Rinzin & Sadaf
GS 302: Cultural Theory
Global Solidarity Movements: Palestine, Tibet, and Beyond by Eve Stoddard and John Collins
Having read this chapter about solidarity, both Sadaf and I recognize the importance of Solidarity movement and how it is still relevant today and both in our native country.
Rinzin: “I always knew solidarity was not a light subject, especially coming from a country with many political struggles. In this article, Stoddard and Collins mention that solidarity is the fundamental block which links people from similar grassroots from the below. In a more simpler term, sometimes, solidarity consists of hope, a unity of struggle and common humanity which unites people with a similar struggle. In this article, Stoddard and Collins mention that over the years solidarity movement in response to local political struggle is becoming much more globalized and media plays a huge part in spreading that awareness. I think, the reason why the Tibetan issue is known globally today is that of the role that media played in spreading awareness of the Tibetans struggle to the rest of the world. Without media, I think the issue of Tibet would still be very much of a local struggle”.
Sadaf: One of the main discussions that Rinzin and I had tonight has been the struggle that both of our native countries have been through. Both Afghanistan and Tibet have been through tragedies that make the solidarity movements that Stoddard and Collins mention absolutely critical. However, in my own case, by looking at Appadurai’s ethnoscape, I realized that Afghanistan because of the terrain and different ethnicities are not as united and rarely are able to show up and show out for a solidarity movement. For example, womens rights are issue that the government and many people in Afghanistan have conceded to as being problematic and yet there has been little to no solidarity movements. By looking at somewhere like Palestine its clear that the ethnoscape of the different religions and background that makeup Palestine have encouraged more activists and people to stand with Palestine as they struggle to be free of Israeli rule.
Rinzin: Appadurai five “scapes” which are ethnoscapes, technoscapes, financescapes, mediascapes, and ideoscapes can be used in understanding the social and cultural part of the solidarity movement. Sadaf and I both have seen ideoscapes used in our native country by using words, images, logos to shape people’s way of thinking. The Dalai Lama’s image is used frequently when protesting and resisting against China. Not only is he a Nobel Peace prize winner but he is widely known for his compassion and spreading love. I never understood the correlation before this reading but now I understand that the Tibetan protesters are in a way using the Dalai Lama’s picture for their political agenda. By using the Dalai Lama’s picture, there has been a lot of awareness in the Tibetan struggle over the past years in mostly Global South. For an example, Richard Gere who is a famous Hollywood actor is a really good friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his friendship with the Dalai Lama, he understood the struggle and injustice and he is now a dedicated supporter and activist of Tibet.
Question: If media was not in the context, would local struggles against a hegemonic group ever be a globalized struggle?