Blood Diamond Essay

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Blood Diamond Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1273

  • Pages: 5

Blood Diamond

The realization that there is always something bad mixed with good hit her like a tornado as she watched the movie Blood Diamond. Unconsciously she fingered the stone on her finger and wished she had not worn it. She had to blink back the tears stinging her eyes as she saw children being put to work at alluvial mines, and other workers being amputated and killed for sport. I almost choked with guilt when I remembered how I had gaily remarked, ‘Diamonds are forever,’ when my friend showed me the diamond ring her boyfriend had gotten her.

We were not giggling anymore when we saw a World Vision quote… ‘amputation is forever. ’ On seeing the movie, we decided that we had to do something about the conflict diamond issue. We felt so bad about not getting information concerning the origin off the diamond my friend wore, we would never know for sure whether it was a conflict diamond or not. Blood diamond and conflict diamonds are more or less synonymous terms. The UN defines a conflict diamond as a “diamond whose origin is an area which is controlled by forces that are opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments.

The diamonds are used to finance military action to oppose the government of the day or to contravene the decisions of security council (UN,www. un. org/peace/Africa/Diamond html) Most of these diamonds have their origin in Africa with countries like Sierra leone, Liberia, Angola and DR Congo being among those most affected. Though diamonds are mined in Liberia, it offers more of a marketing and ‘supporting point’ role for the Blood Diamond trade. Civil wars in Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone are funded with diamonds that have been smuggled into Liberia which are later sold and the cash is used to purchase ammunition, guns and other weapons.

Liberia has imposed some violence of its own lasting 8 years killing around 200,000and displaying thousands more (Stop Blood Diamond Organization, 2007). Reports by Amnesty International and Global Witness show that there are areas in Liberia where diamond are still mined and traded which are controlled by rebels. Worse, these have been report of links between the infamous alqaida and Liberia (Amnesty USA,2007). The 9/11 attacks have been linked to funds and weapons associated with the diamond mines of Sierra Leone.

The diamonds are usually mined by civilians who are used as slaves after being caught as prisoners. The civilians, children included, work in poor conditions and are punished brutally for the slightest error. Killing for sport and amputation are regular occurrences. (Stop Blood Diamonds Organization, 2007). Some of the abducted children eventually become child soldiers. John Lahia, a 15 year old child soldier was among the victims of the war that has led to starvation, disease and war wounds for many refugees.

He was wounded by an exploding rocket-propelled geradeand died of a tetanus infection, far away from medical aid that would have otherwise saved his life. The Revolutionary United Front(RUF) medics left him lying in a backwater hospital with his wounds taped for lack of better medical means to treat him. This too will be the likely fate of other combatants and all this because of the greed for diamond (Campbell,2007). A sure way to eradicate conflict diamond is to end conflict areas. Peacekeeping that aims at apprehension and removal of rebels without violation of human rights of civilians can be used to achieve this.

Inernational agencies need to focus on ending hostilities so diamond production can return to the hands of the government; this will enable the countries in question to benefit from rather than be torn apart by their diamond mines. In 1999, the UN deployed a mission to deal with the problem of conflict diamonds. The Kimberly cerrtification scheme requires provision of a certificate of origin for diamonds. The aim is to cut off flow of diamonds from illegitimate sources. This process however has several shortcomings.

The certificates can be forged, many diamonds can be smuggled into a dean country and even when certificates are real the officials may have been bribed. This is a reality especially because in most of the war torn countries poverty and suffering are rife. Most people will only be too glad to line their pockets with the bribes offered. Sensitizing the American Public on issues to do with conflict diamonds is another strategy. This has already began especially in the entertainment industry with such movies as Dicaprios Blood Dianond and James Bond Die another Day and Kanye West’s song, ‘Diamond are Forever’.

Further flooding of the public with more information through as many avenues as possible will ensure that people are aware of the origin and human terror and suffering that comes with some diamonds. This will in turn create a low market for the diamonds, slowing down the flux of diamonds into the country. In the present situation, supply of diamond and human suffering in the country of origin have a direct correlation, decreasing supply from illegitimate sources will consequently lead to a decrease in suffering of the Africa children and civilians affected.

US contributes 70%of the worlds diamond trade making it a leading customer of diamond. (VOA News, 2007). The US therefore has a role in spearheading the fight against conflict diamond. The government should insist on strengthening the Kimberley process and the Clean Diamond Trade Act. By providing more forceful support, technical aid and financial aid. African countries can be assisted to develop the Kimbeley process such that its effect is felt by the corrupt officials and rebels overseeing mining of blood diamond.

