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In this episode Intrecci faces again the information theme as a possible development mover. Every day we are bombarded with news from all over the world, but most of them are used as if they were goods. In a globalized world the information power is tightly in the hands of a few important channels: they choose the news to make known and often have recourse to strong emotions in order to get the attention of the audience. People who live in the North of the world often consider their points of view the only valid for the whole reality that surrounds them, and this makes them believe that their model should be followed by everyone. But in three quarters of the planet this sharp form of persuasion - that enters our homes through the TV - has not taken root yet, and the communication forms are still the radio or the oldest medium, theatre performance - as we can see in different examples from the Caribbeans to the Andes and India. In Italy a few journalists speak of the possibility and risks that sensitizing campaigns bring about with them, and of the positive role that correct information can have with regard to these problems.
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In the second part of 2002 series Intrecci, with reference to a recent meeting in Trieste, proposes again a theme of dramatic topicality, that of the refugees. Today 22 million people in the world are escaping from wars, persecutions or other violations of human rights, looking for asylum or shelter, forced to live far from home in poor conditions. Their situation is different from the one of those who, for example, migrate for economic reasons. This emerges from the interviews made to experts and operators of social services, but also from events which have been taken into consideration both in Italy and in foreign countries, such as South Africa. In the end, a tragic witness from Ruanda, one of the countries where a genocide has recently occurred under the almost indifferent eyes of most of the world.
A melting-pot of races, a variegated multitude of young people, women, ethnic groups, grassroots and trade union representatives, ecologists, politicians and intellectuals, from all the world around. All of them, looking for a new form of globalization - different from the neoliberal one - have taken part, from the 1st to the 5th of February 2002, in the 2nd World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Among the 68,000 participants and the influential international personalities who have crowded the halls where hundreds of meetings and conferences have taken place, we have gathered witnesses of Tarso Genro, Ignacio Ramonet, Susan George, José Bové, Manuel Vasquez Montalban, Roberto Savio, Samir Amin, Heidi Giuliani, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Noam Chomsky, Mary Robinson, Benedita da Silva. Besides them, African peasants, Brazilian volunteers, American natives, representatives of the Sem Terra movements, street artists, in a series of themes which make up together the climate of an event where everyone hopes that “a new world is being built”.
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In this episode we face a dramatic problem, which is present both in the North and the South of the world. AIDS, in fact, affects people indistinctively, even if differently, but it affects in a particular way Africa, the poorest contintent. Most of those who suffer from AIDS live in the developing countries: disinformation, sanitary and hygienic deficiencies concur to increase its diffusion, a handicap to the economic and social development. The problem has been largely debated by the Italian NGOs during an international meeting recently held in Milano, where Italian and international experts have asked the people in charge of the Health Service to find solutions more attentive to human values than to market ones. In South Africa AIDS is a sort of plague, as we can see during our visit to the Yeoville Community in Johannesburg. And precisely the South African government has recently won his battle against pharmaceutical industries in order to obtain low cost medicines: a first step in the fight against AIDS
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The news in the papers and statistics give us a description of childhood and youth in the world very different from the one shown by the advertising iconography. Children abandoned who try to survive and work to help their broken families, children who live in the street: a dramatic situation you can often meet with in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But there are also positive realities, to get out from this spiral of poverty and underdevelopment. We start from South Africa, the richest country of the continent, from Durban, where close to the skyscrapers, the highways and the residential districts of the white bourgeoisie, the townships of the black people still represent the separation not only of races but also between the rich and the poor, created by the apartheid and still present. Many street children come from here; and the "Street Wise" Centre has been created, also with the Italian support, to help them and their families. Then we move to South America, to Brazil, a country which in spite of its potential richness has enormous social problems still unsolved. In Belem the project "Sementes do Amanhà" has been created to save the children of the favelas from the terrible labour they do in the town-dumping ground. A projet which is supported also by the foot-ball champion Ronaldo. Two positive reactions to huge problems, that can be faced up and solved also with our participation.
