Gillian Caldwell is the Executive Director of WITNESS, an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy capaigns.[…]
Caldwell talks about the the impact of 9/11.
Well I do think that things are changing slowly but surely. I mean a lot of people point to September 11th as a turning point in terms of the moment at which people began to understand the ways in which their lives are inextricably connected to the lives of people many, many miles away who they’ve never met and may not understand very well. And I think there’s some truth to that. I think as always being said, you know, the communications technology we have now makes the world smaller and smaller, and makes us much more interconnected. And I think the so-called war on terror has also . . . has also had the potential benefit of connecting us in a much closer way to what’s happening in other parts of the world. Of course it’s not having positive effects, and that’s the challenge. And you know when you ask why is it that Americans are so ethnocentric for the most part; why is it that we aren’t looking outside of ourselves, I think really we have to look to our education system very closely because as I mentioned at the outset, so much of my patterning, so much of my understanding of who and how I am in the world is a function of early education. I’m not talking graduate and postgraduate education which is very important as well. I’m talking about early education before high school and during high school which helps you frame and develop an identity. And if you look at the kind of education that people get in many other countries around the world, their sophistication at a geopolitical level so far exceed ours. It’s just astonishing. I mean they have a much better standing of the history both current and past of their own country, of the region surrounding it and of the world.
Recorded on: 8/13/07