martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014

Food sovereignty

Food for Thought
Food sovereignty is about the right of peoples to define their own food systems.  Advocates of food sovereignty put the people who produce, distribute and consume food at the centre of decisions on food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations that they believe have come to dominate the global food system. Although some groups and individuals are supporting the call for a food system that respects people and the planet, there are still people who have no knowledge of this cause. Reading and sharing this article will be useful to learn and get involved in this movement.
There are six pillars which explain what food sovereignty is about. The first focuses on food for people. The right to food which is healthy and culturally appropriate is the basic legal demand underpinning food sovereignty. Guaranteeing it requires policies which support diversified food production in each region and country. The second is related to the valuation of food providers. Many smallholder farmers suffer violence, marginalisation and racism from corporate landowners and governments. People are often pushed off their land by mining concerns or agribusiness. Agricultural workers can face severe exploitation and even bonded labour. Food sovereignty asserts food providers’ right to live and work in dignity.The third claims that  food must be seen primarily as sustenance for the community and only secondarily as something to be traded. Under food sovereignty, local and regional provision takes precedence over supplying distant markets, and export-orientated agriculture is rejected. The fourth pillar says that food sovereignty places control over territory, land, grazing, water, seeds, livestock and fish populations on local food providers and respects their rights. They can use and share them in socially and environmentally sustainable ways which conserve diversity.  The fifth pillar nentions the building of knowledge and skills. Food sovereignty  calls for appropriate research systems to support the development of agricultural knowledge and skills. And the last pillar informs that food sovereignty requires production and distribution systems that protect natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding energy-intensive industrial methods that damage the environment and the inhabitants’ health.
            Maybe you are wondering why the creation of this international movement was necessary. The problem has to do with the current food system. This system, which includes all those activities involving the production, processing, transport and consumption of food, is mainly controlled by a few corporations. The support for farmers are affected as well as the establishment of food prices. This concentration of power enables these businesses to wipe out competition or dictate tough terms to their suppliers. This has resulted in greater poverty and hunger.
            There are several countries that have already started with this movement. For example over 100 growers, co-operative workers, researchers, campaigners and activists joined to help build the food sovereignty movement in the United Kingdom. They were outraged because of cuts in milk prices paid by the processing companies. In the case of Usa, it is celebrated the Food Week of Action, where the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) and the Presbyterian Hunger Program join with allies and partners globally in actions that raise awareness and help end hunger and poverty by building more just food and farm systems everywhere.
            In the face of a global food crisis, it is clear that we have been forced to swallow far more than what's on our plates. Our global food system is terribly broken, with nearly a billion hungry people around the world. Big companies policies brought us to this place. The answer  to such a massive and urgent problem is, according to small farmers, farmworkers, fishers, consumers, environmentalists and indigenous peoples throughout the world, is food sovereignty.

Works cited
Food for Thought and Action: A Food Sovereignty Curriculum. (n.d.). Retrieved from  on October 30, 2014
Horton, A. (2012, July 12). A new movement is born: Food sovereignty in the UK. Retrieved from on October 31, 2014.
What is food sovereignty? (n.d.). Retrieved from on October 31, 2014.
South West Food Sovereignty Skillshare. (2011, October 4). Retrieved from on  October 31, 2014.

martes, 30 de septiembre de 2014

Entry n°7

Alvarenga Rodrigo
Stella Maris Saubidet Oyhamburu
Language and Written Expression IV
August 30th, 2014
The Influence of Music in Society
            Though some would look at music as a small footnote in the progression of humanity, it is in fact a much greater force; for some, it defines their very existence. Several studies have been conducted on the theory that music has a great effect on how humans think and act. Famous musicians from different parts of the world that have used this musical impact to promote peace and to avoid famine and war are essential.
            In the year 1971 after the separation of the Beatles was released the song "Imagine" which was written and performed by the English musician John Lennon. Its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisiveness of religions and nationalities, and to consider the possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life unattached to material possessions. Rolling Stone described "Imagine" as Lennon's greatest musical gift to the world
            In 1985 the song "We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie was released especially for the occasion which was called USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa). It included forty five musicians and twenty one famous singers. The profits from the song were donated to a humanitarian campaign in order to stop the terrible famine in Ethiopia. One year after the release of "We Are the World", organizers noted that $44.5 million had been raised for USA for Africa's humanitarian fund.
In 2014 the current general music director of La Scala in Milan Daniel Baremboim, has directed Israeli and Arab musicians in a concert to promote peace in Gaza. Barenboim, who holds both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship, had previously called for negotiation, empathy and compassion between the two states. He applauded the fact that the conflict did not prevent any member of the orchestra from engaging in this gesture of understanding and peace. 
Although John Lennon was considered "anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional and anti-capitalistic”; and Daniel Baremboim was declared a persona non-grata in Israel, they know that they must use the power of their music to influence society in a positive way no matter what some people would say. “Music can change the world because it can change people” (Bono)

Works cited
Macdonald, K. (2014, August 11). Daniel Barenboim conducts Israeli/ Palestine peace concert.  Retrieved September 29, 2014.
Andrew, M. (n.d.). Effects of Music on Society. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
Imagine (John Lennon song). (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014.
We are the world. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014.

jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2014

Listening and writing

Entry n° 6 Comfort Women

When Sorry is not Enough

The phrase "comfort women" is a controversial term that refers to approximately 200,000 women who were recruited as prostitutes by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Many of the young women were forced into servitude and exploited as sex slaves throughout Asia, becoming victims of the largest case of human trafficking in the 20th century.  Since human trade is a terrible crime against human rights, the Japanese government must pay compensation to former comfort women despite that payment will never give them back their innocence and youth.

There are specific protections of international documents which are violated by the trafficking of women, for example the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. It also violates other more general human rights norms such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR), Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This kind of trafficking is considered a crime against humanity and a war crime by all the previous norms.

A number of former Comfort Women from occupied countries including Korea, China, and the Philippines, have filed lawsuits against the Japanese government, and have raised the issue with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. They claim that they were forced to serve and were treated badly in the centers, often sustaining permanent health damage. Surviving comfort women have been offered unofficial apologies and financial awards but many have refused until the government of Japan takes full responsibility.

The Japanese government has firmly maintained that the San Francisco Peace Treaty and various bilateral agreements between Japan and other nations have settled all postwar claims of compensation. Nonetheless, in response to mounting international pressure to compensate former comfort women, the government has acknowledged its moral responsibility for the suffering imposed on them and it helped establish the Asian Women's Fund (AWF) to express "a sense of national atonement from the Japanese people to the former 'comfort women,' and to work to address contemporary issues regarding the honor and dignity of women. However, this assistance is not enough to heal the psychological and physical damage these women have received. Maria Rosa Henson, a former comfort woman said:

Half a century had passed. Maybe my anger and resentment were no longer as fresh. Telling my story has made it easier for me to be reconciled with the past. But I am still hoping to see justice done before I die.

Comfort women will never forget about their past as long as Japan keeps denying the gravity and impact of what the country inflicted on these women. The damage they received will never be healed with an apology. Human rights must be respected nowadays in order to prevent future calamities.

Works cited

Brooks, K. (2013, November 25). The History Of 'Comfort Women': A WWII Tragedy We can't               Forget. Retrieved August 23, 2014.

Lewis, J. (n.d.). Women and World War II - Comfort Women. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from       

Trafficking Violates Women's Human Rights. (2005, September 1). Retrieved August 22, 2014, from

sábado, 12 de julio de 2014

Entry n°5 What is Academic Writing?

What is Academic Writing?


This chapter is produced to show you the importance of writing as a communication skill and specifically what academic writing is like. Understanding what you are doing as you write and how you approach the writing task is the secret of your success with academic writing.

Myths about writing

There are some misconceptions which people often arrive at college possessing.
Myth #1: The “Paint by Numbers” myth
Writes believe that they must follow certain stages in order to write correctly
Myth #2: writers only start writing when they have everything prepared.
They figure out much of what they want to write as they write it.
Myth #3: Perfect first drafts
Polished writings take a lot of revision, so nobody writes perfect first drafts.
Myth #4: some got it; I don’t – the genius fallacy
Writers can improve with effort and study.
Myth #5: Good grammar is good writing
Writing is more than grammatical correctness. A good writing has to do with achieving your desired effect upon your audience.
Myth #6: The Five Paragraph Essay
You should determine whenever this format will be useful for your particular writing assignments.
Myth #7: never use “I”
Avoiding the use of I may implies a distrust of informality.

The academic writing situation
It is very important to develop your writer’s sense about the communicating within the writing situation and that includes knowing the difference between speaking and writing. As we are separated from our audience when we write, we must use punctuation and word choice to communicate our tone.

Looking More Closely at the “Academic Writing” Situation

There are some questions you must keep in mind in order to have a closer look writing situation in college:

Who is your audience?  (Professor, classmates or a secondary outside audience)

What is the occasion or context? (The teacher gives you and assignment for you to learn and demonstrate your learning)
What is your message? (It will be your learning or the interpretation obtained from your study of the subject matter)
What is your purpose? (Getting a good grade or showing your learning)
What documents/genres are used? (The most frequent type of document used is the essay)
To accomplish with a particular task you must be aware of what the professor expects you to do, and that is to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency accompanied with thinking skills, interpretation and presentation. To achieve that you should take into account the next elements:
Knowledge of Research Skills
Researching is an important component of writing assignments, so you will need to learn where to find reliable information.
The Ability to Read Complex Texts
You will be asked to write about topics you are not familiar with. So your ability to write well will depend on how much you read. And you will also need to think critically, separating facts from opinions.
The Understanding of key Disciplinary Concepts
It is important to know that each discipline has its own key concepts and language and what your professors want to see is that you apply these concepts in your writings.
Strategies for Synthesizing, Analyzing, and Responding Critically to New Information
You will need to learn ways of sorting and finding meaningful patterns in this information.
Academic Writing Is an Argument (A carefully arranged and supported presentation of a viewpoint) and an Analysis (identify meaningful parts of the subject to study it closely)
Three Common Types of College Writing Assignments
The Closed writing Assignment: it presents you two counter claims and asks you to determine from your own analysis the more valid claim.
The semi-Open writing Assignment: It presents you a subject matter for you to write upon, but you also have to determine your own claim.
The Open Writing Assignment: It requires you to decide both your writing topic and your claim or thesis.

Three Characteristics of Academic Writing:
  1. Clear evidence in writing that the writer have been persistent, open-minded and disciplined in study
  2. The dominance of reason over emotions or sensual perception
  3. An imagined reader who is coolly rational, reading for information, and intending to formulate a reasoned response.
You will be expected to deliver a paper with specific textual features.  The following list contains the characteristics of a “Critical Essay” (critical in the sense of critical thinking, not in the sense of criticize)
  1. It as an argument, the essay makes a point and supports it.
  2. The point is debatable and open to interpretation, not a statement of the obvious.
  3. The critical essay should be organized with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  4. Support: Using quotations is required. You need enough support to be convincing.
  5. Document the sources to clarify where that information came from.
  6. Clear transition sentences to help the reader to recognize the movement from one main point to the next.
  7. A critical essay is put into an academic essay format such as the MLA or APA document format.
  8. Grammatical correctness: you need to edit your final draft carefully in order to avoid grammatical problems.

Carroll, Lee Ann. Rehearsing New Roles: How College Student Develop s Writers.                   Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2002. Print.
Thaiss, Chris and Terry Zawacki. Engaged Writers & Dynamic Disciplines: Research       on the      Academic Writing Life. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook, 2006. Print