We have the assignment of making a 1-minute poetic piece of film using archive footage and only our own voice as dialogue. The stimulus of our poetic piece had to be an international event that has or is taking place at the moment and something that effects us deeply. I made a list of events that I’ve felt strong emotions for such as the Bangladesh liberation war (being of Bangladeshi origin), the rampant cases of rape in India and wars/genocides that have been caused at the hand of America.
The 2 ideas I felt strongest to write a narrative about were the Indian rape cases and the violent history of America. A close friend of mine had already mentioned she wanted to cover the New Delhi rape protests so I decided to go along with the American military idea. Writing the narrative/poem came easy to me as I’ve already manifested thoughts about how I felt about the violence of the American military. My writing was fuelled by the anger I felt when researching about the genocide of the Native Americans, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of napalm in the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq after September 11.
This was the final draft narrative/poem I wrote:
Title: God Bless America
Countless Native Americans: The arrival of Christopher Columbus (History News Network 2014)
246,00 Japanese: Hiroshima and Nagasaki (BBC 2014)
495,000 Vietnamese: The Vietnam War (Statistics Brain 2014)
184,000 Iraqis and counting: The Iraq invasion (Iraq Body Count 2014)
Total Death toll: Unknown
Cause of deaths: America
September 11th 2002, the attack on the World Trade Centre, casualties: Approximately 3000.
I understand many loved ones were lost that day. But what are 3,000 people compared to the lives of millions. I’m not one for comparing deaths but numbers don’t lie.
9/11 was orchestrated by a minority group of pissed off rag heads from the Middle East. But the genocide of millions throughout history were orchestrated by the government of America. A democratic congress of powerful leaders. See the difference?
America is a land founded upon genocide. America is a land that only leaves death in its wake. God Bless America.
History News Network (2014) Were American Indians the victims of Genocide?, [online] available from http://hnn.us/article/7302 [31 Jan 2014]
Statistics Brain (2014) Vietnam War Statistics, [online] available from http://www.statisticbrain.com/vietnam-war-statistics/ [31 Jan 2014]
Iraq Body Count (2014) Total violent deaths including combatants [online] available from http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ [31 Jan 2013]
BBC (2014) Face File: Hiroshima and Nagasaki [online] available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6652262.shtml [31 Jan 2014]