Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Power of Words and Pictures

Several years ago, in my human rights writing class, we did a project to raise awareness on campus about the violence-controlled mines in eastern Congo that were producing the elements that went into the phones and computers and cameras, etc., that we all hold so dear. I was thrilled to see this well-written National Geographic article, "The Price of Precious" give an update. Read the whole thing, and check out the incredible pictures.
The states that since 2010, thanks to human rights advocacy, (especially the amazine Enough Project) there has been considerable improvement in getting companies to use conflict-free minerals in their electronics. For example "By the end of 2012 Intel’s microprocessors were conflict free for tantalum, though the company cannot guarantee that a dash of other conflict minerals, like gold, tin, or tungsten, hasn’t made it into their microchips." 
Equally interesting is the fact that this photographer's pictures single-handedly turned an influential group of Swiss gold buyers away from rebel-controlled gold mines. The power of words and pictures...

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