frontier

News from the frontier (2)

“Newcomers to native societies … are there because they want things of great importance to them: land, trees, minerals, oil and gas and, as a means to getting these, administrative and ideological control. Hence you can see certain kinds of economic exploitation, aggressive greed, missionary zeal …”. From an Open Democracy interview with anthropologist Hugh Brody.

What are the latest developments where the financially rich clash with those outside our culture?
Hamlet in Niyamgiri

In India, the Dongria Kondh tribe is fighting for survival in the face of threats by British mining company Vedanta to bulldoze the side of their sacred mountain. Survival International describes how Vedanta plans to dig an open pit mine on the Dongria Kondh’s mountain in the Niyamgiri Hills, Orissa state, to extract bauxite, an aluminium ore. The mine would devastate the ecology of the region and bring an end to the Dongria Kondh’s independent and sustainable way of life, polluting the streams and destroying the forests they rely on. (more…)

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News from the frontier

“On colonial frontiers, where different and often rival ways of living meet, the underlying elements of our society become more clearly visible …  you can see certain kinds of economic exploitation, aggressive greed, missionary zeal, and racism. All these are disclosed at the edge. What they disclose, of course, is not the edge but the nature of the centre.”

From the Open Democracy interview with anthropologist Hugh Brody.

RainforestWhat do the latest developments at the margins of our society reveal about the nature of its centre?

The UN climate summit in Poznan, Poland has ended with small signs of progress but little genuine ambition for serious change. Its delegates could learn a thing or two from cultures that have been plugged in to natural cycles for thousands of years, who are still so connected that they can tell us what’s changing as fast as the science can, and who, because of where they live, are suffering the worst effects the earliest. Yet our own culture remains determined to treat them with disdain. (more…)