Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Kevin Sites

For those of you that do not know about Kevin's project, here is an excerpt from the Mission Statement

To cover every armed conflict* in the world within one year, and in doing so to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact. With honest, thoughtful reporting we'll strive to establish Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone as a forum for information and involvement. Users will not only learn about the scope of world conflict, but will find ways to be part of the solutions- through dialogue, debate, and avenues for action.

Kevin went, alone, to conflict zones around the world.

I recently saw him speak at Yahoo!'s main campus. One of the things he talked about is that how actual battles are such a small part of war. Battles are easy to report on. There is action, death, victors, losers. But when the battle is over the news moves on. If you really want to know what war is about and what it does you have to talk to the people living in it, the civilians who are trying to raise a family and make a living. Another excerpt,

War poses as combat but is really collateral damage...[S]ocieties are encouraged by their leaders to romanticize warriors and their weapons...while avoiding thoughts of the legacy of civil destruction they also bring.

The book is a collection of stories from the people he met in all the places that you have heard of on the news but maybe don't really understand the politics and history so it is hard to follow, he went there. This is the other great thing that this book is doing for me. I know there is something bad happening in Somalia, the Congo, Columbia, etc. But I don't really know what and I can't keep it straight. In telling these people's stories Kevin gives background on what is going on in their country. It is great because it is just enough to help you understand but not overwhelm.

If you are looking for a good book that will help you learn a little more about the world or even just a page turner this is a great book. It's not getting a bunch of press, you wont hear about it in many places. But check out the website, read the Amazon reviews to see if it is interesting to you.

To me this was a great idea in what internet journalism could be. The stories you will find on the web are good but will leave you wanting a little more. The book fills that. And there is a free DVD. :)

1 comment:

Brian said...

Wow. Taking it to a whole new level of honesty. I'll have to check that out. Sounds like a documentary in the making.