Mirada Global on the Chilean Miners

A reflection from Barnabite priest Umberto Palma Orellana:

The miners have become a good brand, a brand everybody wants to register for their own benefit and exploitation. Their lives, those too human existences, haven’t mattered before, they don’t now and won’t in the future, either. What really interests, the novelty are the story they can tell, the small stories loaded with emotion. Each one of these stories is worth more than all the stories of the hundreds and thousands of workers who suffer similar and worse tragedies all over the world, throughout time. If we really cared about them as individuals, we would have questioned and spoken up about their current situation, which is the shameful injustice and social inequality that fragments our country and questions its development. But this lacks relevance and importance. What everybody is expecting to get is what’s inside the guts of each miner, who has become a small, thrilling and lucrative narration. Because after the fall of the great ideologies, it is these narrations, loaded with feeling and passion, that manage to give some sense to our tiny, empty and stressed lives. How long will we care for the miners? I’m afraid that until the market has exploited their last breath and it is the turn for somebody else to take their place in the morbid pleasure of the human dramas exposed to the immediacy of the world’s screens

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Available in Spanish here.

Tim Reidy

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