Saturday, February 17, 2007

another world is possible

So much of the rhetoric about identity effectively ignores: trying to work out what forms of organization, what forms of process and deliberation, would be required to create a world in which people and communities are actually free to determine for themselves what sort of people and communities they wish to be - David Graeber (Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology)

the 7th World Social Forum

Many delegates focused on an "issue." Some activists think that access to clean water is most important. Some concentrate on debt relief. HIV/AIDS in Africa is critical to others. Some see tax policy as the cutting edge struggle. The one clearly unifying theme is opposition to the grinding poverty found throughout the global South.

Americans might find that hard to understand. Our awareness of poverty in the global South is low. Likewise, the breadth and depth of opposition to poverty is also little appreciated. Some of that is attributable to the media. As Wahu Kaara, a Kenyan activist who played a key role in bringing the WSF to Africa, put it matter-of-factly "the architectural design of media is to misinform." A fine example of that misinformation is the invisibility of poverty, even domestic poverty in the US, let alone the deeper and wider poverty below the equator. The "shock and awe" that came with Katrina is the exception that proves the rule.

Seeing that many of us in the sphere have been concerned with the "system" - this review of the last WSF may make you feel something hopeful. It is right in line with Graeber's ongoing study into the nature of Value and the need to imagine other worlds at this critical time in history - "liberation in the imaginery".

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