Nothing to do with us? – Making Sense of Global Wealth Inequality
This project takes the form of an illustrated story told from the perspective of a young adult middle-class Swede who feels uncertainty in the face of larger issues in the world. Where do all our stuff come from? Is he buying unethical products? Is he actively making a situation worse elsewhere through his choices? How would you even know, when the consequences of such actions might only become evident far, far away from Sweden? How do you relate to this? What should you do? As the protagonist wants for answers, he decides to try and find out what the situation is really like, and what could be done about it. But, as he would soon find out, the answer is not a simple one…
In this work-in-progress story, a middle-class Swede must contend with the fact that he’s part of a subset of humanity that in large part benefits off of the thankless work that may be found in the so-called Global South. In his investigation, he seeks to find answers to important questions. What’s the nature of this economic relationship between the Global South and the Global North? Is it really enough to buy ‘more sustainable’ products to relieve the impact on environments and societies? What are the hidden perspectives and stories that those in the Global South experience every day? How can one try to be a good person and create positive change in the world when faced with overwhelming systemic issues on a global scale?
Through the story, the nature of global wealth disparity is illuminated as the Swede tries to make sense of global power relationships in relation to labour and production, and so too offers a reader who may be having similar worries an opportunity to learn. As uncomfortable truths are revealed, a greater systemic issue becomes evident. As economic growth takes precedence over social and environmental wellbeing, who wins and who loses – and where?