Trinkets and Beads
Walker Christopher links the 15th century in North America and the 21st century in Amazon through his anthropological film, Trinkets and Beads. The video is about native people of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador verses oil companies. Walker was able to link the two centuries by narrating about the incidences that went through in 1957 until 1994. In the late 1950s, Texaco and Shell oil companies exploited the Amazon forest by drilling the lands (Walker). The companies eventually left the land after causing pollution to the lands. The video offers continuous narration of the evangelistic efforts of Saint Rachel, Huaorani massacre of five missionaries and how the MAXUS manipulation of the Huaorani leaders. However, it fails to provide logical reasons that led to the defeat of Moi’s-a Huaorani leader-resistance. Moi was an influential leader who believed that the Amazon should not be destroyed since it is beneficial to the whole world. Moreover, he had managed to unite the tribe and since the Huaorani people are the most feared tribe in Amazon, it was hard for them to be defeated.
Eventually, the MAXUS Company signed an agreement with the local people in 1993 (Walker). They managed to achieve their goals through manipulations by the missionaries in the land. In addition, the close relationship between MAXUS’s general manager and Rachel Saint, the resident missionary facilitated the agreement between the company and the natives. Company representatives, the government and the military encouraged the natives to allow oil drilling in the forest. Nonetheless, statements made by the oil industry consultant, Hatly Alan, are amusing. How unintelligent could the natives be when they still agreed to allow oil drilling in their land despite them knowing about Alan’s provoking statements? Alan states that the company’s aim is to protect the environment, use less money, find oil faster and make a lot of profit as fast as possible. It is confusing because the natives had earlier on experienced the aftermath of oil drilling yet they still agreed that the process should continue. Additionally, they would be left poorer whereas Northern America became richer.
Smouldering aspirations: burning buildings and the politics of belonging in
Eli Elinoff’s article is an analysis that examines the economic and political aspiration of North Eastern Thais by linking them to Bangkok’s skyline. His article proposes that the events that occurred in 2009 and 2010 in Isan were movements by the people who were not only seeking recognition from the government but also an opening of the economic and political order (Elinoff 381). Conversely, the events that took place during that period had the characteristics of a group of citizens who were up against the government. Reasons behind their actions revolve around their lack of political and economic opportunities in the region that results in low economic standards. Moreover, the citizens’ actions do not conform to those of people who are seeking recognition. This is because instead of conducting peaceful protestations, they disrupted the normal functioning of region by taking over shopping areas and blocking roads. Hence, the citizens’ actions cannot be termed as being democratic.
The author explains that poor citizens comply with the laws in Bangkok through their efforts of trying to develop the city though most of the laws work against their favor, resulting in poor living conditions, hence reducing their economic standards. The citizens work to attain better conditions in the region. He emphasizes that the only reason that the nation protests is that they feel neglected (Elinoff 383). Nevertheless, Eli’s justifications are not valid. In order for an individual to be identified as having a passion for the city, he or she has to take part in actions that are beneficial to the region. This is contrary to the actions of the citizen in Isan. They burned down shopping malls and created chaos in most parts of the city, which resulted in an internal conflict. As a result, numerous lives were lost and the government incurred huge loses. Therefore, the people cannot be viewed as good citizens who were only seeking recognition.
Elinoff, Eli. “Smouldering Aspirations: Burning Buildings and the Politics of Belonging in Contemporary Isan.” South East Asia Research. 20.3 (2012): 381-398. Print.
Walker, Christopher. Trinkets & Beads. New York: Faction Films, 2000.
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