This brings to our consciousness, issues concerning the ever rising level of inequality prevalent in our times with its attendant fallout and imbalance within our global system.
This has had its roots within the basic units of human co-existence experienced at our different localities and as such has naturally extended beyond, to a multi-level of inter-relationships across national boundaries.We have the two sides of the border with a far yawning gap or better still, should we call it the two sides of the socio-economic divide: which balance is daily nurtured towards the deprivation experienced amongst a group of people within a state and across poor countries of the world-the African continent being prominent in this instance.
The struggle for supremacy in all spheres has become so heated up in recent times. While one may acknowledge that this is as an innate attribute of Man to ensure self survival, are recent actions in this pursuit of self preservation not going beyond the balance?
The less inspirational ones are daily being stampeded to the dust and ultimate death by the more privileged in the race for a nebulous ‘reward’ dreamt up by the ‘conqueror’.
The fallout is the self-inflicted tension which yet persists. Even the delicate eco-balance is not spared either.
In simple words, the reality today is the nurturing of a system which is lopsided towards a situation of grinding poverty and disrespect for human dignity.
Therefore, it may be inferred that it is possible that the human race has not actually maximized the benefits of the essence of its existence on this planet.
Therefore, the natural flow of thought is to question the role of our decision makers to stem the tide of this imbalance.
Across all levels of decision making one may ask: what has engaged the minds of our policy makers where issues such as the equitable share of the common good (wealth), rule of law coupled with unbiased dispensation of justice and respect for the dignity of Man are concerned? These and many questions demand our attention.
What is Man’s mission?
What is the mission of the privileged?
What is the reaction of the oppressed?
How did these attitudes originate?
Has it been as a result of retaliation or provocation? etc
However, despite these multifarious conflicting tendencies, a symbiotic relationship of sorts still prevails. Or do we call it a forced relationship- predatory in nature?
For something in return, the have-nots still serve the privileged ones within and across the socio-economic divide. A similar experience is also noted across nations where raw materials and cheaper labour force are exchanged for finished goods and services.
Yet a state of mutual suspicion, fear and tension still exist. Why? And can we do better than this?
Today, to advocate for a utopia is neither practicable nor humanly possible but our lopsided socio-economic equilibrium (being the two sides of the same coin of the human entity) ought to be steered towards a harmonious status as much as we can and not a departure from it as it were.
The oppressed nations, the weak in the slums, in the favelas, in the ghettos we know are”the dust of the earth” but let the powerful reflect on the phenomenon of our common creation and extinction to deliberately do more by allowing some spill of the needed ‘little drops of water”(at the least) touch the quaking and dried lips of these less-inspired ones.. This is what they simply ask for! To ensure a recovery, sustenance of life and restore human dignity to our other self and not mere existence as it were.
In all, life goes on albeit the uncertainties and the mutual suspicion at both ends of the fulcrum of our interactions and existence. Let us see what happens..
Muyiwa Osifuye is an African (Nigeria) based photographer. This article accompanied my photographic work at the 5th Gwangju Arts Biennale in South Korea summer 2004. A few of my works can be seen at http://www.pictures-of-nigeria.com