Posted by: bluesyemre | September 29, 2020

DW Documentaries

Is there room for feminism in the Muslim world? The role of women in Islam is a frequent subject of controversy. Few other religions are so tainted with bias. But does Islam have any justification for its discrimination against women?

In this film, director Nadja Frenz introduces Muslim women who have set out to find their own path to emancipation. Together they investigate the role of women in Islam and study the Surah, the chapters of the Quran. Can the western concepts of gender equality be transferred directly to the Islamic world? Is wearing a headscarf a clear gesture of submission? Does the Quran really permit men to control women and beat them? Is the image of modern woman anti-Islamic? Must a woman choose between being a faithful Muslim or an independent feminist?

This documentary also consults women who are Islamic scholars. They say it is not Islam or the Quran that vilifies women, but rather certain interpretations of it and patriarchal traditions. They are campaigning for a more gender-neutral interpretation of the Quran and are trying to bring religion and feminism together. In contrast, women’s rights advocates such as Zineb El Rhazoui, a former employee of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”, refuse to reconcile themselves with their religious roots, saying that Islam cannot be reformed.

Chocolate may be a sweet treat, but its production leaves a bitter taste. Rainforests are cleared so slaves and children laborers can harvest cocoa beans on illegal plantations. Cocoa is produced under the most dubious conditions.

In Ivory Coast, the dark side of cocoa and chocolate production is hard to miss. Many people – including children – are driven here from neighboring Burkina Faso by drought and famine to find work. They often come alone, without their families, to find jobs on one of the many cocoa plantations. The conditions are spartan. They work with sharp machetes, carry heavy loads, are exposed to toxic herbicides, and lack protective clothing.

Major international cocoa companies and giants of the chocolate industry such as Nestlé, Cargill and Ferrero looked on as 90 percent of the Ivory Coast’s primeval forests were destroyed. In 2001, the companies agreed to stop child labor, wage dumping and the further clearance of rainforests for five years. But 20 years later, the commitment has yet to be implemented. This moving documentary shows the dark side of the chocolate industry and its sweet, luxury product.

Climate change in the Arctic is fueling not only fear, but also hope. Sea levels will rise and flood many regions. But the melting ice will also expose new land with reserves of oil, gas and minerals. New sea routes are also emerging.

The melting of the ice in the far north has given reason for great optimism, as newly-found mineral resources promise the Inuit a better life. But international corporations and self-proclaimed ‘partners’ such as China also have their eye on the treasures of the Arctic. Some even dream of a polar Silk Road. As large corporations position themselves to exploit the treasures of the far north, the indigenous people, the Inuit, are fighting for their independence.

Our film team spent four weeks with a geological expedition to the north coast of Canada – a place where no human has ever set foot before – and were present at the geologists world’s northernmost spring. A microbiologist with them also collected DNA samples that could help in the development of new vaccines against resistant germs. However, the most important resource in the far north is still fish: Greenland supplies half the world with it, yet it still doesn’t bring in enough to finance necessary investments in its underdeveloped infrastructure. And in Canada, the Inuit are also struggling with their government for the right to share in the wealth of their own land.

How high will the oceans rise due to climate change? The projections are the subject of dispute, with scientists continually correcting their estimates upward. Is this just panic-mongering or are these scenarios within the realm of possibility?

Can we make any reliable predictions about the world’s oceans? If all the ice in Antarctica and Greenland were to melt, sea levels would rise by more than 66 meters. The consequences for coastal populations are gradually becoming clear. By 2100, coastlines around the world could change radically. The research being conducted by marine scientists will decide how affected regions can prepare for the disaster on the horizon. At what point will governments have to consider evacuating areas on the basis of cost-damage analyses? It is a process that has already begun in places like the United Kingdom.

Sea levels are rising faster and faster, threatening 700 million people who live on the world’s coasts. Will water become the habitat of the future? Visionary projects for a life with the tides are forging ahead worldwide.

Experts forecast that by 2100, sea levels will be two meters higher than they are today. This could force 40 percent of the world’s population out of their homes, for example, in Mumbai, Tokyo, Guangzhou or Bangladesh. The US won’t be spared either. Miami, New Orleans and New York would also have to be evacuated. Entire city districts would be under water. Climate change would drastically alter our metropolitan areas.

That’s why ideas that originated in science fiction have now becoming reality. Floating and underwater buildings could become places of refuge. What sounds like a utopia is soon to become reality. The first pioneers are already living in floating neighborhoods. Could the South Pacific paradise of Tahiti also be saved in this way?

This is still all tantalizing luxury. Visionary hotel operators offer rooms with an underwater view. Or dinner during which fish and marine life are a feature in floating restaurants. Many of these futuristic plans involve water. Will we be farming on the sea? Will the “SeaOrbiter” floating research station designed by Parisian architect Jacques Rougerie get underway soon? Or will we walk through seaports on floating boulevards?

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