Group Argument for Essay Film

The argument that our group want to make about the content so far:

  1. That we are both individuals, as well as parts of a collection of groups, both national and transnational.
  2. Women become objectified, ironically becoming “slaves” to set themselves free.
  3. Neo-liberal economics allow for women to be able to become self sustaining and independent on a transnational level.
  4. That capitalism tricks us into wanting to buy things we don’t need, which comes at the expense of exploiting others.
Advertisements

Blood in the Mobile

Minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo are used in mobile phones. Congo is extremely poor despite all its natural resources.In the past 15 years, 5 million people have died as a consequence of civil war in DR Congo.

The UN have for years reported links between the minerals trade and the war.

Do our phones really contain minerals that finance war in the Congo? Nokia is renowned for their social responsibility, but no one willing to answer this question in Nokia headquarter. Are they using blood minerals? If that’s true it hardly matched their description as a human corporation.

The only safe way to fly in the Congo is with the UN peace-keeping forces. Goma in North Kivus seems like the right place to look for blood minerals. There is no other place in the world has so many UN peace-keeping troops. Their mission is to protect civilians against the violence of the armed groups.

The major in the UN headquarter did not talk about the groups are financed by mining when it has stated in UN reports. Maybe even the UN is threatened here and is careful about commenting on what goes on.

What is the connection between mining and the armed groups?

A group of Mai-Mai went to loot the diggers. Those who are digging in the forest but it is no idea that they digging for whom. Is it the Mai-Mai or the FDLR, who came back to try to take back what they consider their goods. Their coltan, their cassiterite…All the things they’re taking from Bisie. Who’s selling it? It was under control of the FDLR. And then came the Congolese business men. They used to come and buy and then bring it to Goma. From Goma to Rwanda or Uganda. And from Uganda to Europe. To do for mobile phones and computers. After that, from the money they buy guns to continue the war.

Soldier: “There is only one aim in the war – is to kill. It is much easier to do administration in a war than in peace. In the war, it is only to kill the enemy, and then get his uniform and gun. If you want peace, you must prepare a war.”

How the armed group make money on the mining? They let the local population do the hard work and then they impose taxes on everyone. To get in and out of the mining area you also have to pay money. In this place people die, so we can get mobile phones. People come from far away with a dream of making money but living expenses are so high due to the taxes from the armed groups that most people can’t afford to get out again. They are trapped here. Armed group came here and bullets were flying around. Then people died here. Every month people die in the mine holes when one of them collapses.

Isn’t this almost the same as slavery? There are hundreds all over East Congo. Bisie alone is estimated to produce for $70 million a year.

Today Nokia is one of the biggest corporations in the world. Every third phone on the planet is a Nokia. Nokia are market leaders on social responsibility. If they are using the blood minerals, the whole business is likely to do it.

Nokia have taken action since 2001 in this issue when they first became aware of the fact that a raw material called coltan coming from Congo can be turned into tantalum. The material is used in mobile phones, but also all other electronic products. They went to their suppliers and asked them can they trace where the tantalum comes from.They quickly realized that there is a huge challenge in tracing metals. There is no mechanism to determine where the raw material is coming from. It is difficult to tell that which part of a particular metal coming from which mine. They need mechanisms, and these they are now developing. There is a big challenge but it is a serious issue. They work on it, and hope there will be a resolution that will enable them to securely say that they have a responsible supply chain.

It is technically possible to trace the raw minerals. They must be traced before they are smelted into metals.

Break the link between natural resources and armed conflict. It is a long-term proposition. It takes years to put together an inter-governmental certification scheme. The idea is worth pursuing but not to the detriment of immediate action. The situation in eastern Congo is urgent. It needs both short term solutions that can change the situation on the ground and medium to long term solutions. The recommendation from several NGOs is to publish their supply chain.

As a global company and a market leader, Nokia have a responsibility to be part of the solution as a company but then also help drive things at an industry level. They are committed to improve their transparency.

Why would they hesitate doing anything about it? It costs them money. It is a wonder why they have not taken more steps on this minerals issue. They need to see more public pressure, before they will take action. Their workers in social responsibility department are appalled about what is going on in the Bisie mine. They do not want their company to be associated. They want to fix it but they tend to be some mid-level corporate responsibility person who does not have the authority or the budget, who does not have the ability to demand the resources that are commensurate to the problem in Congo.

If you make a phone that is conflict mineral free, we will buy it. Is there a difference between these demands? Transparency is one element of it, but it is not enough.

When you think of how you can stop the mayhem that is going on and awful things that are being perpetrated on women and children, the best thing is to get your hand on the money and stop it. We have to use minerals that have come from a traditional, legitimate source, not through the back door of these warlords stealing and using people and using it to fight a guerrilla warfare. You cannot reap the benefits of civilisation on the backs of that kind of cruelty and awful treatment of human beings. We have to do what we can to stop it.

Nokia have been working with the industry association GeSI which is a consortium of electronics manufacturers. They have commissioned a study and have been working with some of the NGOs. And they have discussed the issue with the suppliers of these metals. What they try to achieve in the first place is to scope the problem in its entirety, it is a comprehensive understanding of the flows of materials in the chain. There will be a solution ahead but it is not going to be easy or simple. It is a sustainable and long-term solution.