The Government Accountability office has had several proposal which include spot checks of diamond companies and tracking of rough diamonds inside and outside the country of origin. (Globalwitness, 2007). These need application and immediate application. Regular checking of the progress of US wagh diamond trade statistics Is an important evaluation tool for the effect of blood diamond and assessment of how the problem is being combated. Though my friend and I are not sure of the origins of the diamond she wears on her finger we are more knowledgeable about conflict diamonds.

As a result our circle of friends also know more and now most of our college is no longer ignorant about the issue. Through our campaigns we encourage people to ask about the origin of the diaomonds they are just about to buy. This means that as a nation we are thinking about and doing something in consideration of the people whose lives have been lost in the diamond trade. REFERENCES Amnesty USA Conflict Diamond retrived from www. amnestyusa. org/new/doc/diamonds-survey-text. pdf Campbell G. Blood Diamonds, Amnesty Magazine retrieved from www. amnestyusa. org/amnestynw/diamond s. html Conflict Diamond retrieved from

Www. un. org/peace/Africa/Diamond. html Globalwitness, Combating conflict Diamonds,retrieved Sep 1 2007 from http://www. globalwitness. orga/pages/en/conflictdiamonds. html Stop Blood Diamond Organization, Stop Blood Diamond, conflict Diamond in Africa retrieved from www. stopblooddiamonds. org/children-of-Africa. asp VOA News US cogress Tackle Blood Diamond trade retrieved sep 1, 2007 from www. voanews. can/english/archive/2002-02/a-2002-02-4-2-us. cfm. World vision, Stop the Trade in Blood Diamond, retrieved sep 1 2007 from Worldvision. org/worldvision/stable/globalissues-conflictdiamond.

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Blood Diamond Essay

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Blood Diamond Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 748

  • Pages: 3

Blood Diamond

In history, it was on 1866 that the first diamond was officially discovered and in the South Africa. Hope Town, South Africa claimed that the first dazzling gems were found in their place. At the early times, South African people’s way of existence was through agriculture. The whole evolution and the development of the contemporary Industrial South Africa have begun with the discovery of this diamonds in the Kimberley area. The discovery of the diamonds was said to be the most intense, vivid and the brightest spot in the South Africa’s economic history in the mid-to-late 1800s.

The actual stones are millions of years old and were brought to the earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions of molten rock. The diamond makes up kimberlite or the primary deposit along with alluvial deposits, also known as secondary deposits. The results of erosion from the primary deposit are those that are commonly found in rivers or any watercourse that are along the shoreline. Diamond mining has become an advantage to South Africa and elsewhere in the African continent.

On the other hand, this valuable gem had become a source of horror and becomes a dreadful alarm, terrorizing the nations such as Sierra Leone, Angola, as well in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Blood diamond also known as the conflict diamond, the dirty diamond and the war diamond is the diamond which can be mined and excavated in a war zone and be sold. The control over the diamond mines has become linked to the bloody civil wars filled with abuses, hostility, resentment and violence.

Blood diamond also known as the conflict diamonds are from areas wherein the recognized government is being opposed. This diamonds are all used to support and finance all kinds of the military actions in opposition to those governments. In a universal point of view, diamonds are valued and are symbols of love as well as elegance and wealth of the beholder. But blood diamonds are actually be implicated with hate, violence and destructions. In several African nations diamond has become the means to power.

Because diamonds are transferable, undetectable, easily obscured it lends themselves to smuggling, corruption, a reason to terrorized millions of innocent civilians and financing some of the world’s brutal terrorist. It is said that most of the African warlords uses blood diamonds in order to finance wars. It had been recorded that thousands of people had been forced by the armies to search or mine diamonds. Another sad fact is that the reward of theses people of the hard work of mining diamonds was more or less a mere cup of rice per day.

During the civil war, part of the trade of the blood diamonds, people of Sierra Leone were maltreated by rebels, some had also lost there hands, arms and other body parts in the hands of the rebels. In 1998, the United Nations forbid countries to diamonds from Angola. It can be said that it was the first resolution made by the United Nations regarding the support received by rebels through the blood diamonds. In 1990, it was reported that the percentage of the illicit diamond trade had fallen to around 1%.

The very first blood diamond that had been found can be tracked down to the year 1866 near Kimberley in Africa. Today, millions of people are employed in mining diamonds across the Sub Saharan Africa because of the gems value and quality. Diamonds travels pick up today-from the mine up to the market place and finally to the hand of the people and nation who are enthusiast and extreme to pay big amount of money and riches just to have such gem. Diamonds are representation of different kinds of images from love and passion to disaster, catastrophe, rivalry, battle and war.

