It is an ordinary afternoon, I am sitting in my bed with a hot cup of tea and my mind is entirely absorbed in my laptop, occasionally disturbed by notifications on my phone – a pretty usual picture which has nothing to be upset about, right?

Wrong!

 

What makes this afternoon different is the Danish journalist’s film ‘Blood in the Mobile’ which I am watching. Some will say: ‘Okay, it is a thought provocative documentary’ and I would argue that it is way too more because it makes me feel guilty while typing these words on my laptop’s keyboard and checking my notifications about new promotions and discounts on latest technologies. Because these brand new electronics everyone desire are there because on the other side of the world children are working in mines, women are being raped, millions of people died…

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Does people know about this? Yes, no, maybe…

Some may have heard about it before and some may not. But I know for sure who is completely aware of this situation – the companies. The biggest players who make a profit from this, I think it is quite realistic to say, slavery – they are aware how suppliers extract raw materials like the conflict minerals as Coltan in Congo. But Congo is too far away, right? It is difficult to feel the pain of people there, because we are so different, our realities have no common grounds and for most of us is impossible to imagine what they experience on daily basis.

 

I am also angry about it!

Leaving the feel of guilt aside, this documentary made me feel angry. From the very beginning until the end of it everyone were trying:

To hide…

To skip the topic…

To refer the journalist to someone else…

To pretend that nothing is happening in real and everything is normal…

To close their eyes and shrug…

To avoid the conversation about the problem…

To NOT take social responsibility…

To convince the journalist that they are doing their best…

To argue that it is more complex considering the competition…

To state they do not feel like admitting that something is done wrong!!!!

 

And it is not like this is isolated case. Actually, it is happening regularly and maybe I will not be that wrong if I say that every big company developed its big business with increasing sells and big profit with the price of a couple millions human lives!

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The paradox

What makes impact in the documentary are the contrast scenes flowing one after another which in the end leave me hopeless. ‘Hey, white man. He is here to see how we go into the holes’ – says one of the teen boys working in mines under inhuman conditions, trapped in the village to live and work, pay to the armed forces until just one day a hole collapse and he die. And ‘There is always hope, hope for better future… but it is complex, the societies do not develop quickly. But the most important – we have concern’ is what Nokia representative states… after knowing about it from 2001… Sometimes you just wonder how one goes home after work and sleep well knowing his company is selling a product priced a couple hundred dollars and millions of innocent lives.

 

To be honest, I do not see how business mechanism could possibly be changed. Even if we imagine that there is a company which products are from checked suppliers, it will not survive – one reason is the price will be higher (as long as the company does not use slavery-liked work) and most of the customers are going to prefer the cheaper (even there is tons of blood on it); another reason is even everyone start to buy that ‘slavery-free’ products, the other big companies, faced the loses, will find a way to ruin this business… because there is reason for them to be that powerful. Big players have never played fair…

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