florinsandu

African Politics and Realities

Pentru ca nu pot vota…scriu!

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Pentru ca nu exista niciun autobuz electoral care sa ma duca din Lagos pana in capitala Nigeriei, Abuja…nu pot vota! Singurul lucru care ma bucura este ca prin imposibilitatea mea de a vota reusesc, absolut lipsit de efort, sa fac parte dintre cei care „saboteaza” un proces electoral absolut democratic insa transformat intr-o hidosenie de catre actiunile celor implicati si contextul in care totul se desfasoara.

 

Nu sunt detinator de pasiuni politice, ratiunea ma impiedica! Ca un observator impartial, mi-am impartit timpul pe care l-am putut acorda evenimentelor din Romania intre diferitele posturi de televiziune mai mult sau mai putin patimase, si articole de tot soiul. Bombardarea telespectatorului, a cititorului, in fine a electoratului, cu mesaje golite de substanta si viziune politica, pline insa pana la refuz de ura si injurii ma inspaimanta dintr-un singur motiv, acela ca nu reusesc sa imi aduc aminte cum erau lucrurile inainte de toata abrambureala aceasta cu tentativa de suicid a unui fost premier, lipsa de responsabilitate a „premierului plagiator” si transformarea Romaniei in marul stricat al Europei. Pentru ca nu imi amintesc relativa normalitate dinaintea celor ce se intampla, nu imi pot inchipui cum vom reusi sa aducem in prezent ceva ce am uitat…

 

Constitutia Romaniei ne spune, cu urma de credibilitatea pe care inca o mai poseda, in Articolul 36 ca „cetatenii au drept de vot de la varsta de 18 ani, impliniti pana in ziua alegerilor inclusiv”. Suntem in pragul unui referendum, insa este evident ca Romania, dupa peste 20 de ani de democratie, inca nu este suficient de matura incat sa iasa cu demnitatea nestirbita, indiferent de rezultat.

 

„Vreau o tara ca afara!”, „Jos Basescu!”, Jos Antonescu si Ponta!”. Mesaje absolut goale, fara insemnatate, care sper sa nu functioneze! Indiferent de rezultatul de pe 29 iulie, tot ce imi doresc, ca simplu cetatean al Romaniei este o tara in care guvernarea sa insemne chiar asta, ca tara sa fie mai importanta decat cei ce o guverneaza, indiferent de nume. Am un singur vot, insa pentru ca nu pot vota..scriu!

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Written by fashionroseblog

July 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Romania, a Monopoly game for bullies!

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I have heard a lot of metaphors about what is happening right now in Romania, ok..I am tired of it but I have to use one nonetheless. It seems to me that the monopoly board game is the perfect one. The players however are bullies, not innocent kids. The game was never fair and perhaps nobody was expecting it to be fair. Now, the bullied became the bully!

The game is real, and it’s always been this way, however being a bystander doesn’t help anymore. Everyone is affected and maybe we just don’t understand why that is so.Is it the pace of how things are changing for the worse? Is it the degree to which morals and legality are overlooked? or is it simply because we cannot wrap our brains around how much politics can affect us still?

Unfortunately I think it’s even worse…hope dies last, but we might have just reached that point. There’s no good that can come out of all that is happening. The president will get impeached, then what? Free and fair elections give legitimacy in any functional democracy, but right now nobody considers Romania to be a functional democracy, so what legitimacy can any future president/government have?

Only by watching tv shows and reading the newspapers, seeing roundtables where it’s so obvious that the game is still not over makes me angry. Protests are being organized and I’m proud of that, even if I am not able to be part of it. What I am not proud of is that to me they become meaningless when I see political figures hijacking them, “leading” the protests.

Meanwhile, the economy is a mess, the currency is suffering, the country’s image is probably at a lowest in a  very long time…what’s next?

I have a lot of questions but I’ll probably be left looking for answers for some time to come.

For those of you not knowing what is happening now here’s a good article that will give a briefing worth reading http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/guest-post-romania-unravels-the-rule-of-law/.

 

By Florin Sandu

 

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Written by fashionroseblog

July 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Who cares?

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Yesterday, 20th June 2012, the world celebrated World Refugee Day. What exactly does that mean though? Obviously, it’s not an occasion for celebration, but rather for reminding us that it is out there, that millions and millions are affected, and there is somebody out there (this case-UNHCR) making sure we do not forget.

A couple of days before the Refugee Day, the same UNHCR released it’s annual report on the current status of refugees worldwide for 2011. Bad news! The many pages of statistics and numbers can simply be summed up for those who don’t really want to worry about details, or those who are just starting to care, in one sentence: worst year/highest number of refugees worldwide since 2000!

Whenever we happen to catch a glimpse of an ad or a campaign in the media, or simply when you will image search on Google “refugee” , the first picture will definitely be that of an African child. I for one find it tiring and misleading. I hope you will find the time to care enough to browse through the report so that you can see that the most affected countries are Iraq and Afghanistan, two states apparently undergoing democratization, or so they say-with ups and downs-again they say!

