Friday, 7 May 2010
- Quel barbaro? Schiava son io, corsaro!
In Verdi's Il Corsaro Corrado is surprised to find that Gulnara do not love Seid. Gulnara is the favorite slave of Seid. Seid feels betrayed by Gulnara and Corrado. Corrado saved Gulnara from being killed when the harem burned down. But Seid is more angry that another man have held Gulnara in his arms then grateful about Corrado saving Gulnara's life in doing so.
White slave trade is often portrayed as something different than when African people was sent with slave ships over the oceans. The emphasis on white was/is a way to tell it is far worse when white people are sold as slaves than black. But slavery is evil whether it is White/White, Black/Black, or any color or combination. No man, woman, child should be slave. Because we are all meant to be free.
Traficking is the new slave trade. Maybe it is just the continuation of the old one. For many feminists pornography seem so innocent this days that they call it to be sex-positive if just the porn is woman-friendly. But it is not all that friendly, not to women, not to men, and not to children. Somewhere in this world now, a poor family, a poor woman living in a place where hope of getting a better life is non-existent some men/women might appear telling the story of hope. If you just sell them all you have and give them the money they will give you your dream job. But it is a nightmare. You are a slave. You have sold yourself to them and now you own them money. You earn money but you are sold again. And again it means you are owning them money. Of course, you are never meant to be free again, the money will never be enough to free you. What kind of nightmare is your new life: the porno industry, prostitute, sex slave, domestic worker (often with sexual assault from your "employer"), industry worker (with no rights, of course). Then maybe, you are saved by the police. But you are undocumented, all your documents was given to the slave dealers who probably destroyed them or told you to burn them. You are the victim but you are sent to jail, the people behind the trade is safe to continue their "work". You are likely to be sent home where your life is worse than before if your family/society wants you back. You might die, killed for the word honor. Those men and women who is getting their money from this trade can still pretend to be honorable people.
And yet, the horrors to today should not make us forget the past. I am Norwegian. It is easy not to know than Denmark/Norway participated in slave trade. Not for as long as many other countries but that was because a small country not because of superior moral. This is naturally not taught in school. It should but it isn't. We are, however, told of our Viking past. That we had our own kind of slavery is naturally glossed over.
Back to Il Corsaro again. Gulnara refers to Seid as barbarian. That makes it so easy. If you just call people barbarian, evil then you don't have to think further. Is Seid a barbarian? It depend on what you mean by the word. He could be learned man, he probably was, but no intelligence and no amount of reading and learning can protect against doing wrong. We have to think not just with our brain but with our hearts. We needs to have empathy towards others if we are going to do what is good. (The case against intelligence: the Nazis, some of the worst was really very intelligent).
As a feminist I am against Racism, Sexism, Disableism (sometimes called Ableism), Homophobia, Transphobia. As a feminist I believe in Kindness, Respect, that all people should be treated with respect.
To be Good is good, to be Kind is better!!
For more reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com