DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE DirecteD By HuBert Sauper 2004 107 Minutes Study Guide TABLE OF CONTENTS 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 1 2 INTRODUCTION 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. 3 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 5 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. 6 7 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 9 ERITREA CHAD SUDAN DJIBOUTI ETHIOPIA CAR CAMEROON SOMALIA UGANDA KENYA RoC GABON RWANDA DRC BURUNDI TANZANIA > 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 1 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, darwin/html/start- set.htm bananas, and in Libya, nigeria or angola, crude oil.”  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 3 en.wikipedia.org 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 Garden_of_ Earthly_Delights with the intoxicating air of perfect liber ty.’ ”  16 “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) 17 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 2000–. metmuseum.org/ has extracted a small fish from a larger one.”  toah/hd/brue/ ho_17.3.859.htm (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 5 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. 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 6 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 darwin/html/ 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. 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? 21 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, 7 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.  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? 23 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. Learn 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: www.controlarms.org/en 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 www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/trade www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/papers/tradereport.html 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 MoreonLakeVictoria 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 african%20fisheries%20(2).pdf a project of the socio-economic program of the kenya Marine and fisheries research institute (kMfri): www.lake-victoria.info teacH 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. aDVocate 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 measures. Dear _________________, 25 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 starve. 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 representative: http://www.tradejusticeusa.org/ Join oxfam international’s Make trade fair campaign: www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/trade 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. http://www.actionaidusa.org/what/imf_project/ arMS traDe Join the control arms campaign and encourage your representatives to put pressure on 26 the administration to sign the arms treaty: www.controlarms.org/en 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. Sincerely, _______________________ *note: the above letter is adapted for a u.S. audience from the uk-based control arms website. GiVe 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. SpenD 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: www.marinebio.org/oceans/conservation/Sustainablefisheries.asp www.blueocean.org/seafood 27 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: http://www.equalexchange.coop/dft Share the information with others—collective consciousness leads to collective pressure, which leads to change. SerVe 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 International Federation for Alternative Trade, ifat.org/dwr/ definition.html 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.”  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 International 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 ifat.org/dwr/ 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 Globalization and its the tenets of structural adjustment usually within the organization. the leading Discontents, 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.”  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. 31 SourceS World Guide, 11th edition (2006) cia world factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/ the-world-factbook/geos/tz.html u.S. State Depar tment: state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2843.htm BBc country profiles: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/ country_profiles/1072386.stm united nations Map no. 3667 rev. 5, January 2005 un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/ profile/tanzania.pdf united nations office for the coordination of Humanitarian affairs (unocHa) ochaonline2.un.org/Default.aspx? tabid=5019 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. NOTES 33 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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