Fwd (GLW): Small nation, big message
abradley1 at bigpond.com
Sun Dec 9 06:08:10 MST 2001
The following article appears in the current issue of Green Left Weekly
Small nation, big message
BY AZIZ CHOUDRY
An Evergreen Island
A film by Fabio Cavadini and Mandy King
Order from <cavadini at tpgi.com.au>
We are swamped with information about the impact of corporate capitalism,
structural adjustment and the power and influence of transnational
corporations. We are bludgeoned with propaganda about the inevitability of
globalisation, of there being no alternative to the global free market
economy, of promises of globalisation with a human face. The US-led "war
against terrorism" has rained yet more death and destruction on the people
of Afghanistan. The globalisers are on a counterattack against their critics
as they try to claw back ground that they had lost. Right now, we could all
do with some good news.
The independently produced documentary, An Evergreen Island, about
Bougainville, a South Pacific island which has survived nine years with
little assistance from the outside world has left a big impression on me.
Made by Australian filmmakers Fabio Cavadini and Mandy King, it should
resonate with all who struggle against the power of global capital and are
concerned about genuine alternatives to the global free market economy. It
should be watched by all who believe that it is impossible to exist without
being beholden to products of the transnationals, and with all of us who
believe that we can.
An Evergreen Island has become a permanent fixture in my luggage while I
have been on the road in North America and Asia since September. The people
to whom I have shown it seem to have been as inspired by it as I was when I
first saw it a few months ago.
Bougainville is part of the Solomon Islands archipelago, and lies about 700
kilometres east of Papua New Guinea. Like so many other lands and peoples,
it is the victim of arbitrary borders set by former colonial rulers during
their scramble to control and exploit the Pacific.
Bougainvilleans neither accepted Australian colonial rule nor incorporation
into an independent Papua New Guinea in September 1975. In the early 1970s,
demands for a referendum to give the people of Bougainville the right to
genuinely determine their own future were denied. Meanwhile, the island was
being ravaged by one of the world's most rapacious transnational
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