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Leslie Jermyn

Thursday May 21 , 2009 Cold Wars and Proxy Wars Food insecurity in Darfur in 1990s (famine) – last lecture – - Coffee agreement collapsed – ICA (so government had to ask IMF for help - IMF imposed SAPs which had to allow import of cheap foreign food (USA food flooded market which made it difficult for farmers to survive) Outline 1. Film – Lost Treasures of Afghanistan (filmed after initial USA bombing attack, and in the middle of the ongoing conflict) 2. Intro 3. The “End” of Colonialism 4. Cold War 5. Proxy Wars and Terrorism 6. In Retrospect Film Questions - How do the directors explain what happened? How do they deal with it? Do they explain it, or leave it unexplained? - How are the Taliban portrayed? How are they spoken about? - If you knew nothing about the situation, what would you imagine was going on in Afghanistan in 2006? - To what extent do we learn anything about the complexities of Afghanistan? How do they portray the society? - Who are the “good” Muslims/Afghans in the film? What makes them good? How are we sympathetic towards them? FILM NOTES - War and terrorism has devastated Afghan cultural legacy in the last few years; Extremists have destroyed their heritage - “Treasures” represent the past culture, to reclaim their past, Afghans look to their lost treasures - Bamiyan valley – dominated by Buddhist things that dominated years ago, as it spread from China, it had some stuff here too. Bamiyan is called “valley of the Gods” because of the giant Buddhist statues, and then the Taliban government blew up the 1000 feel structures Destroyed part of Afghan heritage o Two Buddha structures were abolished by Taliban, but there is said to be a third one left o It is called the Sleeping Buddah of Bamiyan – as big as Eiffel Tower, apparently its hidden and undiscovered – the guy in the movie wants to find it - Uncovered women and men in archaeological finds, all of them were covered in solid gold ornaments. Estimated they were buried along the time of Christ. They seemed to be royal people. - 1979 – Soviet Union invaded and battled the Mujahadeen (?) - Soviets were driven out, and Afghan warlords battled over the soils - In 1993, a rocket crashed into the national museum, it was feared its antiquities had been destroyed or looted, and it was about to get worse - 1996 – Taliban fundamentalists pushed back the war lords and seemed to offer peace. But one of their first acts ws to lynch one of the former Soviet people (?) - Taliban defeated chaos with strict new rules, the law of the Quran o If someone steals, you cut off their hand o If someone commits murder, you are executed o Harsh treatment of women o QUran prohibits portraying human things – drawing or sculpting living things are bad - So Taliban destruction shifted into high gear – Taliban smashed pieces at the national museum, slashed paintings, the film archive was burned, and the radical ideology began destroying lives - Taluban said Hazaras were not Muslims and they should be killed – they did “ethnic cleansing” o Killed 2000-3000 Hazaras in raids - Taliban did not like paintings with creations of living people, so the paintings were retouched to take away the offensive material (this was illegal activity and considered treason) - There is Greek influence in Afghanistan because of Alexander the Great. Buddhism from India spread to Afghanistan too, so there was sort of a mix of both things in their art. The image of the Buddha is said to be influenced by the image of Apollo (A Greek god) - Taliban showed as a mysterious dark figure - Film archive negatives were hidden in a separate room to hide them from the Taliban - “A country which has no culture has no history” - One of the largest gold treasures of the ancient world is found in Afghanistan The “End” of Colonialism - Its called the “End” in quotations because it has not really gone away today, even though it is officially over - The official colonialism had a lot to do with the fall out from WWII, which had a lot to do with the formal dissolution between colonial powers. W o Colonies wanted freedom for their participation - Some of that war was fought on colonial soil – it was not exclusively a European war. Those who fought in the war, and those who lost family by participating in the war felt that by being on the side of the colonial people meant that they should be rewarded by those masters – freedom o Could not afford colonies- Many colonial powers were literally brought to their knees financially by the war, even if they “won” the war. They still had a hard time justifying to the people at home why they should spend any money abroad to maintain the colonies. (Politically/Financially harder to maintain colonies) - Britain negotiated with their colonies; France tried to hold on to colonies as much as they could o Led to major wars – Algeria and Vietnam o USA stepped in and fought on behalf of France, and changed the terms of the war, instead of saying it was anti-colonialist war, they said it was anti-communist war Cold War - Portugal was not directly in WWII, so it did not feel the pressures that the allied powers did, and therefore was the last colonizer in Africa o In trying to get rid of the Portuege - Indian independence in 1947, picking up speed in following years, colonies declared their independence from Europe - Newly independent countries faced new challenged because of the type of economy they inherited o Main reason to have a colony was to get resources and labour out of it, and to have those colonies act as markets to colonizers – so they did NOT have self-provisioning economies o Economies were not capable of provisioning their own people, they were dependant on trade with other countries o They specialized in exports abroad, and were exported as undervalued primary resources. o Raw materials ar
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