Workers in a coltan mine near the town of Kambove


© Reuters / Joe Bavier


The concept of “inequality” presupposes a different perspective from the concept of “diversity”, starting from the different etymological roots. The term “inequality” has a declarative and assertive connotation: two subjects do not belong to the same universe, but constitute distinct parts.
Implicit in the word “diversity”, on the other hand, is a reference to becoming: a common origin directed towards a new, constantly evolving situation. Social and economic inequality implies a static condition, stagnation, injustice. These eyes speak of inequality and dirt; of eternal days - whole lives - spent since childhood between the darkness of a coltan mine and the sunlight of Congo. Inside and outside, digging and carrying. Fatigue is dictated by the need to eat, to feed the family, to survive. Coltan is a business that brings mobile phones to our pockets and civil war and exploitation to the heart of Africa. These eyes also speak of a common origin that unites all human beings and which is sometimes forgotten. These eyes move us and ask a question: can we act to preserve the Earth without also acting to reduce inequalities? Can we evolve our way of thinking and our economic and legal system to prevent profit from being made not only at the expense of the environment but also at the expense of other people? How can inequalities be reduced and diversities on the other hand be enhanced?

Lucia Zaccaria