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VIDEO SERIES: What does it mean to be an internationalist today?

At New Internationalist magazine’s 40th birthday symposium we invited a panel of radical thinkers and campaigners to give us a 5-minute blast on how development and social change have evolved since the 1970s.

This is what they had to say:

‘In 1973, solidarity thought more about power’
Dan Smith is Secretary General at International Alert.
He argues that internationalism is now more widespread and yet less political that it was 20 years ago. After weighing up the perils of intervention, he laments the ‘professionalization’ of solidarity.

‘Women’s rights are now sponsored by Gucci’
Jessica Horn is a writer and co-founder of the African Feminist Forum.
She talks about how feminists have always had a facility to think beyond the nation-state. And ends with a reminder to the audience to engage in support that does not erase voices of the people who are struggling to transform the world they live in.

'The metrics of aid have left out social movements’
John Hilary is the Executive Director of War on Want.
He believes that internationalism boils down into political action in the global struggle for justice. Saying the North-South divide doesn’t cut it anymore, he explains why internationalism begins at home.

‘Time to move beyond concentric circles of self’
Nitasha Kaul is a feminist writer and economist.
She asks why we accept injustice globally that we would challenge on the nation-state level and argues that we need to look at ‘development’ as a change in relationships.

‘We should be equally concerned with people wherever they are on the planet’
Jonathan Glennie is a Research Associate at Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
He describes an internationalist ethics as one that is equally concerned about the lives of all people. He worries that in 2013, we are at risk of seeing internationalist ideas eroded by austerity at a time when we them most.

‘Internationalism isn’t a choice anymore: it’s a question of survival’
Asad Rehman is a senior climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth.
He claims to be an internationalist from birth, as he was born into Pakistani migrant family in northern England and calls on campaigners to focus their energies on combating climate change, a fight that connects people across the globe.

‘We need to educate the EDL!’
Marieme Jamme is a Senegalese-born social entrepreneur.
She wants to see the end of stereotypical portrayals of Africa perpetuated by the likes of Bono and Geldof. She puts her faith in technology, which she sees creating business women, social entrepreneurs and interconnected youth.

The birthday symposium was chaired by author and curator Hannah Pool and New Internationalist co-editor Hazel Healy. It took place at the Amnesty Human Rights Action Centre in London on 31 October 2013.

See the biographies of the speakers and continue the conversation at our Internationalism blogging series.

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