     support a representative in the future who does not take advantage of this moment to set
     a historic precedent for progressive reforms in global trade policy.

     thank you for your time,


     Join the interfaith Working Group on trade and investment, a national organization of faith-
     based working to change uS trade policies on the grounds that they present a “serious
     moral challenge.” aJWS is not a member, but supports the principles of the group’s work.
     See the “take action” section of their website for talking points when contacting your

     Join oxfam international’s Make trade fair campaign:

     Get involved with action aid’s iMf project, which works to change the international Mon-
     etary fund’s lending policies that keep countries like tanzania from ensuring their citizens’
     active and fair participation in the global economy.

     arMS traDe
     Join the control arms campaign and encourage your representatives to put pressure on
26   the administration to sign the arms treaty:

     Dear representative ____________,

     i am writing in support of the proposed un arms trade treaty. in an october 2008 vote,
     the u.S. was one of only two member countries to vote against the treaty.

     Such a vote is unconscionable.the arms trade is out of control. every day, over a thousand
     people die as a consequence of armed violence.thousands more are driven from their
     homes, forced off their land, raped, tortured and maimed.

     However, there are currently no global, legally binding controls on the international trade
     in weapons.the proposed arms trade treaty would set strict standards for regulating the
     international arms trade, making the world safer and more stable.

     i urge you to press the administration and our permanent representative to the un to
     work with the rest of the un member nations in bringing the arms trade under control,
     and to cooperate in the drafting and implementation of a such a treaty.


                      *note: the above letter is adapted for a u.S. audience from the uk-based control arms

                      the forces at work in tanzania are part of larger global processes that impact the entire
                      Great Lakes region, as well as other parts of the globe. aJWS works with grassroots
                      organizations providing critical resources and emergency services in the conflict-affected
                      countries surrounding tanzania, including rwanda, the Democratic republic of congo,
                      Zimbabwe, uganda and Zambia.
                      Visit www.ajws.org/where_we_work to learn more.

                      Be a conscious part of the chain.to the extent that we are all “participants in a deadly
                      system,” seek ways to ensure that your consumer choices mitigate or alleviate your impact
                      on poor people in the Global South:

                      a. Divest your financial holdings from countries that support the small arms trade.
                      Visit www.socialinvest.org for more information.

                      B. Learn about sustainable fisheries that aim to reduce harm to the ecosystems they oper-
                      ate in:

                      use this information to inform your consumer choices about where you pur¬chase fish
                      and what kind of fish you buy.

                      consider these concerns when purchasing other goods as well, and encourage the con-
                      sumption of fairly traded goods in your organization or institution:

                      Share the information with others—collective consciousness leads to collective pressure,
                      which leads to

