Balanced…on a pine cone
Balanced…on a pine cone
A beautiful window
An interesting sticker caught the eye while walking past
This has been on millions of people’s minds recently. Few of them are trying to weigh the pros and cons of this marketing campaign and the organization.
My problem is not with the spreading knowledge about Kony and such.
More knowledge can = Better.
My problem also isn’t just about how invisible children is spending 32% of their funds on direct services. People say they are an advocacy organization and not there to provide direct services. Sure that’s fine I suppose.
My problem is with this spreading narrative of how people in Uganda need the help of “awakened” affluent American college kids to whom all of this was “invisible”. My problem is with how the bottom line has become “Only you (i.e. Americans) can change the world and create history”. Who’s history? History of Uganda in which the supposed “helpless” and “powerless” Ugandans have no role to play in what so ever?
My problem is with how people think that they can go in (literally and symbolically) into a totally different culture, without any prior experience, knowledge and understanding, and help “liberate” a people of this heinous person (which he is) and believe that everything else will fall in place. What about poverty? Malaria? Corruption? Gender equality? Discrimination based on sexual orientation? How is that solved? More importantly WHO solves that? How many solutions can we force down the throats of other people? My problem is the possibility of how millions of people are thinking that they can affect this whole situation without even including those being affected into the equation. How many times more can we NOT include and support the people being affected and trying to solve their problems themselves? Step one in any successful social change/community development project is listening directly from the affected - their problems, needs and the solutions they need. NOT what WE think they need.
In this blog post I wanted to explore to the connection between religion, colonialism, post-colonialism, liberalism and the spreading of the dominant discourse about the environment as brought forth by Worster, White, Orr and Manes in different ways. At the same time I wanted to offer both a positive and negative critique of the common counter-perspective amongst authors in regards to Christianity and its role in the dismissal of indigenous religions and the subsequent development of the current environmental perceptions of people.
First of all, I think it is important to explore whether we should even frame sustainability in terms of, “Sustainability is a meaningful goal”. To me, sustainability is an over-arching philosophy/framework to living life. And many a times the vastness of this term can seem vague to many. But that is not necessarily the case. In some ways it is just like the concept of human rights. A lot of people could (and do) say that those are vague. But it doesn’t stop us from trying to make sure that people around the globe enjoy rights that secure their lives and lifestyles. In reality concepts like human rights and sustainability provide a fluid framework of ideas and thoughts that can be molded according to place, belief system, culture and time period.
From the beginning we really wanted to make a strong and impactful piece. In order to make that possible we went back to the theory we learned in class and also our experiences – using lessons from documentaries we found particularly successful.
In order to give the documentary more legitimacy, instead of having ourselves provide all the information we decided to have all the information come from first-hand sources either collected by us or fashioned out of videos online.
The entire process for this project has been ever-changing and ever-evolving from moment we started! The inspiration for this project came from our mutual interest in story-telling and after our experience at the Halloween Storytelling concert at Spurlock Museum. The first rendition of the thesis for our project revolved around storytelling and its history which got modified to storytelling in Urbana-Champaign, which in turn was modified to a spotlight cover of a famous storyteller in the community. After all these renditions somehow we transitioned into Spoken Word (guided by Jenny – “You know what I really like? Spoken Word”) and its usage to tell stories. We did a short discussion on what we all like about Spoken Word. The three main points that came up were – Its ability to tell stories, its usage as a vehicle to talk and spread awareness about various personal and socio-political issues and its power to form a strikingly emotional connection/bond between the artist and the audience. Hence, we decided to focus on these three main points in our documentary.