The most interesting about diamonds that is also common to all is that all diamonds had travelled a course that is rough-shorn and also, every piece has its own fascinating and interesting story. References Bakhtiar, R. (2001). Diamonds lure wealth, conflict to african nations. Retrieved January 19, 2008 from http://cnnstudentnews. cnn. com/2001/fyi/news/11/22/diamond. history/index. htm Cahill, P. (no date). A diamond’s journey begins. Retrieved January 19, 2008 from http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/15842523/

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Blood Diamond Essay

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Blood Diamond Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 793

  • Pages: 3

Blood Diamond

The makers of “Blood Diamond,” an exceptionally thriller starring a most excellent Leonardo DiCaprio, want you to know there may be blood on your hands, specifically your wedding finger. The story involves so-called conflict diamonds, illicitly mined stones that have been used to finance some of the most vicious wars in Africa. If films were judged solely by their good intentions, this one would be best in show. Instead, gilded in money and dripping with sanctimony, confused and mindlessly contradictory, the film is a textbook example of how easily commercialism can trump do-goodism, particularly in Hollywood.

The 2006 movie (Blood Diamond) was recently seen by me, this is an American political war thriller film produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world. During Sierra Leone Civil War in 1996–2001, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebels.

It also portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections. The film’s ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, is in reference to an actual meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 2000 and led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds. In the face of the evidence, it is impossible to list any benefits for blood diamonds.

They have been condemned by the United Nations. The sheer scale of the civil war in Sierra Leone they helped to fund, in which an estimated 120,000 people were killed from 1991 to 2001, proves that these illegitimate diamonds do nothing but cause human suffering. In February 2011, Charles Taylor’s trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone heard that he received “mayonnaise jars” full of blood diamonds from the Revolutionary United Front, providing them with the arms they needed in return.

The U. S. appens to be the largest consumer of conflict diamonds, purchasing over $33. 7 billion dollars’ worth of the rocks in 2005. Wondering what conflict diamonds are? I’m no fawning fan of DiCaprio, but the film “Blood Diamond” is nowhere near as fictional as we’d like it to be. Conflict diamonds involve abuse, corruption and death. There goes that gorgeous, shimmery, sparkling stone set in platinum I’ve been dreaming about. This movie and together with some other researches I did has made me to come into a conclusion and a question if I would ever wear a diamond.

Here are important reasons, We’ve been conditioned to want a diamond. Who isn’t tired of the advertising and marketing ploys used to brainwash us into believing our value as women rests on the size of our…gem? (Toss that in with measurements and marital status and we’ve got an endless supply of not-good-enough. ) Marketers have thrown us a giant, glittering bone, and watched the profits pile up as we’ve chased, fetched and rolled over in order to conform to what we’ve been conditioned to believe is the only acceptable standard.

Diamond prices have been artificially inflated by the diamond cartel. The average diamond sold in the U. S. has been over-graded in quality by 2 grades, and the average U. S. couple pays twice what they should for an engagement ring. Do i really want to enter into a lifelong commitment with a man who’s willing to waste his hard-earned cash on a diamond, especially when said diamond is ridiculously overpriced? Diamond mines damage the environment. This is important, even though it’s true of all types of mining, not just diamond mining.

Mines are dangerous for workers (including children) and threaten our planet, too. I wish there were a way to dig that deep without so much damage. A diamond is not forever. Nothing is forever. Engagements, marriages, jobs, you name it. If they happen to last a long time, then you are indeed a very lucky person. Why do we kid ourselves into believing that a sparkling rock, delivered to us on the backs of the abused, purchased for more than it’s worth, marketed for more than it means and obtained at the expense of our own dear planet will keep love alive?.

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Blood Diamond Essay

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Blood Diamond Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1343

  • Pages: 5

Blood Diamond

Africa was known as “The Dark Continent” during the Victorian Era, believed by Europeans to be a land where even the slightest trace of civilization tends to collapse under madness and savagery. It seems especially common for Europeans to assume that anyone who ventures into Africa would then sink into an irrevocable state of delirium. Such notion was amplified by Joseph Conrad, who, in Heart of Darkness, took Africa as a land so free from moral restraints that no civility could stand from being pulverized by its darkness.

Blood Diamond, dating a hundred years after Heart of Darkness, presents a different view. Although the film seems to faithfully support the conventional view of Africa as a place that forces its inhabitants into madness, a closer examination of Blood Diamond shows that, quite the opposite of depicting Africa as The Dark Continent, the film actually rebuts the view by emphasizing the underlying grace of the land. Blood Diamond sends out the message that rather then being the other way around, it is the colonizers of Africa who are forcing the continent into its present state of violence and madness.

Through contrasting between parts of Africa with assorted degrees of western influence, director Edward Zwick shows that Africa without colonization would be a land of peace and grace. This contrast is established between the depiction of an RUF (Revolutionary United Front) headquarters and an elusive school that lies within the immutable jungles of Africa. Zwick uses costume to represent western ideals brought to Africa through colonization when portraying the RUF headquarters.

