Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bandung 1955, Sharm al Shaikh 2009

On the opening day of the Non-aligned Movement´s conference in Sharm al Sheikh , i would like to present a photo that was taken 54 years ago in conjunction with the Bandung conference, the precursor to the Non-Aligned Movement. Held in Indonesia with the leaders from the free countries in Africa and Asia, it projected a vision of hope, modernity, and perhaps most of all, freedom for other nations still living under colonialism.

Today´s summit in Sharm al Sheikh projects nothing of that, it actually makes the G8 summit in the ruins of the earthquake shaken L'Aquila, Italy looking rather symbolic and projecting solidarity with the city, though that being exactly what Berlusconi wanted it to look like. The NAM-conference is just one more international photo op and a cash cow for the government, i would have loved the government to follow in Berlusconi´s footsteps for once, Duweiqa would have been the perfect venue, and the topic should have been one of tackling informal settlements/slums, poverty and job creation, and the widening gap between rthe haves and the have nots in the member states , in short, how to create a better life for the ones who needs it the most.

The movement that started out with high hopes and a vision of a better future, needs to find it´s focus and purpose again, right now it´s just a blur and a mess. The conference being held at a lovely though artificial venue will not change that.

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