Georgia: behind the headlines

August 18th, 2008 | by aobaoill |

On this week’s show, we spent most of our time talking about Georgia, in light of the recent events there. We wanted to get beyond the headlines and usual frames of coverage, and believe we accomplished this through two approaches. First, we talked with Jodi Blumenfeld. A graduate student at the University of Illinois, she has participated in archaeological excavations in Georgia, and she spoke with us a little about Georgian culture, giving a more three-dimensional portrait of the country than is usually achieved in news coverage.

Second, Bob and I (Andrew) spoke about the news frames being used, and how we might contextualize the conflict. Is it as simple as “Russia is an aggressor?” Is it sufficient to look for a ‘good guy’ and a ‘bad guy’? How does this relate to resource issues (Georgia is an important distribution route for gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe)? What about politics in other former Soviet states and Eastern bloc nations?

Then a brief update on events in Bolivia and Ecuador – where offers of mediation by the government in the lawsuit against Chevron may not be the positive development one might think.

Finally, in a tribute to Mahmoud Darwish, Bob recites (in the original Arabic) from the 1964 poem Identity Card.

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

We close with salutations in Georgian, from Jodi.

The show is now available on Radio4All (direct mp3 link), on Audioport (mp3), and Indymedia Radio (mp3).

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