‘Illicit’ the Dark side of Globalisation

This week the Politics Department was delighted to host award winning documentary maker Helen Fitzwilliam. She addressed a packed Ellis Theatre about the dark side of globalisation before showing her film ‘Illicit’.

The documentary outlined in vivid detail how globalisation has allowed gangs and traffickers to become far more connected, leading to the development of a criminal industry worth $2 trillion. It went on to show how  this industry fed off  and exploited the more vulnerable members of  society and  revealed the shocking extent to which human trafficking occurs in our world today.  It is essentially a new form of slavery that affects 12 million people around the globe.

The documentary  also detailed harrowing  stories of counterfeit medicines being sold  in South America in places like Panama where over  200 people died from a fake cough medicine made in China.

Perhaps most startling was Fitzwilliam’s revelation that if counterfeiting was stopped in China today, the economy there would be fatally undermined with over 25 million people potentially losing their jobs. This really conveyed the extent of the problem facing the world today.

It was fascinating to hear from a real film maker about the graft, time and research  not forgetting the courage required to make a film like this.  It was an eye-opening evening that gave all who saw it a fresh perspective on  globalisation and left them reassessing whether the benefits of the free market and interconnectedness are all they are cracked up to be!

Georgie Statham (U6 EL)

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