Don’t get me wrong, Africa is still highly affected by phenomena of internally displaced people or refugees. Countries like Sudan or DR Congo are still “topping charts”. What might seem to be quite strange is the constant that these countries have been representing in the report for quite a few good years..why? if people/institutions/NGO’s/ UNHCR/ states care and are working towards alleviating the problem of refugees, how did we reach a record for the beginning of the 21st century?

Truth be told, being a refugee most often than not means that you will remain one for years to come, which in turn means that most of the time the number of people that manage to return to their homes is far less than that of new refugees/internally displaced people, leading to the 2011 high.

I don’t know if it is enough to have a World Refugee Day, if that shows we care or not. but definitely it is not enough!

 

By Florin Sandu

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Written by fashionroseblog

June 21, 2012 at 12:07 am

DW Series..A breath of Lagos fresh air!

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Almost a month ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the conferences part of the DW series, held monthly at the University of Lagos. Many at times, it might prove quite difficult to keep yourself “entertained” or simply finding something productive to do during the weekend, well the Design Workshop series offers just that by giving students or anyone else interested in participating the opportunity of listening to words of wisdom from people that have something to show and talk about.Either architects, economists, artists or designers they try to inspire and offer proof of individual success in an inspiring fashion while breaking the crippling barriers of conservative thinking.

My goal here is not to describe the DW series, but rather to to make sure that you, the reader, is aware of the existence of it and maybe give it a try at some point, it’s worth it! If you are interested in finding more you can visit them on facebook or blogspot at the following destinations:

http://www.facebook.com/DWSeries

http://www.dwseries.blogspot.com/

Written by fashionroseblog

May 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

In Lagos, every face tells a story…

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In Lagos, every face tells a story…a story hard to see many at times in the darkness, the thickness of the crowds or the “masks of self-protection”, but they do!

The city attracts and holds thousands of new hopefuls every day, new ideals, new lives, new stories. They come from all over the country and outside the immediate borders in search for new beginnings, better ones. Cliches upon cliches, after all it’s the story of every metropolis in the world that feeds on the successes and disappointments of every passing soul, so why is Lagos any different? Young graduates unaware of how reality is. Middle class individuals with aspirations for a big house with a swimming pool and the latest Jeep from Toyota. The rich..no other words needed!

The struggle for survival, in one way or another is palpable, so much so that it chokes many or becomes the companion of others. Okada drivers, Suya sellers, people living off what they make in selling during Sunday market, small shops and hair salons at every step, open gutters /on the other side, rich areas well secured from any possible intruder. All of this is just a mere background for the real battle that takes place in Lagos, and in that battle everybody knows there is only one valid truth…everyone is on their own!

Every face in Lagos tells a story, but nobody has time to read it…

 

By Florin Sandu

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Written by fashionroseblog

April 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

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Senegal: Abdoulaye Wade and the Goblet of Power…THE END

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Last night in Senegal, after the voting was declared closed, before anything close to an official result of the presidential stand off between Macky Sall and Abdoulaye Wade, an unexpected turn of events took place….Wade phoned his former right hand man Sall to congratulate him on his victory!

After the bloody protests that took place after Wade was allowed to run for a third term, a simple phone call might just save the day. An honorable, selfless and considerate deed seems to have put Senegal in the ranks of democratic countries once more, for now at least…the shock still remains! What could’ve prompted Wade to admit defeat so early, regardless of the provisional poll results made available by the media? Grey prospects of a potential third term seemed obvious after Sall managed to get the support of all other first round candidates and was clearly the favorite, so maybe this is just Wade’s way of making his “grand” exit. We will have to wait for further developments to see.

Until the official results will be available, the race that seemed to be focused more on whether or not Wade will win seems to be over. No cause for protests, but a lot of reasons to celebrate for the majority of Senegalese. More than just fighting a man, they fought for a cause and it has paid off.

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Written by fashionroseblog

March 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

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I don’t believe in borders!

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Anyone finding themselves anywhere else BUT home will understand that borders are simple legal, social, no longer cultural limitations of a world that we all share. Going passed the “hippy”  argument that we all should love each other and so on, it’s time to face the facts: we live in one world, where the major thing that separates us are borders-self imposed limitations meant to keep us put.

“Viral” is the word in vogue right now…youtube, facebook, media articles or videos gathering millions of views from all over the world, propagating ideas, thoughts, situations more or less known to the larger audience…campaigns of helping the ones in need (See haiti-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hhX0KkQBW4), campaigns meant to condemn atrocities committed in a  part of the world we only heard or read about (See Kony 2012-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc), none of this would ever be possible without a shared system of values, of differentiating wrong from right…

At the same time, globalization and regionalisation are what we are experiencing, and what some condemn the most as being the reason why national culture and identity are slowly but surely fading away in the background. I don’t want to differentiate between right and wrong at this point on this matter, i feel that time has long passed…what can we do to make the most of the future though?

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Written by fashionroseblog

March 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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