Monday, July 19, 2010

Bandung Conference 1955

right now, i'm also reading Black Power: Three Books from Exile: Black Power; The Color Curtain; and White Man, Listen! by Richard Wright. really good compilation book. every piece of literature i read by Richard Wright further reiterates the fact that he is one of the greatest literary minds and social critics in history.
currently, i'm reading a chapter about theBandung Conference, which i had never heard about before reading this book.

apparently, in 1955, 29 representatives from various African and Asian countries (as well as some journalists, writers, and governmental officials from other countries, like Adam Clayton Powell) met together to discuss common issues and possible solutions. Wright talks about reading it, and then attending it, although the United States and all other Western nations were excluded from the....festivities.
and honestly, up until this point, i hadn't really grasped just how many nations and continents had been colonized (i recall at one point in Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, Nomad, where she said she has yet to get comfortable with Americans admitting to being ignorant to something when all she's ever been taught is to hide or lie about her ignorance...just thought about that...). Indonesia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, and Sudan, Burma, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka were the primary countries meeting and organizing the event.

you can see some of the agreements that were made at the conference here. unfortunately, some were kept, but most were not.
and apparently, there was a second meeting in 2007, with most of the nations from the 1955 meeting, including some South and Central American nations this time around (why they weren't included in the first is something i'm not completely sure about.). and somehow, this morphed into the Non-Aligned Movement.

interesting concept. i would like to see something like this happen without the government intervention first; something started by grassroots organizations in these various countries. call it pessimism, but i think most presidents, prime ministers, Ayatollahs, etc. operate with monetary and material goods first, and ethics (the people), second. this is why i think the first conference's agreements soured. saying you're operating with your people's interests in mind is one thing, actually doing that is something completely different. when only governments (which aren't always proper representatives of the people) support alliances like these, i see situations in which nations only aid other nations with oil and valuable resources, and ignore the others; when there is some monetary gain. like what we saw during the 1990 Rwandan Genocide- Rwanda didn't have oil reservoirs or large amounts of resources....and 800,000 people were slaughtered (Clinton was out to lunch...trying to strip Haiti if its resources, i'm sure...)

i'd like to see something in which all these colonized peoples still working to reclaim their past and their dignities organize and work together to repair each other's countries....while establishing some common level of humanism with which to deal with other nations presently and in the future. and when these governments feel up to the part, they can aid in this endeavor, and understand that they are AIDING this alliance, and not dominating it.
that would be a beautiful thing.

i'd like to learn more about Indonesia (among a couple thousand other nations...). here's some photos i found here:

1 comment:

  1. "A Bowie Professor's Lesson on Chinese-African American Relations" Please read it at