                      unfortunately, the circumstances documented in this film are not unique.the arms trade—
                      and the effects of the system of global trade of which it is a part—has footprints all over the
                      globe. consider volunteering your time with a grassroots organization working for social,
                      political and economic justice in the Global South.to learn more visit:
8                     www.ajws.org/what_we_do/service_and_travel_opportunities
Federation for
Alternative	Trade,	
                           GLOSSARY                                   is the law of supply and demand. critics
                                                                      of free trade suggest that only a select
                      eXternaL DeBt                                   few gain in this system, because the profit
                      also known as foreign debt, this is the total   motive underlying free trade provides
                      amount owed by a given country                  a disincentive to protect workers’ rights
                      to other countries or institutions, including   and to ensure living wages and a fair price
                      payments on loans from the World Bank or        for producers.
                      the international Monetary                          in addition, free trade is itself a
                      fund. High external debt makes it difficult     mis-nomer. Global trade consists of the
                      for governments to fund other important         movements of three commodities—
                      state programs (e.g. health, education,         capital (including both money and the
                      infrastructure, etc.).                          means of production –factories, etc.),
                                                                      products (e.g. goods and services) and
                                                                      labor. free trade proponents tend
                            faMine                                    always to leave labor out of the equation,
                      famine results when a country or region         allowing for the free movement of
                      lacks food security, or adequate long-          capital and products, but preventing
                      term access to food, on a catastrophic          free immigration and emigration.this
                      scale. famine can result from drought, failed   selective application of free trade
                      harvests or lack of grain stores                introduces gross inequities between
                      to make up the difference in years when         countries with different levels of wealth.
                      crops fail. famines, however, can also occur
                      in areas where food stores are adequate.
     28               in these cases, famine often ensues when               fair traDe
                      people are no longer                            the term “fair trade” was coined to
                      able to access available food–either            describe proposed alternatives to
                      because they lack sufficient income or          the free trade system which would be
                      because the available domestic supplies         more responsive to human need.
                       are not shared equally. in tanzania,           as the international federation for
                      the widespread lack of food security is         alternative trade describes it,“fair trade
                      caused by the compound effects of               is a trading partnership based on
                      low agricultural output and the concentra-      dialogue, transparency and respect that
                      tion of food-producing labor on                 seeks greater equity in international
                      perch, which are too expensive for              trade. it contributes to sustainable
                      laborers and their families to purchase.        development by offering better trading
                                                                      conditions to, and securing the rights
                                                                      of, marginalized producers and workers—
                            free traDe                                especially in the South.” [8] While free
                      according to the united nations, in very        trade has as its primary stated goal
                      simple terms, free trade can be defined as      the maximization of aggregate wealth,
8                     the absence of trade tariffs, import quotas,    fair trade is much more concerned
                      subsidies and so on. proponents of free         with the equitable distribution of wealth.
Federation for
Alternative	Trade,	   trade believe that everyone gains when the      critics, including the economist paul
definition.html       barriers to the exchange of goods between       collier, see fair trade as an inadequate-
                      countries are lowered or removed, and the       to-negative response to trade
                      only thing regulating the exchange of goods
     imbalances, since the elevated price of         conference in 1944, immediately
     goods encourages producers to stay locked       following the world-wide depression of
     into subsistence production instead of          the 1930s and the destruction of the
     seeking alternatives.                           european economy during World War ii.
                                                     as a result of these events, there was
                                                     a need for stabilization of global markets.
            GLoBaL SoutH                             the un gathered economists and
     this phrase reflects a shift in terminology     policy-makers to formulate a system for
     in the international development                international economic stability. the iMf
     community away from the language of             is now governed by its 184 member
     “third World” and “developing world,”           countries, but voting power is weighted
     both of which imply a hierarchy in              based on the size of each country’s
     which the industrialized Western nations        economy, so the u.S. has the most influence
     are placed above poorer countries.              on the institution’s policy-making.
     Designating poor countries as the “devel-             according to the iMf, its primary
     oping world” suggests that they are             purposes is to help countries increase their
     (or should be) trying to become more like       real incomes while lowering unemploy-
     the countries of the “developed world.”         ment, to stabilize exchange rates between
     the term “third World” was coined during        countries and to eliminate foreign ex-
     the cold War to refer to poor countries         change restrictions so countries can freely
     in africa, asia and Latin america that were     trade with one another without worrying
     not aligned with either the communist           about the effects of interest rates, etc.
     or capitalist blocs.this term is increasingly   the iMf accomplishes these goals through
29   rejected, not only because the end              surveillance, financial assistance (loans)
     of the cold War has rendered it largely         and technical assistance.
     obsolete, but also because it denigrates
     the countries included under its rubric.
            the term “Global South” offers                 reSource eXtraction
     a more values-neutral description based         this is the removal of raw resources,
     on the simple geographic fact that, with the    including wood, coal, oil, gold, bauxite,
     exception of australia and new                  diamonds—or, in the case of tanzania, a
     Zealand, the world’s industrialized coun-       billion-dollar-industry fish. resource
     tries lie north of the equator. it is a term    extraction in and of itself is not exploitative,
     that does not imply that all countries          but in practice is often is. it is frequently
     in the Global South are the same,               carried out by large state-owned or
     but instead that they often share similar       multi-national companies which operate
     characteristics and vulnerabilities             without the free, prior and informed
     and have frequently experienced periods of      consent or involvement of all parties
     colonialism and oppression.                     affected by the extraction. often,
                                                     extraction takes place on land traditionally
                                                     held by indigenous or otherwise
          internationaL                              marginalized groups, who typically fall
          Monetary funD (iMf)                        outside of official land titling or deeding
     the international Monetary fund                 practices and find themselves with limited
     was founded at the un Bretton Woods             legal recourse when they are pushed
                     off their land for extraction purposes          unskilled labor.
                     or subjected to the environmental conse-
                     quences of irresponsible extraction.
                                                                            WorLD Bank
                                                                     the international Bank for reconstruction
                          StructuraL aDJuStMent                      and Development, commonly known as
                            proGraMS (SapS)                          the World Bank, is a un affiliate set up to
                     iMf and World Bank loans to countries in        finance projects that further the economic
                     the developing world generally come with        development of its 183 member nations. all
                     attached economic reform conditions.            members must first join the international
9                    these are called structural adjustment          Monetary fund. Members are shareholders
	Joseph	Stiglitz,	
                     programs and often referred to as Saps.         in the Bank, but do not all pull equal weight
and its              the tenets of structural adjustment usually     within the organization. the leading
New	York:	W.	        include elimination of subsidies for basic      contributors, and therefore those with the
W.	Norton	&	
                     foods and services, privatization of state-     biggest say in World Bank policy, are: the
Company,	Inc.,	
2002,	p.	17.         owned companies, trade liberalization           united States, Japan, Germany, france and
                     (eliminating taxes and tariffs on imports),     the united kingdom.
                     re-orientation from subsistence economies              as described by Joseph Stiglitz,
                     to export production (cheap labor and           the former chief economist of the World
                     raw commodities), cuts in social spending,      Bank, “the iMf was supposed to limit itself
                     currency devaluation and “labor flexibility”    to matters of macroeconomics in dealing
                     (layoffs and neglect of minimum wage laws.)     with a country, to the government’s budget
                     Many of these reforms are aimed at making       deficit, its monetary policy, its inflation,
    30                                                               its trade deficit, its borrowing from abroad;
                     the country more attractive to foreign
                     investors, based on the assumption that this    and the World Bank was supposed to be
                     will improve the overall economic situation.    in charge of structural issues — what the
                     the presence of these foreign investors         country’s government spent money on, the
                     does tend to improve the GDp of the             country’s financial institutions, its labor mar-
                     country, but the vast majority of the wealth    kets, its trade policies.” [9] However, over the
                     produced flows out of the country toward        past twenty years, the two organizations
                     multinational companies. While Saps may         have become more intertwined, as World
                     improve a country’s economic bottom             Bank lending has shifted toward large loans,
                     line on paper, they tend to have disastrous     called “structural adjustment loans,” which
                     effects on the population, particularly on      are always accompanied by iMf designed
                     its already disenfranchised segments. as        plans of how that money will be used.
                     previously government-owned industries
                     are privatized, usually sold to multinational
                     companies, the costs for services such as             WorLD traDe
                     education, transportation, and water tends            orGaniZation (Wto)
                     to go up, further widening the gap between      the Wto was conceived at the Bretton
                     the rich and the poor. as protective            Woods convention as an international
                     subsidies for national industries are lifted,   institution to regulate global trade, but did
                     they usually falter and often are destroyed     not actually come into being until the
                     completely, and the country’s economy           mid-1990s. it serves as a forum for negoti-
                     shifts toward providing raw materials and       ating trade agreements and settling trade
     disputes between countries, and
     a policing body to ensure these negotia-
     tions are adhered to.
           the Wto also promotes a specific
     set of rules and frameworks for trade, with
     the importance of liberalizing trade at its
     core.those countries seeking
     admission into the Wto (and subsequent
     negotiation rights with other member
     countries) must bring their trade policies in
     line with this Wto philosophy.