When Danny Archer first gets off the plane to do business with Commander Zero, the audience is introduced to a group of African teenagers dressed in shockingly familiar looking attires. Indeed Captain Rambo, a member of the RUF, is dressed in no way different from any North American boy. His clothing without doubt emulates the fashion of North American hip-hop generation. His wide sunglasses, baggy pants, and chain necklace all too well indicate western influence. It is only when he holds up a gun that the audience senses a strong odour of irony.

The gangster image that prevails this RUF headquarters contrasts with a peaceful African community in the midst of the jungle, a community in which the effect of colonization is less apparent. In fact, Zwick speaks of this community as an “island of sanity”. The term “island” denotes not only a sense of isolation from the atrocity of the surrounding world, but also a sense of isolation from western influence. It is within this community that a group of child soldiers are carefully returned to life.

Of these two African communities, the one that displays a crave for western ideals is the one that rears violence and madness, whereas the primitive jungle described as the very medium of suffocation in Heart of Darkness becomes the place where sanity is restored. Through contrasting between a world greatly influenced by colonization and a world that is not yet penetrable to its grasp, Blood Diamond clearly conveys the idea that it is the white people who are jeopardizing Africa’s graceful soul with their intrusion, and it is the colonizers of Africa who are ultimately responsible for any violence seen there today.

Zwick also uses various types of shots to establish Africa as a graceful land. Although scenes of RUF troops committing heinous violence are omnipresent in Blood Diamond, Zwick does not forget to show what Africa was like before war and colonization. The use of master shots often precedes any scenes of violence in the film to constantly remind the audience of the majestic panorama of Africa. Shots of grand canyons, peaceful sunset, and misty cities again and again take the audience’ breath away.

These shots are images of Africa entirely different from those underscoring problems of poverty and hunger commonly seen in media, thereby are all the more shocking. It is indeed hard for one to find a trace of savagery or madness in this landscape. Without these shots, one would laugh with an air dismissal when Dia says to his father “teacher says our country (Sierra Leone) was built to be an utopia”. But with these breathtaking images, the audience cannot help but to ruminate over Dia’s belief that “when the war is over, our country will become a paradise.

Apart from using master shots, Blood Diamond also employs wide shots to convey similar ideas. The film opens with a wide shot of fishermen working against sunrise. In the shot, the black silhouettes moving quietly yet arduously against the breaking dawn of the sky effectively convey a sense of peace. By integrating various types of shots into the content of the film in a meaningful manner, Zwick successfully delivers his desire to show what Africa was like before colonization. These shots are key to establishing Africa as a land of peace before its colonizer’s arrival.

Zwick also conveys the idea that it is the Europeans who are responsible Africa’s present chaotic state by probing the different meanings of diamond in Africa and in Europe. A character responsible for this layer of the film is a sadistic RUF mine general– General Poison. Following after the priceless diamond like an animal after the smell of carcass, General Poison is depicted as the very heart of distortion and madness throughout the film. In the prison scene, Zwick’s use of lighting and colour effectively turns General Poison into the icon of animosity similar to that described in Heart of Darkness.

The prison scene is dominated by a sickly luscious combination of brown, green, and red, creating a canvas that is hunted by greed and fear. Here, Zwick plays around with the employment of fluorescence light to give General Posion the aura of a mad dog as he barks at Solomon Vandy. Yet General Poison reveals something rather astonishing near the end– he craves for that diamond not because of greed, like the diamond dealers in London, but because he wants to escape his own cruelty. “You think I am a devil, but it is only because I have been in hell.

I want to get out, and you will help me”. This is what the general says to Solomon, and the audience learns that he too is a prisoner suffering from the effects of colonization. General Poison craves for that priceless diamond not because of the wealth it shall bring, but because it is his only ticket out. As soon as this is revealed, the audience learns that his devilish behaviour is not the result of his native instinct; rather, it is the result of having to cope with the values of white men. It is white people, the colonizers, who are forcing him into madness.

Suffocated by the atrocity of colonization, he must act cruelly to free himself from his own madness. This internal irony shows that Africa is not a continent with the natural tendency to drive its inhabitants into madness; rather, the madness seen in the film is only the result of Africans trying to cope with the values of their colonizers. In Blood Diamond, Zwick effectively combines style and content to show that Africa is not a continent of darkness and savagery; rather, the moral dilapidation seen there today is the result of colonization.

Indeed instead of pushing those who venture into its land beyond the boundaries of civilization, Africa is itself a prisoner and a sufferer. It is with productions like Blood Diamond that the images outlined in Heart of Darkness become increasingly relegated from the status of a journal to that of a fiction. It is with productions like Blood Diamond that the truth about Africa is slowly revealed. In a way, Blood Diamond has given Africa a testimony of its grace that is rather long overdue.

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