Local Impact of Global Market Focus of Sapienza's University of Chicago Visit

A family sorts shrimp at an open-air distribution center in Mahachai, the capital of Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province. Labor abuse is most common in unregistered peeling sheds that line area backroads. Image by Jason Motlagh. Thailand, 2012.

Monday, October 21, 2013 - 06:00pm EDT (GMT -0400)

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stephen Sapienza visits the University of Chicago on October 21 and 22 to discuss his Pulitzer Center-supported on the local costs of global goods. In addition to classroom visits, Sapienza will participate in a campus-wide talk, along with the University of Chicago's Campus Consortium International Reporting Student Fellow Linda Qiu.

Most every product we possess begins as a raw material somewhere. Usually these locations are far from consumers. The distance between raw material and end-user makes the process of transforming the material obscure to buyers who often do not realize that their intense demand for certain consumer goods might cause damage to local communities and environments.

Sapienza delves into these issues with his reporting from South America, where the global demand for gold is forcing many Peruvians to enter into informal gold mining at great cost to their health and the environment. He also examines illegal and abusive labor practices in Thailand's shrimp industry and the impact of the palm oil industry on stateless children in Borneo.

Qiu also will be presenting on her Pulitzer Center project Botswana's Paradox: Diamonds and Water, which examines the transformation of Botswana into an "African Miracle" after the discovery of diamonds. She also explains how unrestricted diamond mines are draining the few aquifers available, drastically changing the land's geography and limiting access rights of small farmers and minority tribes.

Monday, October 21
6:00 pm
Social Science Research Building
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

This program is made possible through the campus consortium partnership between the Pulitzer Center and the University of Chicago. Event sponsors include The Center for International Studies series “The World Beyond the Headlines”; the Career Advancement in Journalism, Arts, & Media; the Program on the Global Environment; and the Human Rights Program.