[New Word] Decommodifier

All is not well in the world as we are coming to know it in a warped way.
The craponomists have taken over the asylum and have commodified people, trees and even the air we breath. We have been duped into cost-benefit, market-think as the only way in and out of situations.
The search is on for ways of reversing this trend in order that our judgments and dealings be properly appreciated for what they are. These ways are called decommodifiers.

For instance, the Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights, a prayer by a tree and freedom of movement.


Day 3 of WSF 2011 Dakar

More on Climate Change responses, Migrant rights, Rio +20, the integration of development and military agencies (eg. AFRICOM and USAID) commodification and social movements vs political parties.

A blossoming of book launches from hagiographies of Samir Amin to Nepali development reports on vulnerability in south asia. 

Met a Navvao uncleji with 'Fighting Terrorism since 1492' on his T shirt, who spoke movingly about Mother Earth, his community's analysis fo the white settler, what some of us would call fitra.

A surprising amount of people are using the WSF as a field work opportunity. Social Movement porn?  Did my own interview today :-), of one of the student volunteers. didnt seem to be aware that anything was wrong. bless.

Tomorrow we move to convergences. Look forward to knowing what they are and where they are exactly.


As the arrmies of the west become more integrated with unDevelopment charades,  do unDevelopment workers become military targets and hence lose the halo they hold highly above their own heads?

How will Islamic countries respond to Mother Earth approach of Bolivia? Are we simply envirornamental about these things?

Why do people say 'Science says' so much?


2nd day of the World Social Forum

The disorganisation committee had been working hard today!

Despite its best efforts we managed to stumble upon Naomi Klein, Susan George and Pablo Solon [Bolivian Ambassador to the UN] discussing the upcoming G20 mayhem, with Climate Change, Financial Crises and the Arab Revolutions on the mind. Bolivia famously resisted the crappy climate consensus of capitulation at Cancun last year, and had developed a non market based Rights of Mother Earth to issues of nature and human survival which I will explore in coming posts.

There was a decent session on Food sovereignty and global trade politics and several on corporate land grabbing and resistance. Couldnt help but feel for the people and possibilities that have been wasted and unrealised by organisational difficulties and obstacles. We shouldnt have to put up with this.

Tonight we went to visit a friend at a hotel next to the fortresslike USAID HQ, enough said really.


At the World Social Forum in Dakar

Have been in Senegal for about a week in the run up to the Social Forum. Incerdible place, wish you were here with us. Sufi, Social, Musical, Majical. Check this, a few nights ago I heard a band called Nuru Kane, Bai Fall  Gnawa featuring Kora AND Oud. The kora sounded like light from heaven pouring out of a rip in the sky. This land's characters have made and continue to make, great contributions to Islamic and general culture. Even the boaba trees look like they could walk up to you and give you a good old frisking! bellebellebelle.

Today was the first 'business' day of the forum and participants have come from all over. Corporate NGOs (have already bumped into CRAP) and internationalist thinktanks do feature but by far its not the NGO fair that I feared. The theme for the day was Africa and Diasporas, well reflected in the sessions and conversations that we had as well as the questions im off to lala land with.

TrustAfrica's "Culture as Weapon" was chaired/interpreted and signed with states(wo)manly awesomeness. Dr Abduoulwaye Niange especially impressed. HE'S got a DOCTORATE IN BREAK DANCE! Needless to say the political and social value of hiphop is not under estimated in the content of urban culture in this country. The discussions ranged and searched and are only beginning to sink in at the moment (Art in politics, challenges of amateur/professionalism, the culture of cooperation and conditionality, social media, BS culture, financing, relations with power/state..). To top it off, arather jubilant tunisian bromrade played us out with an oud powered song.

Following a yasser poulet lunch, conversations with a mouritian teacher, a senegerman environmental worker and a good old fashioned brain-squeeze of an autonomous artist couple we made it to the Liberation Theology run session on Borders/immigration and the right to free movement. There have been several Caravan trips here, from Bamako and other African places. These intervention/protest acts have been highlighting how Europe is outsourcing its border control to north african regimes, and how much of west africa's regional unity is paper-based and not backed up by tarmac and political-administrative enablement.

The Campus mosque is a really happy place too. Dropped the mandatorys and proceeded in the direction of some cafe touba (spicy coffee). But not before experiencing some heavy heavy Tijani (?) dhikr from one of the student halls.

Ended the night watching a Malian musical-theatrical troupe perform a fantastic production on migrant experience.

Follow the World Social Forum here.