Naomi Klein on Sparking a Movement for Social Change
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In 2008 it won the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and is longlisted for the inaugural 2009 Warwick Prize for Writing (UK). The six minute companion film, created by Alfonso Cuaron, director of Children of Men, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice Biennale and Toronto International Film Festivals and was a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times.
Her first book No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies was also an international bestseller, translated into over 28 languages with more than a million copies in print. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate was published in 2002.
Naomi Klein writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s Magazine won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Also in 2004, she co-produced The Take with director Avi Lewis, a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories. The film was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s Film Festival in Los Angeles. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia.
Naomi Klein: I see myself as part of a movement for social change. So when I think about what to write, I’m thinking about what would be useful. I’m thinking about what arguments would be mobilizing at a particular point. And so I . . . And maybe it’s a little bit of a different way of thinking about journalism . . . this sort of question of what would be . . . what would be useful as opposed to just what interests me; what am I curious about at this given day? I do ask myself that question. And in terms of philosophy, you know I think at this point in history just believing that every life is of equal value is enough to separate and define a mission at this point, because I think we are really up against a lot of people who just do not think that lives are of equal value. I mean even if you look at something like casualty statistics in Iraq, the idea that it’s somehow acceptable not to keep track of how many Iraqis have died, right? And what that says to the Iraqi people, to the Arab and Muslim world; just the extraordinary racism in that idea – the reporting of only American deaths; and that we don’t do body counts, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq. So just believing that every life is of equal value regardless of where you live or what skin color you are seems to be a radical idea these days. Recorded on: 11/29/07
Naomi Klein on sparking movements for social change
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