Saturday, 2 July 2005

Different views

As the countdown continues I think it's important to reflect on some of the alternative perspectives on the concerts and the potential impacts of and debt relief.

George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago described the G8 decision to cancel some of the debt as "Spin, lies and corruption" - questioning the motivation of the world leaders involved and particularly the conditions being placed on the debtor countries.

David Stubbs, Reviews Editor of Wired, writing on the BBC site raises a number of reasons that he won't be watching Live8 but they seem to boil down to his dislike of the music on offer.

For a truly diverse selection of views try Global Voices. It includes a quote from a Kenyan blogger, Thinker's Room:
If a concert in Africa would have me sceptical, words cannot describe just how I fail to see how the remotest benefit a 1 million strong concert in Edinburgh will be derived by a poor fisherman in Lamu. I don't see how one million partygoers will contribute to the filling of stomachs in Darfur, or a reduction of the gunfire. This concert, oddly enough, does not seem to have any African musicians performing aside from the good old token Yossou N'dour, something that will no doubt soon be hastily corrected and laughed off as a "technical oversight".
But not all voices are dissenting - I think it's a fantastic resource tying together the thoughts and views of people far more directly involved than those of us in the affluent West but I think it also points to another issue. One must imagine that the real people in need, the people in Dafur, are still not able to make their voices heard on the web - and I'm not for one moment suggesting that this should be a priority for anyone - but we still receive all the images and words mediated by others. We should remember that while we have the luxury of sharing our ideas and thoughts from the comfort of our homes and offices there are millions of people for whom the Internet means nothing - they are just too busy trying to stay alive!

0 careful considerations: