For the past year and a half the issue effort to stop the trade of conflict or blood diamonds has been kicked into overdrive. With mounting pressure from the UN and many humanitarian organizations especially Amnesty International, diamond manufacturers and retailers have been under severe pressure to clean up their act. Having lived off the sweat and blood of exploited miners for years, the issue was recently exposed when hip-hop artist Kanye West released “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” from his album Late Registration. With an intro from Sierra Leonean hip hop artist Chosan, the video was a powerful one which used images such as a woman’s hand turning to blood when her suitor placed an engagement ring on it.
With many grassroots organizations doing their part to force diamond manufacturers to stop making a profit off of wars in places like Sierra Leone and Liberia, the controversy is about to be thrust into the spotlight yet again with the December release of Warner Bros.’ “The Blood Diamond” starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) and Djimon Hounsou (Amistad, The Island). While films such as Kareem Edouard’s Bling: Consequences and Repercussions do a good job on highlighting the diamond manufacturers’ reliance on consumer ignorance, “The Blood Diamond” is a fictional Hollywood-style movie which could either help or hurt the international effort to make DeBeers and others accountable. All reports, though, point to the movie glossing over the issue altogether. We’ll see in December.
Tags: blood-diamonds, Fashion, film-release, Film/Television, Music, music-video, Politics, pop-culture, Sierra-Leone