The film below set in Sierra Leone was made in 2009. I came across it embedded in an article in the Telegraph.
In view of the recent flooding which has taken place, I was drawn to learn more about the environmental challenges the country faces.
Initially I found it slightly negative and a little damning, but I decided not be overly sensitive, but to watch objectively, and can say that equally, many good points are raised here.
The issue of people living in slums are the same all over the world, and are by no means unique to Sierra Leone [click] Nigeria, India.. the list goes on.
Many blame capitalism or rather neoliberalism and the free market for the increase in inequality and poverty, especially for those living in developing countries.. countries most reliant on foreign aid, and impacted by structural adjustment policies.
Sierra Leone is incredibility beautiful. From the moment I arrived, I was in love with its beauty, its character, its soul.
Slums, wherever they may be; present (in my opinion) many interesting yet paradoxical attributes. Whilst they can be viewed as an example of communal living, with the kind of extended family structures and support networks in place that would benefit any person, they are also self perpetuating.
Perhaps it's easy for me to say.. don't litter where you live.
Perhaps it's easy for me to say, badger your government representative or chief to improve refuge collection, safe water and washing facilities... work out a system together,
Of course it's easy for me to say. I was born an raised in the UK, in London. Water ever present in the taps, electricity at the flick of a switch and the refuge collected every week.
Do I consider where the refuge goes once it leaves me?.. if I'm honest..probably not , but I should.
Why?... well a great deal of our electronic waste ends up in places like ghana ( for example)
Some electronic good are made with specifications just to last a few years.
Some may say well... it's an income for those at the other end of the chain... its a living, an opportunity, a job
Perhaps... but I guess I'm saying I need to be more aware, more conscious and alot more thoughtful.
But as people, we sometimes become complacent. we adapt to our surrounding. Often, we accept.. in the belief that we have no hope of change. So.. things stay the same. The challenge is to break out of the inertia and believe that not only is change possible, but that we as people .. deserve it.
Should there still be slums.. when we are surrounded by so much wealth?