Manifesto of Transnational Subjectivity

manifesto_logo

Through a series of case studies, I believe I can understand more about our societies and nation since I can explore the historical events as well as global environment. I can also understand myself in the global and digital aspect by knowing different cultural elements and the mass media.

To participate in the group discussion, we can combine our own experience with each other and have an overall understanding because we are from different countries and have different cultural background. I can develop my own subjectivities in an international context while I connect with them and learn from them. It is also an opportunity for us to work together and to demonstrate our own ability.

To accomplish my individual tasks, I can combine my own reflections and subjective experiences with my own culture and background, to develop my thought and ideas base on the topic that I have learned. I believe that it is also a great chance for me to use my practical skills to create meaningful and professional piece of work.

I will try my best to engage in the class activities as well as the individual and group work. Therefore, I will be able to understand what is transnational subjectivity and to fulfill the learning objectives of this module.

Video Montage

This video is about enterprising women and cultural hybridity. In the beginning, some Hong Kong girls are cosplaying. They dress up and makeup as different characters of Japanese anime. You can also see a British Youtuber who is turning herself to a famous character – Sailor Moon. Some of them treat online media as a marketplace to gain profit by delivering makeup tutorial. This shows the commodification of women. In the later part of this video,  a man is searching for a wife online, then he travels from United States to Russia and get married with a mail order bride. All of these are the demonstration of cultural crossovers.

Colonialism – Hong Kong

 

hk1From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony and the colonialism has shaped our subjectivity a lot.

First, Hong Kong was only a small fishing port with less natural resources. Then, after the British colonizers came to Hong Kong, they developed it to become a transhipment port, which was the important step for Hong Kong to turn into a finance and business city, and to have a rapid economic development. Today, only less people in Hong Kong are still doing agriculture and fishing. Almost everyone wants to devote into the financial sector because we are subjected to believe that those who are in this sector are the upper class in this society, and it is the essential factor for the community to develop as well.

Second, besides Chinese, English is another official language in Hong Kong. We have to learn English since kindergarten, and for the official and legal documents, if there is some contradiction or ambiguity between English version and Chinese version, the English version shall prevail. English is also a compulsory subject in all of the primary and secondary schools, and in universities, we only taught in English. Although Hong Kong has returned to China from 1997, we only learn Mandarin in primary school, and we speak Cantonese and use traditional Chinese rather than Mandarin and Simplified Chinese. In addition, there are two types of secondary school in Hong Kong, which is English as Medium of Instruction School (EMI) and Chinese as Medium of Instruction School (CMI). For those students who can go into an EMI are seen as  brilliant and more intelligent. If people who do not know English or not good at English, they are seen as uneducated, unskilled and uncompetitive. Today’s Hong Kong society generally more emphasis on English but not Chinese and we think that English can enhance our international competitiveness. This can show that how colonialism shaped our subjectivity powerfully.

Third, most of the Hong Kong people believe in Taoism, Buddhism or other Chinese folk religion before colonized. However, Christianity and Catholicism also become more common when Hong Kong become the British colony. This has made Hong Kong to be a city with high freedom of religion and beliefs. Apart from the above religions, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism are also very familiar.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of being colonized. We can see that the city has better development and the competitiveness is increasing. Nevertheless, some of the traditional cultures may disappear or be replaced.

list1_symphony-of-lightsHong Kong as a international and multicultural city, all of the people in different race can have same education opportunity and can enjoy the same rights, we would respect their religion and custom as well. Because of the coexistence of Chinese and Western cultures, we accept both traditional Chinese values and universal Western values. Therefore, there is no boundary between Hong Kong people and the other.

Self-Appraisal: Boy or Girl?

boy-or-girl2

It seems a simple question of asking  – “I am a boy or a girl?”. It is just to identify which gender I am and obviously I am a girl.

When I was small, my parents used to tell me that I have to be girly, quiet, gentle and chariness because I am a girl. They told me I cannot be rude, impolite, reckless and playful because all of these are the personality of boys. I was always wondering why girls and boys cannot have the same character.

collage1In addition, my mother always bought me some Barbies, dolls, bears and cooking toys for me. One day, I told her I want to have a toy gun (yes, I love to play guns, swords and cars!), then she blamed me and asked me why I like to play those toys which are for boys. At that time, I really did not understand why there should have differences of the toys between boys and girls.

When I became a teenager, I always bought clothes in white, black and grey colour by myself. However, my mother told me I should wear clothes and dresses in sharp colours, like red, pink and purple, therefore can show that I am a lady. I totally disagree that we should use colour to identify boys and girls as it is a very neutral thing. Boys can love red and purple, and girls can love black and blue as well.ewei-50-50

All of the above experiences are come from MYTHS. They are just some fabulous rules of
how society expect us to be a girl or a boy. I definitely have no idea why girls and boys should act in a different way and why we should obey these kinds of social MYTHS.

Self-Reflection of Community

community-144653342

Community is a group of independent people living in the same place or having common rights, values and interests. It is a powerful force behind the development of an individual and each individual can be part of one or more communities. For me, I am part of the community of Hong Kong, the community of Coventry University and the Christian community.

Apart from the concrete communities, online communities also become more and more popular. Members in online community interact with each other through Internet. People can join their communities via social networking sites, forums, blogs, video games, online games and so on. They can post, comment, react, chat or like for others. They may also feel like home in some online communities because there are invisible friends and family.

0130_community-800x480

msn-messengerI began to use Internet since I was a primary school student and started to join different online communities at that time. Almost 10 years ago, online chat room was very popular among teenagers. I think everyone should know MSN, which is an instant messaging program. It allows us to have online chatting with friends or even strangers. Everyday when I back home after school, I turned on the computer and login MSN immediately to see who were online, so that I can chat with them. It was the largest entertainment for me and my friends. I thought MSN was an amazing platform because it was a new technology to us. We could play games, send images, text, audio or even video to others, and this real-time online chat provided the opportunity for us to interact with people without time and space constraint. However, due to the intense competition, MSN was replaced by other messaging programs and social media, and it closed 2 years ago. Most of the users felt depress about this and we think that this was the end of an era, especially among the 90’s generation.

ourbrands_neopets_03Besides, I used to participate in NeoPets, which is a virtual pet website. Every users in this community have to own virtual pets and buy virtual items for them to raise their pets. This can help us to build responsibility. In this community, we called this virtual world as “Neopia” and called other users as “Neofriends”. We play games together, and discuss with each other in the hub or Neoboards (a public discussion board) as well.  There are also some guilds for groups of users with similar interests to chat in their own message board. All of the users have to follow the same family’s rules in this community. It also furthers my real world communication with others since we have common topics to talk about, such as the skills and experience of raising pets. This is another memory for the 90’s generation. Although we can still play NeoPets nowadays, it is not as common as before.

Social Media Logotype Background

As I said that social media is increasingly powerful, it is today’s most common online community. Now, I have left the above two online communities and entered into some new worlds. On one hand, I am part of some communities in social networking sites, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. I can share my own thought and media works, such as photos and video via these social network. The mutual aspects of these sites are users can share and exchange our opinions as well as to give suggestions to others immediately. We can also have the rights to select and edit posts. The functions of like and comment allow us to have instant respond to other users. If I can receive more likes and comments in these sites, I would be more satisfactory and prideful, which is the feeling that I can mostly gain from online communities. And I think the greatest advantage of online communities is that we can immediately receive information and instantly communicate with other members. In addition, if I rise a question in online communities, I can always find the answer very quickly because there are many other members who are good at different aspects willing to reply me, and vice versa. Therefore, this is another way for me to teach and learn from one another.

resurrectionOn the other hand, yesterday was my first time to enter into World of Warcraft and I feel really wonderful. I used a lot of time to look around this fantastic world. The graphic in this game is very authentic. This makes me feel like in the real world. As this is my first time to play online game, I was a bit confused of how to play the game. Being a newbie of this whole new world, I did not know what should I do and even how to move. Yet, after a round of exploration, I noticed that what are my tasks. I try to accomplish all of the missions and to move towards the goals. After I entered into the world, I found that there are a lot of other characters to help me finish my tasks. It makes me feel warm and joyful in this world. It is one of the characteristics that I can find in this online community and this enhanced my belonging to World of Warcraft. Besides, when I finish the task every time, I would have great sense of satisfaction because I can do it and I can have some rewards after that, i.e. new tools and level up. Therefore, I believe I have the ability to change the world in this virtual reality and I hope I can change the real world with this belief as well.

five_obstaclesBeing part in different communities, we can gain both physical and psychological assistance and support from other members, so that we can deal with different challenges. To make use of today’s technology, we can also join different online communities to communicate with people who are in different cultures from all over the world. We would no longer be alone and would have happier live because communities would give the sense of belonging and attachment to each individual.

 

 

 

Arundhati Roy – “We”

Themethumb_1264_default_big

  • Spread the anti-imperialist and social justice politics to everywhere
  • Advocate peaceful world

Fascinating Speech

“Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century.”

“When writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgment and blindly yoke their art to the service of the “Nation”, it’s time for all of us to sit up and worry.”

“Nearly three thousand civilians lost their lives in that lethal terrorist strike. The grief is still deep. The rage still sharp. The tears have not dried. And a strange, deadly war is raging around the world.”

“We cannot avenge those who have died. War is only a brutal desecration of their memory.”

“Those of us who have only ever known life in a democracy, however flawed, would find it hard to imagine what living in a dictatorship and enduring the absolute loss of freedom means.”

“War is never fought for altruistic reasons. They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there’s the business of war.”

“”The American Way of Life” is simply not sustainable. Because it doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.”

“Power has a shelf life. When the time comes, maybe this mighty empire will, like others before it, overreach itself and implode from within.”

“Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.”

“The time has come, the Walrus said. Perhaps things will become worse and then better.”

8793779_origStyle of this film

  • Lots of impressive footage were used to illustrate the themes and specific historical events
  • Make use of wonderful background music to quicken the pace and increase the feeling