Good storytelling strengthens social movements
We are primarily a group of students between the ages 18 and 28 in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. We felt that the mainstream media in our city presented everything in binaries thereby leaving out a whole range of very important issues. For instance, the only two modes of economic movement or “development” are seen as being either on the agricultural path (where the media portrays agriculture to be an unproductive monolith from the past) or on the industrial path (where industry, despite its strong-arm aggressive mode of being, is seen as a pill which will magically generate thousands of jobs for the unemployed youth and eradicate poverty from India). Similarly, political opinion is seen by the mainstream media as being…
The Dongria Kondh, India
The Dongria Kondh are trying to stop FTSE 100 British company Vedanta from mining their sacred mountain and destroying their land and their livelihood. They recently travelled to the state capital to hold a demonstration. There is a network of people in India supporting them, and this is seen as a test case in a country where tribal peoples are being swept aside to make way for rapid industrialisation. The Indian Supreme Court is due to rule later in the summer on whether Vedanta can go ahead with the mine.
The Yanomami are probably Survival’s most emblematic case. Huge numbers of them died in the 80s and 90s when goldminers invaded their…
The Rally in the Valley
Free the Narmada, Stop the Dams.
The rickshaw speeds through the police lines in the Delhi night. We pass the candlelit vigil being held by our opponents: those seduced by the empty promises of outdated western development. I make my way to the railway station platform where I am to meet those participating in the ‘Rally in the Valley’. The Rally - in the Narmada river valley - had been organised to draw attention to the immediate prospect of submergence faced by over 50 villages in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. This is as a result of a Supreme Court order allowing work to resume on the Sardar Sarovar dam, which will increase its height…
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