     World Guide, 11th edition (2006)
     cia world factbook:
     u.S. State Depar tment:
     BBc country profiles:
     united nations Map no. 3667
     rev. 5, January 2005
     united nations office for the coordination
     of Humanitarian affairs (unocHa)

           iMaGe creDitS
     p.15 Bosch, Hironymus. Garden of Delights.
     Left wing: Garden of ear thly Delights—Detail,
32   triptich with shutters Wood;
     central panel 220 x 195 cm,
     wings 220 x 97 cm. cat. 2823.
     photo credit: erich Lessing/ar t resource, ny
     Museo del prado, Madrid, Spain

     p.16 Heyden, pieter van der
     (c. 1530 —after 1572).
     (after pieter Bruegel the elder)
     Big Fish Eat Little Fish. 1557.
     engraving, 9 x 11 5/8 in. (22.9 x 29.6 cm).
     Harris Brisbane Dick fund, 1917 (17.3.859).
     image copyright © the Metropolitan
     Museum of ar t/ar t resource, ny
     the Metropolitan Museum of ar t,
     new york, ny, u.S.a.

aJWS is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s
imperative to pursue justice. aJWS is dedicated to alleviating pover ty, hunger
and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race,
religion or nationality. through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer
service, advocacy and education, aJWS fosters civil society, sustainable
development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values
and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.

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