This week for our assignment we were required to watch a Danish documentary, ‘Blood in the Mobile’. Before watching it I knew little to nothing about the minerals that constitute towards the making of a mobile phone and perhaps naïvely nothing about how the sales of these minerals are funding wars in the Congo. After finishing the documentary I am left disturbed, I had planned on buying my sister a phone for Christmas, but as I search on my laptop for the best phone at the best price I can’t help but think that while I’m sitting here as a white woman in a western context searching for gadgets from the comfort of my bed the atrocities that must be endured on the other side of the world to meet my demand.
How can we live so comfortably awaiting the arrival of the new fad gadget while there are children being crushed by these mines, there are men being killed and women being raped to supply our demand. The fact is these workers go to mine these minerals in the hope of a better life, more money and a comfortable safe home. The interview with the young lad Chance had been working in the mine since he was 13 years of age in the hope to afford his own house. As outlined in the documentary-armed groups man the area and charge commission and tax on what the workers make leaving them with little, meaning they are trapped in the circle and never able to leave the mining camp.
How is it possible that a multimillion-pound industry can allow so much inequality at the bottom of the pyramid? But hasn’t it always been this way? The bit that really makes me feel sick is how the big industrial companies manage to remove the humanity from these workers because they cannot see them – Out of sight out of mind. Technology is such a powerful tool that can be used to bring the world closer together and that can be seen through globalisation but in fact it feels like it could be driving us apart. In the western world, at the top of these big corporations they are probably run by someone who works 9 til’ 5, five days a week, with sick pay and holiday pay, at the end of the day when they go home to their family it’s not their problem. Yet for the poor child who has to grow up without a father, or the poor woman who was repeatedly raped after armed gangs killed her husband, their problem lives with them for every hour of every day. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have to go to work every day down a mineshaft and wondering if this will be the day it collapses on top of me. I must admit that without having watched this documentary I wouldn’t have had any idea about the atrocities, I was bind to the whole issue. Because of how far away the Congo is from the UK and because of how biased the western media is, they’re not going to show such atrocities while the man at the top is making all the profit.
What was incredibly apparent from watching this documentary was how the journalist, Frank was passed from pillar to post with regards to the subject, no one wanted to admit fault in relation to the issue and without recognising their own faults how could a resolution be made. The terrible thing is I wasn’t shocked by what I saw before me, it’s almost become something to expect from the world and it horrifies me to see myself tapping these words away… There are so many injustices and inequalities in this world and I personally cannot see it getting better any time soon. The exploitation that is carried out across the world puts the money into the pocket of the rich and the workers are left to suffer…