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Until ten years ago Amazonia's preservation was one of the most debated topics, since everybody thought it was absolutely necessary to protect this wide but frail ecosystem extending on an area of seven million square metres in 9 different countries, where you can still find small groups of indigenous people living at the bounds or even out of civilization. But little has been done to solve the many problems of this huge and hardly known region, that we are now rediscovering through a few reportages realized in Belem, the most populous city of Amazonia. At the end of January the 1st Social Forum of Amazonia was held in it, in order to discuss proposals and find solutions. We were present at this event and have gathered witnesses and opinions of different people, from Mayor Edmilson Brito Rodriguez to anthropologists, politicians, sociologists, natives and other participants from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
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This episode of Intrecciis about the women who defend, preserve and protect our environment, threatened by an overexploitation of natural resources. Ten years after Rio de Janeiro World Conference - ECO 92, where women asserted their opinions with Planeta Fémea - we are now preparing for the next one, that will be held in September in Jahannesburg. All through this time women have become the protagonists of the sustainable environmental development's process, as we can see in different examples from Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East. They have gathered on several occasions from all over the world, to think about what has been done up to now, to put forward proposals and plan solutions. But it is not only a matter of theory. In Porto Alegre, in Southern Brazil, a women organization has created the CEA - Centre for environmental education -: every day, in a warehouse, they recycle and utilize tons of rubbish of this large city, which has also a very advanced system of rubbish collecting.
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Six years have elapsed since the world's governments met in Rome at the World Food Summit held by the F.A.O.. On that occasion they set themselves a goal: to halve - in the next twenty years - the number of the under-nourished people - 800 million in the world -. Last June the governments of the same countries met again and observed that not only their aim has not been achieved but this number has even increased. At the parallel Forum on the "Food Sovereignty", the responsibilities of this defeat have been found from the NGOs and the rural movements in the over-power of the food multinationals and in the still existing economic and social gap between the North and the South of the world. But the matter has been analysed and solutions have been proposed to create a common view with regard to the under-nourishment problem, which in the poor countries is strictly linked with that of the food security in the rich ones. Food is not merchandise, and because of this it is an unalienable right for all human beings.
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While in Europe today nobody wants to till land, in the developing countries more and more increasing masses of peasants have no land to cultivate. This is a particularly dramatic problem in South Africa, where the political changes which have followed Nelson Madela's election have not brought with them analogous transformations in the social and economic field. After a short historical excursus on the rural struggles that have taken place in Brazil for a hundred years, we give a look on the "new world", dreamt of by millions of rural workers who have just created the Sem terra movement. From the South to the North, from Belem to Porto Alegre, from the precarious acampamentos to the safer asentamientos, the landless peasants, with their struggles, their hopes, claim now a role of protagonists in their future.
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Latin America: a continent which has strong cultural and economic bonds with Italy. "Discovered" more than 500 years ago by Colombo, from Genova, it is named after the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci. It has been explored and described by many Italians, before becoming during the last centuries the dreamt of destination of millions of our emigrants: today in fact the Italo-Americans are more than 50 million. The matter has been largely discussed during the most recent edition of the Latin-American Cinema Festival in Trieste, where the influence of the Italian neo-realism has been particularly emphasized. In the next two reportages we illustrate the story of two Italians who gave an important contribution to the development of the countries in which they operated: the architect Giuseppe Landi, from Bologna, in the Brazilian Amazon, and Agostino Codazzi, geographer and cartographer, in Venezuela, just set free from Spanish dominion. These are two of the many examples, shown by Intrecci, that link together realities which are distant from a geographical viewpoint but very alike from a cultural and historical one.
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Firenze, the city of Dante and Michelangelo, the cradle of Renaissance and of the modern merchant-society, has welcome from the 6th to the 10th of November more than 60,000 participants in the 1st European Social Forum. They have come from a hundred countries and have confronted each other at meetings and debates, just to begin to lay the foundation of a new Europe, more social and aware; not a besieged fortress, but a crossroads of exchanges, a bridge towards peoples and cultures. In this episode of Intrecci we want to give a look onto the problems and the themes faced in the Forum - the young, Europe, peace and war - and try to represent images and sounds, faces and words, for those who were present at it and those who were not there. A chronicle of four unforgettable days, from the opening in Piazza Santa Croce to the endless parade of Saturday November the 9th, all of us looking for a different world, non only a possible world, but a necessary one.
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